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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.