Entertainment » Movies

When Harry Met Sally - 30th Anniversary Edition

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jan 8, 2019
When Harry Met Sally - 30th Anniversary Edition

One of the great romantic comedies of the late 20th Century, "When Harry Met Sally..." is the best Woody Allen rom-com not made by Woody Allen. So much of this film pays homage to films like "Annie Hall," from the snappy dialogue to the very idea that the "problem" in a romantic comedy can be the characters' neuroses rather than an external force tearing them apart. Not to mention, the location footage of life in New York, the walk-and-talks through Central Park in autumn, the soundtrack full of old-standards, and the costuming. (Some of Meg Ryan's outfits — particularly her hat — are nearly a direct reflection of Diane Keaton's trend-setting apparel.)

This film marked the first pairing of Nora Ephron and Meg Ryan, a comedy partnership that would continue in two more films and create Ryan's reputation as a romantic lead. It was also a breakout role for Ryan, her first foray into a leading role. (Incidentally, the role almost went to a variety of different actresses, including Molly Ringwald.)

The premise is simple: Can a man and a woman — two strong-willed people with vastly different outlooks on life — be friends without letting sexual attraction enter the picture? Ephron and director Rob Reiner had a fundamental difference of opinion on this subject, and when they first discussed the idea of making a movie together, they discussed this in detail. Those conversations became the starting point for much of the dialogue in the film.

Reiner cast his close friend Billy Crystal as a stand-in for himself in the role of Harry. And the comedian brought a lot of his own unique humor to the role, a part that could have been overpowered by his co-star's charm and buoyancy.

Over the course of several years, Harry and Sally keep running into each other, determined to dislike one another, until they eventually succumb to a friendship. But when desperation and emotional vulnerability lead to a night of lovemaking, the friendship, as they know it is destroyed. But who knows? Maybe this is for the best.

Also featuring Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, the performances in this film are magnetic and the dialogue is brilliant. And if you haven't seen it yet, you'll know immediately why the scene in Katz's Delicatessen is one of the most memorable in movie history.

This Blu-ray features a new 4K scan of the original camera negative and a new featurette, a conversation between Reiner and Crystal, as well as a whole slew of vintage features, like two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, a music video by Harry Connick Jr. and a behind-the-scenes documentary "How Harry Met Sally."

"When Harry Met Sally..."


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