Grace Donaldson Reviews When Harry Met Sally
Who doesn’t love a comfort movie? A film you can put on when you’re sad, happy, barely paying attention, or fully invested. If a film doesn’t come to mind, I have the perfect recommendation and 33 years of raving audience reviews to back it up.
When thinking of romantic comedies, strong female characters, or Central Park in the fall, I find it impossible not to think of Sally Albright. I was fifteen when I first encountered When Harry Met Sally; between trying to ignore the fact that listening to Harry Burns brought the unsettling thought that I was watching a romcom starring Mike Wazowski and contemplating how I would look if I permed my hair like Sally’s. I fell in love. What struck me wasn’t the iconic “I’ll have what she’s having scene” or Harry running through a barren New York City on New Year’s Eve, but the way such a well-crafted and somehow relatable story was carved out of a seemingly light-hearted romantic comedy. This was smart, witty, eclectic, and incredibly real. I was swept away by the ease of dialogue and the depth of the characters. Not only do Harry and Sally grow to love each other in this film, but they continue to grow up at a point in their lives where society and media claim you should’ve already grown up. With interviews of happily married couples guiding the audience through the film, When Harry met Sally is significantly up front with the fact that this is a love story. What you aren’t told right out of the gate is how beautifully this film layers depth, humor, heartbreak, and humility within its somehow simplistic yet complex narrative.
Watching When Harry met Sally lets you be naïve, lonely, hopeful, heartbroken, and in love. Nora Ephron’s iconic film seems to have unlocked a storytelling secret and has continued charming audiences for over 30 years. Relatable, witty, universal, what more can you ask for?
To hear more about how Nora Ephron has influenced screenwriters like Tess Morris (Writer, Man Up) and Scott Neustadter (Writer, 500 Days of Summer) and their work, watch On Story episode 6, season 9 Deconstructing Nora Ephron.
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