Friday, June 29, 2012

Crazy 80's Project: When Harry Met Sally...


If, for any reason, When Harry Met Sally... feels familiar structurally or character-wise, let me start off by saying that it's not because the film is any less fresh or funny than it was upon its release. If anything, it's because nearly every romantic comedy of the 90's--before the genre became a joke to more than just film snobs--borrows heavily from the recently deceased Nora Ephron's brilliant script. Unlike Wiig & Mumolo's Bridesmaids, which punctuates sadness with ridiculously, gloriously, over-the-top comedic set pieces, Ephron's script punctuates sadness with a calmer, more realistic comedic style. You won't find Meg Ryan shitting in a sink, but you will see an equally well-orchestrated scene where Harry and Sally, the morning after jeopardizing their friendship by sleeping with each other, call their married friends for advice. Outlandish, no. But it's just as well constructed as any scene in any comedy of the last 20 years. This is what When Harry Met Sally... does best, though, finding depth and humor in the most common places, whether that's over a game of Win, Lose or Draw or having lunch in a crowded restaurant while discussing their sex lives. Crystal and Ryan also find surprising amounts of character through their romantic comedy "types" (he is the wisecracker who hides behind sarcasm, she is perky and optimistic with the slightest hint of neuroticism underneath the surface). They have great chemistry together and make it believable that these two would make the journey from friendship to something more. When Harry Met Sally... never set out to reinvent the wheel, nor does it ever, but, like It Happened One Night five decades before it, the film reinvented the romantic comedy subgenre and forever changed how we saw them afterwards. A-

2 comments:

Vera said...

When it was first released there were a lot of people who thought that When Harry Met Sally was a dumbed-down rip-off of Annie Hall. I'm not saying I totally agree, but it does borrow several superficial elements.

John said...

This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the picture it has great detail in it and i really appreciate your true artistic work!


High School Diploma