Monday, April 12, 2021

When Harry Met Sally...

For some reason, I thought I saw on my DVR that When Harry Met Sally... was on TV tomorrow, April 13, so I watched it this weekend to do a post on. It turns out there's an airing on the evening of April 12, although you'll probably have missed that by the time you read this post. There are some airings later in the week though and next week, and the DVD does appear to be available, so you get a post on it anyway.

The movie starts off in the spring of 1977. Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) is graduating from the University of Chicago, leaving behind a girlfriend Amanda and driving east to start life in New York City, sharing the driving duties with Amanda's friend Sally Albright (Meg Ryan). They discuss any number of things, such as Ingrid Bergman's motivation in Casablanca, but they don't hit it off as friends, largely because Harry says that guys can't really be platonic friends with nice-looking women -- the guys think too much about sex. Never mind that Amanda is still nominally Harry's girlfriend. So when Harry and Sally get to New York, they go their separate ways.

Fast forward five years. Sally has a boyfriend in Joe, while Harry has a wife Helen. Harry is going on a flight somewhere, and at the airport he just happens to run into Sally and Joe, although he doesn't recognize Sally at first. Sally does, however, seem to be mildly irritated at having run into Harry again.

Finally we get to the meat of the movie after the action jumps forward another several years. Sally has just broken up with Joe, sharing her heartache with best friends Marie (Carrie Fisher) and Alice. Harry's wife has left him, and he commiserates with his best friend, Jess (Bruno Kirby). By chance, in a Manhattan bookstore, Harry and Sally run into each other again.

With the title of the movie being When Harry Met Sally..., you might guess that the two are going to wind up together in the final reel. But we've still got a good hour to go before getting to that final reel. In the meantime, Harry and Sally decide to do a good thing for their friends. Marie has been seeing a married man even though deep down inside she knows that that man is never going to leave his wife. So Sally decides to set her up on a date with Harry. Harry, meanwhile, sets Jess up on a date with Sally, and the four go on a double date together.

The outcome of that date is obvious too, in that Marie and Jess are going to wind up together, although it's much more quick in happening than you might think. Harry and Sally still have a lot to go through before they finally decide whether they really love each other or not.

Even though you know where When Harry Met Sally... is going to end up, it's still quite enjoyable in getting there. The various scenes are introduced by faux-documentary vignettes of elderly couples talking about how they met (these are all actors, not real couples), adding a really nice touch. There's a lot of talk about sex, with one really memorable scene of Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in the middle of a diner.

If you haven't seen When Harry Met Sally... before, I can definitely recommend it.

No comments: