RomCom Thursday: When Harry Met Sally

They fell in love. Obviously.

Every week this year, my roommate Reid and I plan to watch a romantic comedy. We do this partly because we like to sit on a bed together and snuggle, but mostly because romantic comedies are fun and remind us that maybe some day we will sensuously and soberly kiss a girl and feel good about it. Each week, I’ll report back to you on the quality of the movie, using a highly sophisticated algorithm to gauge its worth. Let’s begin.

This week: When Harry Met Sally

It seemed fitting to begin this beautiful new weekly tradition with perhaps the staple of the genre, When Harry Met Sally. The film has all the ingredients for success: post-Princess Bride/pre-Rumor Has It… Rob Reiner; pre-Botox Billy Crystal; super-realistic fake orgasms… like I said, all the fucking ingredients. Roommate Reid had never seen it, and I hadn’t seen it in a long enough time that I felt it was permissible to rewatch, so we popped it on the ol’ YouTube (full version’s on there free, go figure), and pressed play.

We first meet Harry and Sally as they leave on a road trip from UChicago to New York. It’s not super clear what either of them is doing there, but it seems that maybe they are both students and maybe they just graduated. Sally is Harry’s girlfriend’s friend. They start driving, and they hate each other. Or at least Sally hates Harry. She drops him off in New York, they bid each other a good life, and they walk away, never to meet again. Ha! Yeah right. [Semi-spoilers in the next paragraph.]

Harry and Sally run into each other repeatedly, first on an airplane, then in a bookstore. Conveniently, they’ve both just gotten out of long-term relationships. Harry makes slightly off-color sexual jokes that Sally gets all offended at but secretly likes, and before long they are best friends. The sexual tension is palpable. Things continue along these lines for a while, and then in a stunning turn of events, they sleep together during a mutual moment of weakness. But—what’s this?—things don’t go well the next morning. Harry slips out, Sally is upset with herself, the romance seems doomed…Was all for naught???? Did they make a mistake???? How will it end????

Okay, obviously we know exactly how it will end. But whatever. In any case, Harry and Sally and their meeting really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. There are some funny Billy Crystal one-liners, and a few nice romantic moments, and obviously the fake orgasm, but mostly the real reason to see the movie is the interwoven old couple interviews (embedded below). Otherwise, it’s nothing worth making time for. Roommate Reid was texting freshmen biddies his MeikleBabies for most of the movie. If a romcom can’t hold Roommate Reid’s attention, well, that ain’t a great sign.

Romcom summary/grades:

First meeting: They dislike each other and have opposing personalities. Real original. B-

Adversity overcome: Friend zoning, a bad first hook-up. Meh. C+

Climactic kiss: Decent, with an enjoyably sappy monologue from Crystal. B+

Overall humor: Kind of funny sometimes, but a lot of jokes fall flat. B-

Overall romance: Undeniably a quintessential on-screen couple. A-

Image via.


  1. '14

    I disagree with you so much right now. This is my favorite romcom.

  2. Harold

    You do realize that all the things you say are “unoriginal” are standards in the romcom genre BECAUSE of When Harry Met Sally? Pretentious Brown kids.

  3. '13

    This column doesn’t really make very much sense.

  4. '15

    Yeah, uh… When Harry Met Sally is one of the quintessential, original romantic comedies. You need to not compare When Harry Met Sally to today romcom’s. Sorry I disagree with everything in your short review, except for maybe the summary.

  5. Breeze

    Gotta agree with commenter Harold. For the large part, When Sally Met Harry set standards, so they can’t be “unoriginal.” Obviously not the first rom-com, maybe one of the most predominant modern romcoms

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