When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Yes. I enjoyed it, far more than I expected to enjoy it. And I’m a big enough man to admit that.

#94, April 22, 2011

For several years, my lovely wife has been threatening me with this movie.

I haven’t actively avoided seeing this movie, but it’s never been on my radar. I’m not a big fan of romantic comedies. I’ll watch them if they feature someone I really like; for instance, I watched Love, Actually solely because of Bill Nighy’s presence. Billy Crystal, however, doesn’t scream “Watch Me”… he’s a funny guy, but I find him a bit off-putting. It’s mostly his voice, it’s partly his mannerisms. In the right vehicle, as a character actor, I like him. He was great in the TV series Soap, and he was wonderful in The Princess Bride, but I found him insufferable in City Slickers. Don’t defend him. There’s no need. It’s my issue, not his.

I feel the same way about Meg Ryan. There’s something wrong with her. I’m not sure what it is, but she’s definitely “off”. But what do I know? I do have a favorite Meg Ryan movie, though. Want to guess what it is? That’s right… Joe vs the Volcano. Shut up. I think it’s funny. And I have a brain cloud.

Nevertheless, my lady wanted to watch When Harry Met Sally, and she wanted me to watch it with her, and whatever my lady wants, my lady gets.

The verdict? Sadly, I’ve waited far too long to write this up, so most of my observations on the film were lost in the ether, but allow me to share some general impressions. As far as romantic comedies go, When Harry Met Sallyis one of the best I’ve ever seen. Rob Reiner was at the top of his game, and Meg Ryan was fresh enough that her cutesy/quirky act feels almost organic. Billy Crystal is still Billy Crystal, but everything that annoys me about him works perfectly for the role of Harry, so much so that I find myself wondering if the part wasn’t written specifically for him (which is information I could almost certainly look up on the Internet if I was so inclined… but I’m not). There are several scenes that work wonderfully, but at the end I was left feeling like there wasn’t any real substance… which is really my problem with most romantic comedies, which in itself is probably the reason I have no business criticizing a romantic comedy. Let’s be honest… the version of this movie I would love would be box office poison.

Did I enjoy this movie? Yes. I enjoyed it, far more than I expected to enjoy it. And I’m a big enough man to admit that.

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