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Overall Rating
4.22

Awesome58.7%
Worth A Look: 23.91%
Average: 6.52%
Pretty Bad: 2.17%
Total Crap: 8.7%

2 reviews, 34 user ratings


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When Harry Met Sally...
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by iF Magazine

"CAN men and women be friends?"
5 stars

Every now and then a film comes along that gets it just right. In 1989 that film was WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. Directed by Rob Reiner and superbly written by Nora Ephron who has gone on to direct SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and YOU’VE GOT MAIL to great success, MICHAEL to moderate success and THIS IS MY LIFE and MIXED NUTS to little success.

Together, back then, Reiner and Ephron had a great story to tell, a semi-autobiographical one about the ins and outs and ups and downs of dating … no pun intended. Reiner, divorced from wife actress/director Penny Marshall at the time but happily married for 10 years now, was tired of the whole dating game and was intrigued to learn a thing or two by directing a film that looks at both sides of the dating war, the male’s side AND the female’s side. And what happens when men and women actually start out as friends?Can their friendship survive them sleeping together? And is it possible to have a friend of the opposite sex at all?


The film, marketed brilliantly by Columbia Pictures asked those very questions in their movie advertisement campaign. And people, in droves, went to the theater to find out. Their curiosities and opinions in tact, the film started many a conversation, and maybe a fight or two, making WHEN HARRY MET SALLY one of the best romantic comedies of all time. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY came at a time when men thought they knew everything there was to know about women and women didn’t want to believe they knew all there was to know about the men they dated. Masterful scenes, like the famous diner scene where Meg Ryan, as Sally, shows Billy Crystal, as Harry, just how easy it is to fake an orgasm and when Harry admits that after sex men bargain with themselves as to how long they need to hold their most recent conquest before getting up and leaving, brought the film to a new level. No stone was unturned when it came to the dating game.


A dozen years later released as a DVD special edition we are treated to 7 minutes of unused footage, a making of interview with the cast, a music video by Harry Connick Jr., who arranged most of the music for the film as well as performed it, and an audio commentary by Reiner, who many times got so caught up with watching the film during the audio session that many minutes at a time go by without hearing a peep from Reiner. He appeared to have forgotten to comment on it periodically because he was so intrigued with his own filmmaking. But who can blame him. He flat out admits to not seeing the film in years. A small loss to the hordes of fans eager to have the director grant them the inside scoop on WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. And yet through behind the scenes interviews we learn how much Reiner and Crystal contributed to the script and how it was Ryan’s idea to do the orgasm scene, although Reiner says he is the one who showed her how to do it.


Together Ephron and Reiner collaborated daily on their dating experiences and the result is a finely tuned instrument about love, friendship and the everlasting question...can men and women be friends? The film is clearly a classic and most assuredly one of the top 10 romantic comedies the public has ever laid their eyes upon.

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is a film you can watch over and over again and still never get an answer to that timeless question. But what you do get is an hour and a half of authentic entertainment damn close to as enjoyable as Meg Ryan thrusting herself back and forth at the table in the diner … or is it? -- Pamela Harland

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2491&reviewer=119
originally posted: 02/24/01 15:19:42
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell have not seen this in years but it was good 4 stars
3/22/17 Louise (the real one) OK but not funny. 3 stars
6/10/16 Ionicera nice performances, but a bit dated... a good snapshot of gender & dating in the late 1980s 4 stars
9/05/15 Jamie one of my favorite movies of all time, adorable, funny, delightful 5 stars
1/27/14 PAUL SHORTT INDECOROUS BUT WITTY WITH SHARP INTERPLAY FROM ITS LEADS 4 stars
5/08/09 Samantha Pruitt a classic really, funny stuff! 4 stars
8/06/08 Braniff If Harry had killed Sally or vice versa--that would be FUNNY 1 stars
3/03/08 ladavies One of those movies that once I start watching I can't turn the channel 5 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini pretty dull 3 stars
4/10/05 dwarzel Only known for one scene--which is only funny once. 1 stars
3/24/05 Michael Lloyd the best romantic comedy of all time 5 stars
12/05/04 Kristina Williams best romantic comedy EVER! THIS is how it's done. 5 stars
6/15/04 T. Maj Billy Crystal and/or Meg Ryan will NEVER be this good again 5 stars
6/06/04 Daveman One of, if not THE best romantic comedy of the last 20 years. 5 stars
9/07/03 Amanda one of my favorite movies of all time 5 stars
8/17/03 Lorraine Wilton timeless comedy 5 stars
6/12/03 Rebo Valence About time one of these romantic comedies had a brain in there. Brilliant! 5 stars
5/01/03 candy it's great 5 stars
1/28/03 Pinkline Jones Celluloid Manure - Orgasm scene totally UNFUNNY. American trash 1 stars
12/07/02 Jimmy Jamez excellent stuff 5 stars
7/25/02 Justin Great! 5 stars
4/10/02 Amelia No matter how many times I watch it, it's always a great laugh! 5 stars
3/15/02 Iris Dementia Preecox Duh! So Sally can fake orgasms. I faked crapping in my pants while watching it! 2 stars
11/28/01 Andrew Carden Enjoyable For The First Hour, but Basically Cracks By The End. 3 stars
10/08/01 R.W. Welch Talky and predictable but mostly amusing romantic comedy; Ryan is near perfect. 4 stars
7/30/01 Tommy "...What great movies are all about!" 5 stars
7/29/01 Henry Ginsberg Great movie . 5 stars
3/16/01 Magali Meg is so beautiful! 5 stars
3/04/01 Jake best romantic comedy ever. 5 stars
2/13/01 Lin Great movie 5 stars
2/05/01 jaba the HUn i cant stand MEg ryan she is so damn annoying and UGLY 1 stars
1/28/01 julio fuck 5 stars
1/13/00 Ann mmm...oh...yes. YES! YES!-it's good 5 stars
10/25/99 BBReBozo The only film in which Meg Ryan's "cuteness" was not fucking annoying as fuck. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Jul-1989 (R)

UK
  10-Nov-1989 (15)

Australia
  N/A (M)


Directed by
  Rob Reiner

Written by
  Nora Ephron

Cast
  Billy Crystal
  Meg Ryan
  Bruno Kirby
  Carrie Fisher
  Harley Jane Kozak
  Steven Ford



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