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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Cinema with Sam: ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ is rom-com gold

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“When Harry Met Sally…” is a rom-com for the books. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so I can think of no better time to rewatch and review my favorite rom-com of all time: Rob Reiner’s hilarious and heart-warming 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally…”

The film, written by Nora Ephron, revolves around the complex relationship between Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan), two friends who, over several years, grapple with the age-old question: Can men and women truly be just friends?

The script is a testament to Ephron’s brilliant storytelling, as it explores the themes of friendship, love and the complications that arise when the two intersect. The film also stars Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby in supporting roles.

Known for films such as “Stand by Me” (1986), “The Princess Bride” (1987) and the famous mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” (1984), Reiner expertly directs each scene in the film and always makes sure to keep the focus on the impeccable chemistry between Crystal and Ryan.

The film contains some brilliant filmmaking techniques, including many uses of split screens to show different characters in separate locations, making for some perfectly timed comedic moments. Furthermore, Reiner does a fantastic job of using New York City as a backdrop for Harry and Sally’s friendship, using the changing seasons as a metaphor for the characters’ evolving relationships and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.

What sets “When Harry Met Sally…” apart is its exceptional dialogue and the chemistry between Crystal and Ryan. The banter between the two leads is witty, genuine and often hilarious, creating a delightful dynamic that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. Crystal’s dry humor complements Ryan’s effervescent charm, making their on-screen connection utterly convincing.

Crystal is a very funny actor who has starred in some of cinema’s most well-known comedies, including Reiner’s “The Princess Bride,” “City Slickers” (1991) and “Monsters, Inc.” (2001). However, I believe Crystal has never been funnier than he is in “When Harry Met Sally…” and works so well with Ephron’s screenplay. On the other hand, Ryan is perfect in the role of Sally, and no scene better shows this than the famous scene at Katz’s Deli.

“When Harry Met Sally…” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its genuine charm and exploration of the complexities of love and friendship. Ephron’s brilliant script, coupled with the stellar performances of Crystal and Ryan and Reiner’s pinpoint direction, makes this film a must-watch for anyone seeking a delightful blend of romance and comedy.

Whether you’re experiencing it for the first time or revisiting an old favorite, “When Harry Met Sally…” will leave you with a warm heart and a smile on your face.

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About the Contributor
Sam Cohen, Movie Columnist
Sam Cohen (he/him/his) is a junior majoring in Film and Media Studies. He won the Special Grand Jury Prize for his Comedy short film “The Gum Run” at the 2019 Montclair Film Festival Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Sam writes weekly reviews of recent TV Shows and Movies while occasionally reviewing older, forgotten classics. When not reviewing, discussing, or watching films, Sam is also a part of many extracurriculars on campus, including being a co-captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team, a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity, and an officer of the Film Society.

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