Harry and Sally meet when she gives him a ride to New York after they both graduate from the University of Chicago. The film jumps through their lives as they both search for love, but fail, bumping into each other time and time again. Finally a close friendship blooms between them, and they both like having a friend of the opposite sex. But then they are confronted with the problem: "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?" Written by
Greg Bole <email@example.com>
The character of Harry was somewhat based on director Rob Reiner. Reiner was depressed, and loved being depressed, like Harry Burns in the film. The character of Sally was somewhat based on screenwriter Nora Ephron. Ephron was optimistic, cheerful, loved control, and was the type of person who was "just fine" with everything, like Sally Albright. See more »
At the very beginning of their 1977 road trip, the lock on Sally's door changes back and forth between being locked and unlocked even though she never touches it. See more »
I was sitting with my friend Arthur Kornblum, in a restaurant, it was a Horn and Hardart cafeteria. And this beautiful girl walked in and I turned to Arthur and I said Arthur, you see that girl? I'm going to marry her. And two weeks later we were married. And it's over fifty years later and we are still married.
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This is Billy Crystal's show. He has an understated, ordinary, humble screen presence. It's not the case that every single line HAS to be funny in order for us to like him - with Crystal, a joke can fall flat and somehow it doesn't make him personally look bad. But here every line IS funny, so he has charm to burn.
I know people like Meg Ryan - I guess I do, too, in this particular film - and I know that there are people who find her `orgasm' scene amusing, but Sally is really just someone for Harry to meet and ultimately fall in love with. She's completely clueless. Most of the jokes are at her expense rather than his. The genuine wit, the power of observation, the theoretical insight, all lie with Harry. Is this a problem? Not in the least. Unlike most romantic comedies this is not some kind of duel - it's the more realistic study of many, many separate encounters.
Also unlike most romantic comedies, this one is funny. I think I mentioned that.
The film benefits from its second rank support: good performances by Carrie Fischer and that guy whose name doesn't matter, locations someone actually went to some trouble to look for, and a song-score that is doesn't intrude and hit us repeatedly over the head. Allegedly `When Harry Met Sally' has been imitated by later productions, but I can't think of a case where the imitation is accurate enough to even be recognisable.
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