Jun 28, 2012
When Harry met Sally 
After hearing the sad news of Nora Ephron's death, I decided that I needed to somehow remember the brilliant woman who was behind two movies I frequently watched when I was little: Sleepless in Seattle and You've got mail. Since I never saw "When Harry met Sally", I decided that a viewing of it would be the best way to do it!
The story follows Harry and Sally, as you would expect :) They first meet when they end up leaving college together to move to New York, sharing an 18-hour car ride. At the beginning they can't stand each other, and their interactions is fantastic, as the script offers sharp, witty and sarcastic conversations in the car or in the restaurant. One of the most memorable quotes of the films is: "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way", which tells something about where the story might go. Arriving in NY, they say their goodbye's, and only see each other after 5 years- the two still don't see eye to eye, but after 5 more years, when they meet in a bookstore and rekindle their unusual relationship, they realize they have matured and need each other, finally starting an unlikely friendship which leads them to great, sometimes funny situations (the orgasm scene in the restaurant is a classic by now: "I'll have what she's having").
Harry, played by the charming, but not very attractive Billy Crystal, is a straight forward man, always with a clear opinion about love and relationships; he is smart, rather dark and cynical, yet he longs for companionship and love. Sally, on the other hand, played by the adorable Meg Ryan, is a control freak, a woman obsessed with details, but also a sweet, smart and reliable person. You wouldn't say they have so much in common, but when they form their friendship, you can easily see, as cheesy as it sounds, that they complete each other. They like(maybe even love) each other for who they are and they accept all their flaws. For a long time Harry and Sally try to bury their feelings, not knowing if it's love or if they should give up what they already have and go to the next level, until one night when the expected happens. I won't tell you how it ends, but I think you already know where this is going right?
From a film making point of view, I have to admit that I loved the script and I thought it was one of the strong points of the film- Nora Ephron, as usual, created a superb, funny, but also witty and interesting story, with great dialogue, but I do have to say, as a down point here, that, although I kind of got the point of the interludes with older people telling their love story, I still don't think it made the film any better, I could have gone without it. As for the direction, I can't declare anything bad, as it was suitable and didn't stand out in any shape or form. One thing I did noticed is the use of spaces to have important, meaningful conversations- even if it was the car or the plane, or during a walk in the park, everything was wonderfully set.
All in all, "When Harry met Sally", a film somehow reminiscent of Annie Hall- at least to me, anyway, I don't know why, is a classic romantic comedy that you have to see!
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Aww I'm glad you saw this and liked it. I think this, *with* the stories of all those people, is like the other end of the spectrum from Annie Hall in showing real life relationships. I especially adore those stories because I love the idea of a 50th wedding anniversary, though I am against5 weddings and marriage in general :PReplyDelete
I love that Billy Crystal isn't good-looking but makes Harry Burns someone we want to be with still, because he is just so darn charming and funny. Love Meg Ryan. Love the orgasm scene. love Ephron's writing. It's a really incredible romantic comedy.
I like the idea of 50th anniversary, too, I just didn't think it fit in the script, that's all! Yup, a great romantic comedy!Delete
I really, really need to see When Harry Met Sally. It was very sad to hear of the passing of Nora Ephron, and this film is such a classic. Wonderful write up, as always Diana! (Pssst - I've borrowed Annie Hall and intend to watch it soon)ReplyDelete
Thanks Ruth, check out both movies, you will love them, for different reasons!Delete
Great review! I saw this so long ago now may be the right time to rewatch it. Meg Ryan was so adorable in her famous romantic comedies, I wish she didn't disappear the way she did in last years.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I am the same with Sleepless in Seattle and You've got mail- it's been so long, but I might give them a try soon! You're right, too bad Meg Ryan is not so present anymore!Delete
I haven't seen YGM, SIS or WHMS. But I intend to make this one a priority now. Glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
You should see at least one. In order, I suggest Harry met Sally, then You've got mail, then Sleepless in Seattle!Delete
I wish I could watch this for the first time again. I love this movie. I think it's the perfect romantic comedy. So glad you got to watch it.ReplyDelete
Now I need to go watch Sleepless in Seattle since I don't think I've ever seen that one.
It's a good one, too, but much more romantic then the witty When Harry met Sally- still, it's a great movie!Delete
This is one of my favorite romantic comedies. I've seen it 3 or 4 times. I actually liked the interludes with the other couples quite a bit, especially because of the way they set up the final couple we see talking about their relationship.ReplyDelete
Yeah, but it was predictable, I expected that to happen...ok, I admit, the interludes were charming, but I am sticking to my initial opinion-not necessary!Delete