When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
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I literally couldn't wait to see what would happen in the next scene. This is one of those movies that goes by very quickly. I think that's a sign of a good movie, when you just can't believe that you're already an hour or so into the movie. The story really flows nicely from scene to scene.
The cast is great in the film as well. Billy Crystal pulls off one of his best performances, and has a slew of great jokes throughout the film. Meg Ryan looks as beautiful as ever and has such a cute way about her. Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher definitely deserve a great deal of credit too, they both did superb jobs as well. Director Rob Reiner did a great job with the film, keep up the good work Rob.
If you're into romantic comedies, then you definitely should see this film. Even if you aren't really into the whole romantic part of it, the comedy is great and worth seeing. I would most definitely recommend seeing this film.
I hope you like it. Thanks for reading,
Like all good films coming from the genere, this film thrives most on its witty dialgue and cleverness in not "sentimnetalizing" it too much. In other words, there is that perfect equilibrium between scenes of sheer poignancy and scenes of brutal comic relief. The thespians involved, of course, have a lot to do with the film's success and overall appeal. Ryan and Crystal are perfect for the roles assigned, each one of them bringing their charisma and fresh breath of life to the screen. Crystal fits snugly into that character we find all too obnoxious but can't help but loving and Ryan, well, she is as adorable as always.
The issue the film tackles is an important one, I think. It asks us a question of universal importance, namely, can women and men ever be friends?. I'll leave that for you and your friends to talk about at Pizzaria Uno. For now, I'll just say that with heaps of quirky, funny dialogue, a taut script from Nora Ephron, and clean directing form Reiner, "When Harry met Sally" is a highly enjoyable film that unsurprisingly has held strong a decade after its inception.
Meg might be the reason guys want to see this movie, again and again, but after a while you begin to appreciate the contribution Crystal made to the film. The dialogue has his name all over it. The dialogue in this film is at times simply amazing - check the memorable quotes here if you've seen the movie and have forgot.
I would not pick this movie out of a barrel as most likely to be so influential, but it's a fact that it is, and rightfully so. Great support from Kirby and Fisher. Today it's Hanks and Ryan who are paired, thanks undoubtedly to Sleepless in Seattle, but one wonders why no one has tried to get Crystal and Ryan back together again. They're fantastic.
This is one of the all-time best movies ever made. All-time 10? Or 20? or 1000? I don't know; it's just one of the best - it has that quality about it. Keeper.
Now, disregard the above paragraph. Because When Harry Met Sally makes up for its slights to credibility and lack of rigorous thought by being easily the funniest movie of its year (1989). This humor flows mainly from the beautifully crafted scenes and dialogue; indeed, each scene is a dialogue set piece (and could be transferred to the stage quite easily - surprising no one's ever done it, actually), which flows with the firm and confident rapidity of a 20th century Shaw or Oscar Wilde. Of course, this approach has its downside, too: mainly that the lead characters seem less and less like real people and more like tools for the brilliant lines and conceits of the screenwriter (Nora Ephron - never better; in fact, never even remotely close ever again). This may have something to do with the film's inability to seem completely real or true to human nature as it actually plays out - but with lines like these, who's complaining?
For, what is great about the movie is not its originality (it steals from all over, especially Woody Allen movies, and the few ideas it can truly call its own are, as I've said, not particularly bright or well-thought out), but its ability to hone in on stereotypes of character and situation and offer pithy and hilarious precis of the male-female condition through the witty banter and interaction of its characters. As such, the film is less like a conventional movie and more like a stand-up routine dealing with life and love in the Big City: it is to be judged not by its content, but by the dexterity of its put-ons and one-liners. (It is not surprising, for example, that several of its set-pieces and comic notions were revisited just a few years later, and in much the same manner, on "Seinfeld".) In that regard, it succeeds flawlessly.
Just think of all the conventions it gets in, and skewers: the one-track mind male (Harry); the "sensitive" and practical female, repulsed yet intrigued by said male (Sally); the emotionally unsettled mistress playing the field (Carrie Fisher, who keeps an index card file of "available" men); the live-ins who can't "commit" (Sally and her ex-boyfriend); women's concern with middle age and their biological clock ("I'm gonna be 40," weeps Sally. "When?" asks Harry. "Someday."); the male's tendency to skip out after making love; the horror and unpredictability of blind dates; and, in a scene which is almost passe to mention anymore, women's ability to fake orgasm. The way this film jumps from one familiar convention to another would be embarrassing if it weren't for the fact that each one is handled with such economy, humor and grace.
Billy Crystal acquits himself well as Harry - predictably, perhaps, as it's a part tailor made for a standup comedian. Still, seeing him in this after years of half-baked movies and fawning Oscar presentations, it's a revelation how glib and unlikable he can allow himself to be . . . and *still* be likable. Yo, Billy, if you're listening out there: try incorporating some of Harry's darker shadings and more egocentric traits into your future roles; it gives you a more complete palette to work from and keeps you from being too generic and schticky. And your charm and humor will always shine through anyway.
If Billy needs to edge a little bit closer back to Harry, though, Meg Ryan needs to get Sally completely out of her system. This role, deservedly, made her a star - but she has tried to go back to this particular well once too many times, and it's become way too familiar: you know, the adorable, bright-eyed bit - mentally disheveled, prissy around the edges with just a wisp of klutziness, all topped by that cute, mega-watt smile. It has become now the "Meg Ryan" character, but back when Sally came along it was still fresh, and it was tied to a particular personality. Ryan gives Sally a shy-cum-toughness as well as a moody, slightly cynical and self-deprecating wit that is just totally right. She and Crystal play off each other like two old pros, and they weave in and out of some charming and hilarious verbal music.
It's funny, but I just recently saw this movie on a Saturday afternoon television marathon of "Romantic Weepies" - and it struck me as an odd designation, because this movie is anything but a weeper. It takes a clear-eyed, almost cynical view of love and companionship, and creates around it a charming tapestry of bracing wit and crunching dialogue. So save the violins and the handkerchiefs for romantic comedies less sure on their feet - whose deficiency in wit must be made up for by a surfeit of melodrama and manipulation. This movie is manipulative too, of course, but its manipulation is almost beside the point. It's the laughs along the way we remember here, not the big kiss or the grand embrace. That Harry and Sally were "meant" for each other and that the film "proves" it is much less important than the fact that Sally does one hell of a great orgasm.
Waiter, I'll have what they're having . . .
First of all, there are some hilarious lines in this movie that will appeal to men and women. Second, the orgasm scene in the restaurant has got to be one of the funniest scenes in movie history. And finally, the guys will be cheering on Billy Crystal, as he makes love to a LOT of women in this movie. I really enjoyed this movie, and I'm pretty sure that I am a guy (I'll check later).
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan will remind everyone of their everyday lives in this true-to-life (and very funny) movie. So guys, don't reject "When Harry Met Sally..." just because women cried at it. And girls, if you see this movie, you will probably want to see it another 50 times.
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.