The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

When Harry Met Sally: a review

Fair warning: landline phones make a guest appearance in “When Harry Met Sally.” This means that, yes, if a pizza roll hunger-pang had hit Harry (Billy Crystal) or Sally (Meg Ryan) while they were on the phone, they would have had to make a very real and poignant choice between human interaction and pizza rolls.

I was just as terrified by this prospect as you are.

Despite the risk of phone-cord-induced-claustrophobia and Sally’s raging case of 80s hair, don’t write the film off as old and irrelevant.

It’s one of those movies that people will be shocked and repulsed if you admit that you haven’t seen it. And as far as I’m aware, relationships between men and women are still relevant — sometimes even considered important.

Story continues below advertisement

At any rate, Harry and Sally meet under pretty standard circumstances. Both have finished their degrees at the University of Chicago and are moving to New York. Sally plans to attend graduate school for journalism, and Harry will presumably start to work.

The pervasive theme of the movie is made explicit by Harry on the way to New York. He believes that a man and a woman are incapable of maintaining a friendship; it will inevitably graduate into a sexual relationship.

This idea, though heterosexist and oversimplified, sets the precedent for the spicy dialogue that will persist between Harry and Sally throughout the movie.

Sally vehemently disagrees with Harry’s view on friendship between a man and a woman. Her inability to name even a single man she maintains a platonic relationship with does
become problematic, though.

Time passes, and as expected, Harry and Sally get over their initial, mutual distaste for one another. They become friends, but their relationship constantly flirts with the line between friends and more than friends.

The highlight of the movie is the script, and Billy Crystal gets most of the punch lines. Harry and Sally have an electric chemistry; it feels authentic, which is a testament to the acting ability of both Crystal and Ryan.

Like most romantic comedies, the plot is really no challenge to follow, and the only looming question, besides whether men and women can be just friends, is whether Harry and Sally will end up together. The final state of their relationship will effectively answer both questions at once.

If I had to place “When Harry Met Sally” on the hierarchy of chick flicks, it would definitely rank somewhere near the top. Based on the romantic storyline alone, it could grapple with “Dirty Dancing.”

However, “When Harry Met Sally” shouldn’t be pigeonholed as a romance film; it has something for everyone.

For those that don’t get their cinematographic jollies from sappy romance, this film can still provide enough humor to get you through to the other side. And for those that can appreciate romance in its entirety, this movie could very easily be a tear jerker — especially if you are, like Harry and Sally, single and slightly unhinged.

“When Harry Met Sally” is witty and unafraid to be a little smart. It is an amusing, feel-good film that earned a solid four out of five stars, in my book. It probably won’t shock you, so don’t go into it expecting to be wowed, but give it a chance to elicit an emotional reaction.

7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22
2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24
Playing in the Woodland Theater

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
When Harry Met Sally: a review