|WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)|
Lisa Jane Persky
|"Harry, you might not believe this, but I never considered not sleeping with you a sacrifice."|
|Time: 96 mins.|
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
I watch this movie every chance I get. It's one of the most clever and hilarious romantic comedies I've ever seen. Ryan and Crystal are witty, sexy and hysterical together. It's an instant classic. Like all perfect comedy couples, they fall for the one person they love to hate...and boy, do Harry and Sally initially despise each other. He's the last person she would ever want to end up with, but the only one who ever really understands and accepts her for who she truly is. They flirt and fight with equal aplomb, both witty and sarcastic they force each other to be honest with themselves and one another. Plus, they're just damn funny. Forget Tom Hanks, I wish Ryan would reunite with Crystal. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY gave her the chance to be a smart, sassy independent woman, not just the perfect, sweet love interest. Ryan has never been funnier or more engaging. She makes Crystal not only funny, but sexy as well. Not an easy task.
The film is basically about how Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) meet and eventually fall in love. It only takes a decade to happen. After graduating from the University of Chicago, they drive to New York together and it's a ride neither of them will ever forget. Harry hits on her constantly in between spouting off ridiculous ideas like men and women never being able to be just friends. They argue about everything from sex to the ending of Casablanca. Though Sally doesn't like him very much, he's the only person she knows in New York and had hoped they'd be friends.
Five years later she runs into Harry at the airport. Her new boyfriend Joe (Ford) used to live in the same building as Harry. He doesn't recognize her at first, but once she orders her beverage, he knows exactly who Sally is. She tries to ignore him, but it's no use. He rambles on about her relationship with Joe, how he never takes people he's dating to the airport, about the fact that he's getting married. She can't believe that anyone would date him the angel of death never mind actually make a life long commitment, but is glad that he has a more positive outlook on life. Nevertheless, once the flight is over, she refuses to have dinner with him. Men and women can't just be friends, can they?
Five years passes again, Harry is getting a divorce his wife met someone else and waited to tell him so she wouldn't ruin his birthday and Sally and Joe have broken up. She wanted to get married and start a family. He liked their supposed simple, carefree life. Her friends try to get her to start dating again right away if you wait too long someone may wind up marrying the man meant to be your husband but she's just not ready. She bumps into Harry again in a bookstore. Both still stinging with rejection, they get together for dinner and help lick each other's wounds. They have a lot in common and start spending their free time together. It turns out that men and woman can be friends. It's nice to be able to talk to someone of the opposite sex, get advice, without all the pressure of a sexual relationship. They even try to set each other up with their best friends, Jess (Kirby) and Marie (Fisher), but their friends find love with each other, leaving Harry and Sally right back where they started alone together.
It's no secret that they eventually end up together. It is a romantic comedy after all. However, they certainly took the long, and funny, way around. Harry and Sally come to realize that they're perfect for each other. It only took them 10 frustrating, silly and hilarious years to figure it out. Though this movie would be nothing without the talent of Ryan and Crystal (not to mention Kirby and Fisher who are also just fantastic), it owes much of it's perfection to a brilliantly funny, adult and honest script. You don't see dialogue like this everyday maybe once a year if you're lucky. If you're a fan of this film, you know what I'm talking about. If you've never seen it, you're truly missing out on one of the best romantic comedies ever made without Cary Grant that is. This is one you just have to see.