When Harry Met Sally…
Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning?
Personally, I am not usually a fan of rom-coms but there are exceptions to every rule and When Harry Met Sally is definitely one of them. I find that sometimes rom-coms can be really quite cheesy and cringy and sacrifice a real story for cheap and easy laughs. When Harry Met Sally is, on every level, so much more than that – it is genuinely funny and very entertaining. In my opinion, like all the best rom-coms, When Harry Met Sally thrives most on its very witty dialogue and not being too sentimental about love.
To put it another way, there is just the right combination of poignancy on the one hand and total comic relief on the other. The two leads Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are both superb in their roles with both of them bringing their charisma and charm which adds to films appeal. Crystal is wonderfully obnoxious and we cannot help but love him for it and Ryan brings all her usual elegance and grace. The film tackles the important question of whether women and men can ever really be just friends.
With heaps of quirky, funny dialogue, a taut script and some truly hilarious scenes – look out for the famous diner scene – When Harry Met Sally is a highly enjoyable film which, unlike many rom-coms, has truly stood the test of time.
Can men and women ever be friends? Does sex always get in the way? Can anyone ever have good sex with a man named Sheldon? From rom-com queen Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got Mail), When Harry Met Sally explores the budding relationship of two friends in one of the most intelligent, funny and heartfelt romantic comedies ever made.
When Harry Met Sally’s timeless charm comes from its believable cast of characters, who credibly mature as the film goes on. The film was the first to establish the ever-lovable Meg Ryan as the go-to rom-com leading lady in her role as the overly practical Sally, maintaining a surprisingly believable chemistry with the snarky pessimist Harry, played by Billy Crystal. The film’s charm is further supplied by stellar supporting performances, particularly by Harry and Sally’s best friends Marie and Jess, played by Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, who help create a truly genuine and relatable living network of relationships in the film’s beautiful portrayal of Manhattan. Add a wonderful jazz soundtrack by Harry Connick Jr and you have a film set to make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
The film’s simple storyline goes a long way. Ephron’s snappy dialogue acts as the main source of humour, assuring that you will always be engaged by the narrative. The best jokes come in the form of Crystal’s truisms on the ludicrous ways men and women act around each other, and paved the way for a style of storytelling that has influenced many great romantic comedies of more recent years, such as Friends with Benefits and 500 Days of Summer. Don’t snub When Harry Met Sally because of its status as a legendary “chick-flick”; it is a genuine treat for anyone who has ever felt confused about the relationship world.
This film portrays the developing relationship of Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan). It starts when they are thrown together for a long car journey upon leaving college, and Harry insists to Sally that men and women cannot have a purely friendly relationship because their sexual ambitions get in the way. Sally refuses this, and they go their own ways.
Years later they bump into each other briefly, and although both have grown up, they are essentially the same people as they were when they first me. It is the third time they meet upon which the film concentrates, and we watch both characters developing as they realise firstly they have become friends, then that they have fallen in love.
The above summarizes the plot - but it cannot hope to convey the effervescent humour and incisive wit that the film demonstrates. Their relationship is not an easy one, and there are points whilst watching it that you want to give up and go home! However, love (naturally) wins through in the end; and we are left happy. Last time this film was shown it drew one of the largest crowd we have ever seen.
Screenings of this film:
|1995/1996 Spring Term – (35mm)
|1998/1999 Autumn Term – (35mm)
|2013/2014 Autumn Term – (35mm)
|2016/2017 Spring Term – (35mm)