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Film “When Harry Met Sally” 30 Years Later
The film When Harry Met Sally is a popular 1989 romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner, and it’s been 30 years since it premiered. Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay for it, starring Billy Crystal as Harry and Meg Ryan as Sally.
The Academy Awards nominated it for the “Best Original Screenplay” award. It won the Best Original Screenplay award for the British Academy Film award, among other awards. Nora Ephron has written many popular rom-coms like You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. When Harry Met Sally still stands as her most popular film.
This movie centers around the titular characters of Harry Burns and Sally Albright, two friends with different takes on love. Harry believes that women and men can’t be just friends, while Sally does. This reflects the ideas of Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron, who once said that “Rob had a character who could say whatever he believed, and if I disagreed, I had Sally to say so for me,” according to Entertainment Weekly. The film asks if men and women can love each other without it being romantic. It answers it with Harry and Sally’s tumultuous relationship over twelve years in New York City.
It’s 3 decades later, and When Harry Met Sally is still considered the quintessential romantic comedy, and one of Ephron’s best works, but does it even hold up in 2020?
There are so many iconic scenes from When Harry Met Sally. First there’s the couple interviews, which were interviews with real couples (even though the film used actors). That’s not to mention the final scene, where Harry and Sally confess their love for each other at the New Year’s Party. The relationship between the actors is magnetic, and the film has so much love for New York City.
The writing is snappy and fun, and you can’t help but root for Harry and Sally to figure it out. In those regards, it’s perfect. A good romantic comedy should have love for their characters and their quirks, and the film does. After all, Harry and Sally reflected the personalities of both Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron.
The movie has a lot of love for its setting and the idea of love altogether, and even today that’s still refreshing. There are so many films that seem to hate their characters, their settings, and even the idea of love. Some films are just too cheesy, acting like love isn’t messy and awkward, which is just unrealistic. When Harry Met Sally doesn’t do this– it portrays love honestly and realistically, and its awkwardness makes the film better.
There are problems with the movie, though. In my opinion, the central premise is completely wrong. The question of if men and women can be friends is frankly outdated. In 2020, I feel like we can throw out the question. Of course men and women can be friends! It also essentially answers the question of if men and women can be friends with a “no,” since Sally and Harry end up together in the end. That answer is, I think, wrong. In the end, this is a problem with 2020 being different from 1989, and is something that doesn’t really get in the way of my enjoyment of the movie.
This movie gets 4/5 hearts on a heart scale.