Journey’s in Classic Film held the Universal Backlot Blogathon this weekend, in celebration of the backlot’s 100th anniversary. I was glad to be a part of it as it was my first one! Check out everyone’s reviews and posts, for a number of different movies that were filmed on the backlot. Here’s my submission:
It was 1989 and most “romantic” 80’s movies didn’t blatantly say what was on a woman or a man’s mind…at least not to each other. The secrets of the opposite sex come out in When Harry Met Sally. The director, Rob Reiner, was blown away himself by the fact that women could fake their orgasms. At the time the simple truths in the movie hit home and that’s why its so relate-able, even now.
With the Passing away of the screenwriter, Nora Ephron, at the end of June I felt like looking back at this genuinely awesome movie. From beginning to end her writing holds your interest, with likeable characters, and realistic and humorous dialogue.
The movie starts off in 1977, when Harry and Sally drive from Chicago to New York together. We immediately see the differences between the two and how easily they clash. Harry is nosy, morbid and likes to talk about sex, while Sally is pretty OCD, ambitious and tries to be private about her love life. They argue from beginning to the end of their trip. Sally finds Harry vile, especially when he says he finds her attractive, even though he is dating her friend. That’s when the big “men and woman can’t be friends” speech comes up. They part ways just as they started, strangers with no interest of friendship.
5 Years Later: They reunite on a plane. Sally just starting off a relationship and Harry in the process of getting married. They part ways again, Sally loathing him once again when Harry tells her what men think about after sex.
“You look like a normal person, but really you are the angel of death.”
5 Years Later: Both hit rock bottom in their relationships and are in need of friendship. Ephron lets her characters grow and interact which shapes their feelings and reactions towards other relationships. They become very close spending New Years together, talking late on the phone, and telling each other things they would never tell someone of the opposite sex, revealing insight into their gender. We see both of them at their worst-on the verge of an emotional break down, trying to forget about their ex’s.
The script was a collaboration of ideas and past experiences from Reiner, Scheinman (producer) and Ephrons life. Crystal ad libbed stuff, of course and even Ryan contributed to the screenplay. It was her idea to add the famous orgasm scene. Apparently, she did one take and Reiner said “No, do it like this!” And he acted out the scene for her. Crystal said it was hilarious…I wish I could’ve seen it!
The chemistry between Ryan and Crystal, really makes this whole movie work. Not only that but their best friends in the film Jess & Marie (Carrie Fisher & Bruno Kirby), with what little scenes they were given, also had really great performances. It was a movie with a lot of sitting around and talking…but the talking was wonderfully entertaining. It had a lot of depth and heart.
There are also interviews of married couples sprinkled throughout the film. The stories are true, but performed by actors, setting the tone that everyone has a different way of falling in love. The film really focused on the differences between men and women and what made the movie so relatable was how realistic it felt. The conversations in the movie, were probably ones we’ve all heard at one point or another, between friends, in bars, etc.
By the end of the movie, I really wasn’t worried about “Will they? Won’t they?” I was worried if their friendship would survive them crossing the line.
They just don’t make romantic comedies like this anymore. Screw the predictable, one-dimensional, bad acting that is not worth my time or money, make some more movies like When Harry Met Sally!
I’ll end my review, with a quote from Ephron:
“You say to yourself, when you’re young, I will never marry anyone who isn’t a democrat and who isn’t a Mets fan and who doesn’t care about everything your passionate about. And then you get to be a certain age and you just think ‘I’d like to be with someone who makes me laugh every so often, that would be good.'”