When Harry Met Sally...

"Excellent"

When Harry Met Sally... Review


It was the 80s, the time when acid washed jeans went, the Ephrons could turn out a decent script, Rob Reiner could direct something worth watching, and Billy Crystal hadn't succumbed to the sequel curse. And Meg Ryan? Well, Meg Ryan's still pretty much Meg Ryan: sickeningly Top 40, an actress who seemingly lives in fear of picking a role that could be too controversial (never mind her recent marital scuffle).

When Harry Met Sally... closed out a decade fondly remembered by Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and darkly satirized by Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. It's a romantic comedy that has spawned a plethora of knockoffs so terrifying that, like its counterparts in all other genres, it may have been better if the script were never penned, if only to save us from the aftermath. But still, we have to give When Harry Met Sally... credit for what it did: Make one of the few romance films that bears any kind of truth without also being a dark comedy.

Two people who want absolutely nothing to do with each other in the beginning of the story, Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) end up driving together to move into separate apartments in New York City after they both graduate from college. By the time they reach the Big Apple, they're talking about their disbelief that friendship and sex can coexist, and as we all know from experience (and now cliché) they eventually hook up -- it's unavoidable.

Rather than make the mistake that countless copycats have by making their tryst a quick cut away from a sex scene to appease the MPAA, When Harry Met Sally... takes its time to the inevitable end. And I mean takes its time: For 10 years Harry's and Sally's paths weave back and forth like Robert Downey Jr. trying to walk the white line. At years-long intervals they befriend each other, drift apart, befriend each other again, and, at long last, find themselves testing their own theory (to the inevitable happy ending).

As for why When Harry Met Sally... still contains cinematic merit a dozen years after its initial release, it actually has all of the strengths that make a movie last. Nora Ephron's dialogue is sharp, witty, and intelligent, Billy Crystal shows us a movie in which he (mostly) acts instead of does a stand up routine with other actors present, Rob Reiner directs a simple story instead of trying to preach on God-knows-what-tangent, and even run-of-the-mill Meg Ryan takes a huge risk with her squeaky clean image by faking an orgasm in a deli (a now-legendary scene worth the rental alone). And don't forget Harry Connick Jr.'s stellar soundtrack.

While to this day it is a mark of masculine shame to admit to actually liking the movie, I personally am not afraid to give it my seal of approval. And I'm awfully manly.

The new DVD release features a ton of extra footage, commentary track, and a making-of documentary. Worth checking out.

The day they met.



When Harry Met Sally...

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st July 1989

Box Office Worldwide: $92.8M

Budget: $16M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Castle Rock Entertainment, Nelson Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Sally Albright, as Harry Burns, as Marie, as Jess, Steven Ford as Joe, as Alice, Michelle Nicastro as Amanda, as Stewardess, as Man on Aisle, David Burdick as 9 Year Old Boy, Joe Viviani as Judge, as Helen, Joseph Hunt as Waiter at Wedding, as Ira, Franc Luz as Julian

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.