Saturday, July 9, 2011

798. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Running Time: 96 minutes
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Written By: Nora Ephron
Main Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby


Well I'm just about ready to close up shop on Reiner Week, but first we come to Reiner's worst film so far (from the book anyway), "When Harry Met Sally", a film that isn't THAT bad, but doesn't hold a candle to the other three I've reviewed this week.

Harry (Crystal) is introduced to Sally (Ryan) a mere minutes before they are to drive from Chicago to New York City together. Harry is dating Sally's best friend and it just so happens that they are both headed to the Big Apple, so they go together. Along the way, they pretty much irritate one another and when the offer is made by Sally to be friends with Harry (and friends only), Harry educates her that it could never happen, because men and women can't JUST be friends. They go their separate way and five years later they Harry runs into Sally in an airport and they subsequently share a plane ride together and once again get on each others nerves. It isn't until another five years, when Sally meets up with Harry in a book store that they finally start to hit it off. Harry has just separated from his wife and Sally is going through a breakup. They walk through Central Park, chit chatting and basically being very friendly to one another. One thing leads to another, and Harry is proved wrong when the two become best buds and inseparable...but will they take that next step and eventually become more than just friends?

I'm way too much of a Woody Allen fan to sit through ninety minutes of a Rob Reiner directed Woody Allen tribute video. If I want a film like this, I know where to shop and Rob Reiner isn't the place. This was an obvious tip of the hat to Woody Allen and while it was a noteworthy one, it just didn't compare to the real deal. Reiner uses typical man and typical woman (one being a comic and one being a pretty blonde) and weaves a tale of relationship trouble and sexual quandaries. Of course, the whole thing is set in New York City too, so that usual Allen backdrop is also in place. All the elements add up to a slightly above par RomCom. I will admit that I thought Billy Crystal was brilliant in this and if you're one of those people who sit around and scratch your head as to why the guy from "My Giant" is so popular, you need not look any further for your answer than "When Harry Met Sally". He's really charming and really funny and proves that he could've been a leading romantic comedy actor on more than this occasion, if given the opportunity.

On the other hand you have Meg Ryan, who just annoys the crap out of me and has never done anything that proved to me she deserved her place in the spotlight. It's the same scenario here, as in my opinion, she really just drags down everything and a better leading lady could've done wonders for this picture. Focusing in on just the film, it starts out good enough, pretty clever little passages of time, separated by old couples talking about how they met and how long they've been married. Then we get into the real meat and potatoes of the movie and once the friendship between Harry and Sally is established, the film really starts to drag. Beyond that it's just a long, boring, drawn out exchange of dialogue between Ryan and Crystal as they whine about their love life, with frequent funny bits from Crystal peppered in. Honestly, I'm probably being a little too rough on the movie, I mean it wasn't THAT terrible and I guess I'd give it a mild recommendation, but this was easily the worst of the quartet of Reiner films I watched this week.

RATING: 6/10 In other news, I've realized that I definitely undercut "This Is Spinal Tap", as the voice of Nigel Tuffnel has been echoing in my head all week and reminding me that his amps go to 11.


July 8, 2011 9:41pm

1 comment:

  1. You have some good turns of phrase at times .. a classic here.. " Meg Ryan.. just annoys the crap out of me"
    Superbly put.


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