Best Movies of All Time + When Harry Met Sally



When Harry Met Sally... is a 1989 dramatic comedy directed by Rob Reiner that centers around the friendship and relationship of two people over the course of twelve years (and three months). Harry (Billy Crystal) initially meets Sally (Meg Ryan) when the two agree to drive from Chicago to New York together. Along the way, they share their personal opinions on relationships and resolve that the two of them could never possibly be friends or anything more. Fast forward five years, and we see Harry and Sally stumble into one another at an airport. Through their small talk, they learn that they're both in relationships. Fast forward another five years, and Harry finds Sally in a bookstore, and the two start a conversation. They're both recently removed from their aforementioned relationships, and after a little bit of talking, they decide to give friendship a try. The two become nearly inseparable, but as their friendship grows deeper, they start to realize that there might be underlying feelings masked behind their fa├žade of friendship.

Obviously, When Harry Met Sally... is one of the more iconic films to come from the late 1980s. I think that has a nice critical synopsis of the film - it reads, "Rob Reiner's touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan." I think that basically hits the nail on the head, almost to the point where any review I try to write won't quite measure up to that one little sentence. Still, I'll give it my best shot.

The screenplay definitely outperformed anything I had expected going into the film. I knew the basic storyline I was about to see, and considering it's a romantic comedy, we can be sure to know exactly where it's going to end (regardless of whether it set a new standard or not). However, this film is truly an example of the concept that something can be more about the journey than the destination. We know exactly where we're headed, but we're not entirely sure just how we're going to get there, and that's where the brilliance comes from. We're taken on a journey where we know our central characters love one another, and they take us through the happiness and the laughs and the pain and the anguish and the hatred and the love until we can reach that final destination. You get so wrapped up in the interplay between Harry and Sally that you're completely hinged on everything they say and do.

Part of the reason that's so effective is because Crystal and Ryan are so good, and they're so good together. Crystal's wit flows at a mile a minute, and he almost steals the entire show away from even Ryan herself, but Reiner found a way to balance the two perfectly. Their on-screen chemistry is very, very good - so good, in fact, that I might have to alter my list of favorite on-screen romances just to find a place to fit them. We also get some great supporting performances from Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher, who play Harry and Sally's best friends, respectively.

Overall, I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised with how good When Harry Met Sally... turned out to be. I was talking to a friend while I watched, and I told her just that. She asked me what I thought I would get going into the film, and I replied saying that I expected something good, but it was bordering on something great/fantastic. I think the information below the picture will cement that fact well enough. If you haven't given this one a chance, you should probably do just that, and do it soon.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
2 Thumbs Up

All-Time Ranks
Best All-Time: #198
Best Comedy: #44

1989, Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Carrie Fisher, comedy, Meg Ryan, movie review, Rob Reiner, romance, and more:

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