‘When Harry Met Sally’ is a witty and feel-good story about two good friends who also happen to love one another. This movie continues the trend of classic romantic-comedies I’ve finally checked out that I end up also falling in love with. It’s an interesting dynamic between Harry and Sally that many movies have tried to replicate since this one, but don’t come anywhere near this movie. When Harry Met Sally is about everybody’s own journey through life, and how true love could be staring you right in the face the entire time.
The story pulls you in with an old couple being interviewed about when they met (this is a recurring component throughout). Each of these segments put a smile on my face, as it’s so damn heartwarming hearing about two people who fell in love, and have been in love for decades. From there, the story picks up with Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally’s (Meg Ryan) first meeting, leaving college in Chicago to move to New York. Harry kisses his college girlfriend goodbye to drive to New York with her good friend, Sally, who annoy one another from the get-go. Harry is a dry asshole at first to Sally, who is a tightly wound ‘high maintenance’ girl (a term which this movie created). They say goodbye upon reaching New York, and the movie starts jumping in time through their various meetings, until finally stopping about 10 years later.
When they meet up the third time, we see that both have grown quite a bit over those 10 years, and also just got out of relationships,. Harry, a five year marriage, and Sally from a long-term relationship as well. They connect over their recent breakups, and their friendship really begins. The movie sticks entirely on the time they spend together, talking late on the phone to each other about Casablanca, relationships, sex, etc. all while they look for the perfect mate. Even during these interim’s with other people, they never lose sight of each other, always talking about who the other is dating to their friends and giving jealous looks when they all hang out together. That is, until something finally does happen between them and their dynamic takes a weird, awkward turn one night, which threatens their whole relationship. Part of me kind of hoped that they didn’t end up together in the end, (romantically at least) but you realize, just like them, that they’re right for one another. It also ties in perfectly that they become one of those very couples being interviewed about when they met and how they fell in love.
One of the things that I loved about this movie, that other romantic comedies lack is that these are two ‘characters’. Not scapegoats for hokey jokes or misogynist viewpoints (I’m looking at you ‘All About Steve’), but two honest, well-written characters. Harry and Sally have little nuances that make them relatable and real. From Sally’s incredibly picky food requests to Harry’s honest views on relationships and men and women, it’s all great stuff to watch. Speaking of, this movie really has some stuff to say in regards to relationships. What Harry says about men and women not being able to be friends because sex always gets in the way is something I’m sure everyone has thought about before, but hardly ever talks about. It really has some bite to it, which is more than you can say for most romantic comedies these days.
I can talk forever about all the great stuff in this movie, but the best parts are Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Meg Ryan is great as the nit-picky, but funny and subversive Sally, and Billy Crystal plays Harry with a sharp wit and dry sense of humor that he seems to always carry with him. They change throughout the movie as well, playing each stage of their characters differently over time. I don’t know where these two have been recently, but both are such great screen presences, and I hope they pop up again soon. I thought that it’d be interesting to do a movie set up like Harry Met Sally, with the older couples being interviewed, but about a totally different couple (a gay couple would be awesome, I mean it’s 2014 for gods sake!) Then it’d be great if Harry and Sally popped up to bicker as one of the couples with cameos by Meg and Billy. That would be how to do a ‘sequel’ right, in my opinion.
Anyways I’ve already talked way too long. When Harry Met Sally is a damn great movie, so watch it if you haven’t seen it. This probably won’t be the last rom-com I watch for this, as I’m hooked on these now. Going to stock up on rocky road ice cream and sit alone in the dark with my single-ass while I watch people fall in love and shit. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more movie write-ups coming this week!