When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Comedy, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Urban Comedy
Rob Reiner Rob Reiner
Billy Crystal Billy Crystal
Meg Ryan Meg Ryan
Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher
Bruno Kirby Bruno Kirby
Steven Ford Steven Ford

7.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: November 03, 2007
As you all know, a film like this is not my usual cup of tea. This is definitely true, but I'm sure there's a soft spot somewhere in the middle of all our black, little hearts. When Harry Met Sally... was released in 1989, and there's good reason that it's just as well known today, close to two decades later. Sure, you could argue that its success is based solely on a certain scene in Katz's Delicatessen, but it stands solid throughout even without it.

Harry Burns and Sally Albright, two complete strangers, have not only both graduated from the University of Chicago, but they've also both decided to move to the Big Apple to start their careers. As luck would have it, Harry's girlfriend is also a good friend of Sally's and she sets the two up to carpool to New York. During the eighteen hour drive, they discuss the finer things in life, such as sex, living on the dark side of life, and of course, Harry's belief that a man and a woman could never be friends because the sexual aspect will get in the way of the friendship. By the time they arrive in New York, it's clear that they haven't clicked and go their separate ways. Flash forward five years and it just so happens that Harry and Sally again bump into each other on an airplane. They're both in serious relationships; in fact, Harry is actually engaged. The conversation is hindered due to Sally's cold shoulder; she remembers full well his chauvinistic ideas on life, which haven't changed. After the flight, the two again see that a friendship is still not in the cards. Again, flash forward five years. Sally and her guy have just split up over her wanting a family and him not. At the same time, Harry's marriage has just crumbled with his wife leaving him for another guy. And as a third nod from fate, Harry and Sally just happen to bump into each other again in a bookstore. Now pushing thirty, Harry has matured quite a bit and Sally now finds something worthwhile in his company. After the rockiest start in a friendship ever, the two quickly grow extremely close. The two claim that their friendship is not only just a friendship, but also that is completely platonic. While they do go out of their way to encourage the other to date more, and even give constructive criticisms on the other's dating techniques, it starts to become apparent that friendship, love and sex is definitely not an easy thing to balance.

We watched this movie in my Communications class after studying the stages of relationships forming and deteriorating. Despite being for 'educational' purpose, I think everyone in the class enjoyed it immensely. It simply has everything working for it. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan both brought their A-game to the table here; Crystal's character is especially entertaining. I've never seen too much of his work, but Harry is a neurotic joker, quick to go off on a sarcastic rant and not afraid to look a little goofy. His lines alone account for at least 75% of the laughs found here. Ryan did a great job as well, although her performance was a bit overshadowed by her costar's more outgoing role. Deli scene notwithstanding, of course. However great they are alone; it's the consistent chemistry between the two that really makes the film. That's a hell of a feat when you take into account the sheer variety of emotions shared between them by the time the credits start to roll. And don't forget, this story takes a good twelve years or so to tell; following our unwilling lovebirds from their early twenties to their mid thirties or so. Not only do they have to deal with the huge range of emotions, but also while traveling through ages involving an extremely pronounced maturity shift. Again, Crystal's performance here is much more pronounced than Ryan's due to the wider rift his character crosses.

You can say what you want about this being a chick flick, and I guess it is, but I'm secure enough to point out that it's also a really good movie. It has its humor, it has its sweet moments, and it has a phenomenal effort from all parties involved. I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy the hell out of this movie, regardless of whether or not they want to admit it. Watch it with your girlfriend and blame it on her if you must, but this one still comes highly recommended. 9.5/10
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 11/03/2007, 08:33 PM
I don't understand how people don't watch this movie. It's Billy Crystal at his best, and Meg Ryan is, well, Meg Ryan. It's both hilarious and heartwarming, and I have yet to use an excuse to see it. 10/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 11/05/2007, 12:13 PM
This is a classic. It doesn't hold up as well all these years later, but it's still funny as hell. 8.5/10.
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