“When Harry Met Sally” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 10
“I want you to know… I will never want that wagon wheel coffee table.”
My goodness, Meg Ryan looks young. So does Billy Crystal, for that matter.
There’s a lot of good writing from scriptwriter Nora Ephron; Crystal seems to go off-page from time to time, but overall the cast has a lot of fun lines to work with.
It surprisingly doesn’t feel super-dated, despite the obvious fashion and technology changes. This story could easily be remade or transported to the modern day. That’s part of why it works as well as it does.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Carrie Fisher show up – she’s always amusing, and has my favorite line from the movie (see above).
It’s not quite as emotionally powerful as some other romance films I’ve seen, but it’s got plenty of charm to it.
I’m a big Harry Connick Jr. fan, so it’s nice to hear some of his songs in context of the film. New York also plays as a main character – which is always welcome in relationship films. It reminds me a lot of Annie Hall, which isn’t bad company to be in.
When Harry Met Sally was at the time of this review at #451 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #784 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
When Harry Met Sally vs. Ruby Sparks
While I enjoyed the conceit of Ruby Sparks, there was something very dark and distant about it. It also left too many unanswered questions about its fantasy concept that didn’t sit well with me. Still, it’s an interesting change for a romance film. Harry is the better film.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Cruel Intentions
Now Cruel Intentions is the romance film that surprises and challenges more than its too-attractive cast would lead you to believe. It truly is one of the few films that completely won me over by how different it was than my expectations. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Cruel Intentions wins.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Superman Returns
It doesn’t hold up on its own well, and it has an awful Lois Lane (a character no Superman movie can seem to do exactly right), so it’s going to lose to When Harry Met Sally. Still, Spacey and Posey are excellent, as is some of the effects and music. The tone is a little weird, too – which could be good or bad, I’m not sure which.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Home Alone
When it hit, Home Alone was huge. It has John Hughes’s style all over it. It’s held up for a long time as a result, and still does. It wins the matchup.
When Harry Met Sally vs. sex, lies, and videotape
Soderbergh has had some great films over his career, and sex, lies, and videotape is certainly one of the best. It’s very unusual, and that’s probably its strongest quality. It’s different, and unique, and walks a very thin line between dark comedy and erotic drama. It wins for its ability to stand out among Hollywood’s typical output, which is why it likely put Soderbergh on the map.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Men in Black
The original MIB was great for its well-realized world, its creative look, and the camaraderie of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. If it were one of the sequels, I’d probably give it to When Harry Met Sally, but I think Men in Black earns the win.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Jacob’s Ladder
Another challenging and thought-provoking film, Jacob’s Ladder stands out as a surreal, scary look at PTSD with a riveting performance from Tim Robbins. It’ll win the battle here.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Team America: World Police
As much as I enjoyed the South Park film, and even Orgazmo, I didn’t really get on-board for Team America. It seemed like it tried way too hard most of the time. It’s not bad, but its comedy wears on you by its end. When Harry Met Sally wins.
When Harry Met Sally vs. I, Robot
Definitely When Harry Met Sally. I, Robot was a big disappointment. It probably doesn’t belong as high as it currently sits on my chart.
When Harry Met Sally vs. Battle: Los Angeles
When it came out, Battle: Los Angeles got a harsh critical reception, and I almost wrote it off as a result. After watching it for myself, I found there’s a lot more to like about it than I expected. Still, it’s too long, and When Harry Met Sally is the better film.
When Harry Met Sally is now ranked #507 out of 1380 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Last for week 10, I’ll be watching Paris, Texas, and then doing a little catch-up for week 11’s films. Take a look at the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.