Monday, July 12, 2010

Helly's Video Vault- When Harry Met Sally

So the only movie I watched this week was Paranormal Activity which scared the beejesus out of me (All the lights are on in our house right now, to give you an indication...) Hence, I didn't want to put myself through further trauma by writing about it! So instead I've decided to pull something from the vault and in honour of mine and Lee's third anniversary yesterday, I thought something romantically themed would be appropriate.

When Harry Met Sally is one of my favourite movies and is arguably one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time. One thing I can say with certainty is that Nora Ephron has definitely not written a better screenplay since this all time classic was released. Maybe some people only have one truly great screen play inside them and then spend the rest of their career trying to write something equally as good. But I digress as usual...

This film is just pure, heart warming fun and I can watch it over and over. It's insanely quotable, and I'm not just talking about the famous 'I'll have what she's having' line, I would go as far to say that some entire scenes are quotable such as the conversation in the car about 'why men and women can never be friends because sex always gets in the way'. The film's dialogue is almost a throw back to the dialogue of the 50's era that I mentioned in my blog about The Apartment. The characters all speak with such wit and sass in that same way that makes you wish that everyone in real life had a screen writer riding in their back pocket.

The performances are all impeccable, with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal bouncing off each other with perfect comedic timing and chemistry. I think this is definitely the best performance of Meg Ryan's career, so much so that I've found it hard to watch her in other (more diverse) roles as I always associate her with this 'nice as pie' type of character. As for Billy Crystal, there is no way in the world that any other actor could have played this part, it seems tailor made for him. In theory, it seems like all women should hate his character because of his womanising and somewhat sexist views but he's so charming and funny that it makes it impossible to hate him. Come to think of it, that's exactly what Meg Ryan screams at him at the end of the movie-

'You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you!'

I love the scenes interspersed throughout the movie of the 'real couples' explaining how they met, (which has been ripped off many times since, in various different ways most recently in the movie He's Just Not That into You. ) But none of the bad rip offs can capture the sweetness and the sense of romance that is present in these original scenes. 

They definitely don't seem to make many romantic comedies like this anymore, which is a darn shame if you ask me. When Harry Met Sally, truly a modern classic...


  1. I agree, it's definately her best screenplay, though I still get a guilty pleasure out of some her other films: You've Got Mail, Michael.

    And, I thought I might add, Cameron Crowe is still keeping the dream alive, in terms of great romantic comedies ;) Well, at least before his lengthy sabbatical.

    "You made a woman meow?"

  2. Awesomely written article, Helly. Great movie.
    I agree 100% with David above; Cameron Crowe is the greatest romantic comedy writer, period.

  3. Hmmm I have a sneaky suspicion that David and Jay are one in the same! But yes I forgot about your dear ol' Cameron Crowe! You've got mail was enjoyable enough but nowhere near as good as WHMS.

    'I didn't know they had food in Ethiopia, this'll be a quick meal we'll order two empty plates and leave'

  4. lol, i thought you pulled in a brand new reader with your awesome blogs helly, but it's just Jason being an idiot...anyways you talked me into it, I'll try see this movie soon!

  5. I love Sleepless in Seattle and really like You've Got Mail. (I like romantic movies hehe)

    I'd heard that this movie is a great of the genre, now I've just gotta see it!!! Thanks Helly.

  6. Hamish you big softie! If you like romantic movies you should definitely watch before sunrise and before sunset if you haven't already, can't recommend them enough!