"When Harry Met Sally" came out in 1989 and represents another example of lightning striking only once for several people in the movie industry. The late Nora Ephron who wrote the script, by far her best, Billy Crystal who has never been better in any movie his entire career and Meg Ryan who cemented her status of "America's Sweetheart" with this movie and unfortunately has never gotten even close to being as funny, likable and attractive in any movie she has ever done. This is the essence of many movie careers, that one rare great movie that never happens again for many actors.
Rob Reiner directed this movie and as far as directing a comedy, this film is also his best ever. What is amazing about movies like this and especially comedies is how rare the great ones are and as far as great comedy movies in the last 50 years the 3 best are Annie Hall , 1977, When Harry Met Sally, 1989 and My Cousin Vinnie, 1992.
Why is When Harry Met Sally such a great movie and a perfect comedy? Because of its timing and rhythm, the subtle looks and comments, Meg Ryan's cute reactions and the faces she would make after Billy Crystal's character would say something outrageous, the great comedic lines and the perfect on point observations about the real life ups and downs about relationships . Everybody always mentions the NYC deli orgasm scene in this movie as the funniest point in the film but for me there were so many other greater moments with better rhythm and timing including Meg Ryan's ordering of an apple pie at the beginning of the movie, her story about days of the week underwear and Billy Crystals reaction afterwards. The simple "who is she?" comment when Meg Ryan is on an Airplane after running into Billy Crystal again. It's the small subtle moments in this great movie that make it an all time classic. The tragedy is that never Crystal or Ryan ever got a part that great again and when you consider their talents that is a shame, but typical of the business of Hollywood.
When Harry Met Sally is always on TV and cable so it's unlikely many people have never seen it, but it's worth revisiting this great movie many times over because no matter how many years go by or how many times you have watched it, the scenes still work which is the best barometer of a great comedy movie.
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