Friday, January 1, 2021

When Harry Met Sally...

Movie Name:
When Harry Met Sally...
Year of Release: 1989
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby, Lisa Jane Persky, Steven Ford, Harley Jane Kozak, Michelle Nicastro, Gretchen Palmer, Kevin Rooney
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Following the well received "The Princess Bride", actor/writer/producer/director Rob Reiner, returned with what turned out to be one of the most iconic romantic comedies ever released. The film written by Nora Ephron (who by then had written two Mike Nichols's films, "Silkwood" and "Heartburn"), follows the story of Harry Burns and Sally Albright, who first meet in 1977 as they go on a road trip towards New York. Harry is at the time involved with Amanda, a friend of Sally's, and during their trip, Harrys sardonic wit and perspective on life doesn't gel with Sally's. After each one of them goes on their way, they are reunited years later at an airport, and coincidentally on the same flight. Sally is recently dating Joe, and Harry is engaged to be married to Helen. They once again don't gel with their opinions. A few more years go by, and this time around they are reunited in a bookstore, with Sally having just broken up with Joe and Harry about to get divorced. This time around, they take the time to get more acquainted and actually become friends. As they slowly get back into the dating game, they even try to fix each other up with their best friends, which turns out, fall for each other. As Sally hits an emotional rough patch upon learning of Joe's upcoming nuptials, Harry comforts her and things get even more intimate, which sends their relationship into uncharted territory.
"When Harry Met Sally..." has with time become associated not only with romantic comedies, but also with New York City itself. The film has a series of iconic moments, starting with the relationship between the acerbic and quick witted Harry, and the controlling and slightly high strung Sally, both of whom have an instant distaste for each other, but when learning more about each other, come to realize there's a lot more commonalities and interests between them than they initially thought of. The film has a series of tropes that have become associated with the genre, namely the third act, where the lead characters realize they are meant for each other, but one of them has to mature and actually see what's right in front of him. It's a film that features great chemistry and rapport between the leads, with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan perfectly embodying these two characters, the same going for the supporting couple played to perfection by Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby (though Carrie Fisher's role almost feels like a continuation of her character April, which she played in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters"). The cinematography from Barry Sonnenfeld (who would soon embark on a successful directorial career of his own) is fantastic, as is the score from the wonderful Marc Shaiman. Even if the film lacks a bit more dimension to its characters, particularly the supporting ones, it's nonetheless an entertaining, humorous and well observed comedy always worth revisiting.