The classic 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally... attempts to answer the age-old question: can a man and a woman truly be just friends? Billy Crystal’s Harry Burns doesn’t think so, “Because the sex part gets in the way.” The film goes on to explore whether or not that truism is, well, true, chronicling Burns’ 12 year friendship with Meg Ryan’s Sally Albright. The flick plays tonight at Yonge-Dundas Cineplex.
Written by the late Nora Ephron and directed by Ron Reiner, the film was something of a game-changer in the romantic comedy genre. Whereas the screwball comedies of yesteryear — think Tracy-Hepburn — were about the war between the sexes, with each gender holding their own (complete with zippy one-liners), When Harry Met Sally... put the female character in the more passive, “motherly” role with the male lead being the main jokester as well as being an immature future mate who finally “gets it” at the end.
The movie also introduced the outrageous comic setpiece via Ryan’s “fake orgasm” scene in the deli with the infamous “I’ll have what she’s having” line. A bit contrived? Sure. But still very, very funny (and true).
And of course, seeing that New Year’s Eve is around the corner, the end of the film is pretty much essential viewing for this time of year.