“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
My favorite Rob Reiner film has always been When Harry Met Sally, a romantic comedy that I never expected to enjoy as much as I did. It’s the best Woody Allen film not directed by Woody Allen. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s quirky chemistry in this movie is probably one of the best I’ve seen in any film. Reiner is a director that is hard to categorize since he has worked with different genres: thriller with Misery, fantasy/adventure with The Princess Bride, coming of age with Stand by Me, mockumentary with This is Spinal Tap, drama with A Few Good Men, and comedy with The Bucket List. He’s made his share of bad films (his latest films are probably his weakest), but he seems to have excelled in every genre without establishing a common trademark. You could watch When Harry Met Sally back to back with Misery and you’d never guess it was directed by the same person. The secret to his success with this rom-com is that the relationship feels true to life as he first introduces these flawed characters that don’t seem to care too much for each other, but over the years they begin bonding and establishing a strong friendship. These characters are so relatable and we can see ourselves or our friends in the film. It reminds us of that friend of the opposite sex we had and how easy it was to blur the line between friendship and love. It makes us think of that universal question: Can a man and a woman be best friends without falling in love with each other? A lot of credit must be given to Nora Ephron’s Oscar nominated screenplay because the dialogue and debates between the main characters are authentic and sharp at the same time. There are so many memorable scenes, including the fake orgasm which turned Meg Ryan into such a star, but the final tear jerking scene is my favorite because Billy Crystal delivered his lines in such a perfect way. Even the scenes where old couples are being interviewed in documentary style works perfectly and serves a purpose other than simply serving as transitions taking place in the story. The honesty that comes through in each conversation between Harry and Sally and the incredible chemistry between them is what makes this one of my go to films when it comes to recommending a romantic movie. Did I mention that the film takes place in New York of all places?