When Harry Met Sally...
Collector's Edition, Collector's
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Two Manhattan careerists take 12 years to figure out they love each other. Directed by Rob Reiner.
Nora Ephron wrote the brisk screenplay for this 1989 romantic comedy, director Rob Reiner made a nicely glossy New York story (very much in a Woody Allen vein) out of it, and Billy Crystal's unstoppable charm made it something really special. Crystal and Meg Ryan play longtime platonic friends who keep dancing around their deeper feelings for one another, and Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher are their respective pals who fall in love and get married. Ryan doesn't get a lot of funny material, but her performance is typically alive and intuitive, and she more than holds her own with Crystal's comic motor mouth and sweet sentimentality. Reiner is on comfortable ground, liberated from the burden of making serious statements in the lead-footed manner of subsequent features. --Tom Keogh
On the DVD
The Collector's Edition offers seven new featurettes (the previous Special Edition only had one documentary), beginning with a sit-down between director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron waxing nostalgic on how the movie originated: He, recently divorced from Penny Marshall, was a miserable single man, while she was the screenwriter who rejected his initial pitch over lunch ("It was a shame," she remembers, "because we hadn't even eaten yet."). It's easy to see that Reiner is clearly Harry, and Ephron is clearly Sally: He's the squawking chatterbox and she's constantly corrects his memory (Sally's meticulous method of ordering food is also a direct rip-off of Ephron herself). Other featurettes show Billy Crystal's attempts to play Harry (or Reiner, as it were); location filming in New York; the love stories that served as interludes between scenes (again, the counselors-at-camp story is from Ephron's parents); the significance of the film over time; and more discussion on the film's famous question: "Can men and women really be friends?" Most of the stories from the featurettes are recycled in the new film commentary by Reiner, Ephron, and Crystal (Reiner mentions that the "I'll have what she's having" line, spoken by his mother, is in the top 10 of AFI's top 100 movie lines no less than five times overall), but the inclusion of Crystal, who contributed many improvised lines in the movie, makes for a nice easygoing repartee. Fans may be interested to know that Reiner originally thought Harry and Sally shouldn't get together, until he himself fell in love with his future wife on the set, but the most hilarious tidbit involves Reiner storming the production offices and polling all the women on whether or not they "fake it" because didn't believe that really happened. Seven deleted scenes--which were also included in the previous version--and original theatrical trailer round out the set, but Harry Connick Jr.'s "It Had to Be You" music video is missing. Still, the special features are a great look into a romantic comedy that clearly remains a meaningful experience for cast, crew, and audience alike. --Ellen A. Kim
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Sometimes it doesn't come at all
I only know that when I'm in it
It isn't silly, no, it isn't silly, love isn't silly at all.
These words, from Paul McCartney's 'Silly Love Songs', seem to me to be a very accurate description of the theme of 'When Harry Met Sally'. This iconic romantic comedy, written by Nora Ephron, is, for me, one of the most insightful comments on the place of love in the post-60s world. It charts the way that acquaintance can turn into friendship and then into love.
Harry (Billy Crystal) encounters Sally (Meg Ryan) on a long car journey during which they both seem to decide that the other is obnoxious in one way or another. Their path to love is funny, totally engaging and ultimately unforgettable.
One of the greatest - no THE greatest - characteristic of the cinema is its ability to access our deepest emotions. How many times do we weep cathartically in our normal lives - most of us, not many. Yet there are dozens of films that induce just this kind of reaction. How many times do we laugh so much that we ache - very rarely outside a cinema, but often within. How many times are we so scared that we cannot move - almost never in life, but often in the cinema. And these emotions cannot be accessed in the same way through any other art.
And there are laughs and tears galore in 'When Harry Met Sally'. Why? Because we really *care* for these kooky characters, and the love that they find has a kind of purity that our loves struggle to emulate.
For some people (and I feel sorry for them) films that induce a warm feeling of pleasure are sentimental and worthless. They should avoid this film as it might undermine their sterile cynicism. But if you trust your emotions and regard them as your greatest asset, 'When Harry Met Sally' will be one of the most worthwhile films of the modern era.
My admiration goes to the filmmaker for leading the audience to watch through 12 years of Harry and Sally's separate and/or together personal growths to come to the conclusion that they are finally morphed into a matching couple. That's how us audience can 'feel' and 'root for' the characters.
The segments where old married couples recount the initial meeting with their mates were so positive and reaffirming. They make me believe in marriage and togetherness again.
Although the 80's wardrobe is a bit dated but the movie itself is still as good and fresh as when it first came out on the theatrical run. Buy this movie!
I give it 4 stars because there is no subtitle.