When Harry meets Sally for the Friday Night Movie Club

“All men are sure this has never happened to them and most women have at one time or another, so do the math.”
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Each week for the foreseeable future, Vulture will select a movie to watch as part of our Friday night movie club. This week’s pick – voted on by Vulture readers – comes from TV critic Jen Chaney, who will begin her screening of When Harry meets Sally Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET. Head for the vultures Twitter to see his live commentary and watch next week’s movie here.

American democracy may be a chaotic journey through Electoral College purgatory, but democracy as a concept is still alive and flourishing. We know this because Vulture put this week’s Friday Night Movie Club selection in people’s hands and asked you to vote, in an extremely scientific, unbiased, and valid Twitter poll, for who you’d like to focus on this week. week. live viewing evening.

Eight staff members each chose a worthy film, and from a first pair of surveys, two candidates emerged as finalists: Sing in the rain, chosen by the great Angelica Jade Bastién, and my selection, When Harry meets Sally … Obviously, Vulture readers were in the mood for something happy at the end of this stressful week. Or is it more accurate to call it a very long Tuesday?

The winner, and the movie I’ll be tweeting about tonight at 7 p.m. ET, is When Harry meets Sally …, the best romantic comedy of all time with ellipses in its title. (Say anything … is obviously in second place.) I have a few theories as to why Nora Ephon-led and Rob Reiner-led exploration of friendships and romance between straight men and women has prevailed in this race. Please allow me to do like Steve Kornacki, don my modern Gap palomino brown khakis and break them down for you.

The number one reason why this movie is appealing at the moment, and this is a big factor I suggested it, is familiarity. When you’re exhausted and emotionally shredded, you want to watch something you already know you like. And a lot of people know they love When Harry meets Sally … I can basically recite sections of this movie, which in my opinion is the most cited romantic comedy in modern history, and maybe even movie history. There is “I’ll have what she has”, obviously. But also, “Mouth of a baby fish”; “No one has ever quoted me before”; “You are right, you are right, I know you are right”; and two terms that this film brought up in the American lexicon: “on the side” and “high maintenance”.

As stated previously, When Harry meets Sally … is a happy movie, and most of us probably aren’t ready to watch anything too seriously right now. But it’s more than just happy. It’s funny and light, but also extremely intelligent, a balance that too few romantic comedies manage to strike. It’s heartwarming in many ways, but there’s a cynical side to it too, courtesy, in large part, of Crystal’s Harry. “When I buy a new book, I read the last page first,” he announces. “That way, in case I die before I’m done, I know how it ends.” That, my friend, is a dark side. Plus, Meg Ryan reaches the absolute and most charming peak of Meg Ryan, and that alone is enough to make a person smile.

It’s absolutely true that some things in this movie seem a bit backward over 30 years later. It’s set in a beautiful New York City, but one that’s seemingly filled with only white people and is as heteronormative as hell. Furthermore, its entire underlying premise is wrong. Of course, men and women can be friends!

Having said that, When Harry meets Sally … holds up beautifully in almost every other way and that’s because of Nora Ephron’s nearly perfect Oscar nominated script. As stated before, almost every line of this thing is a triumph of cinematic prose. In particular, every phrase Carrie Fisher utters, as Sally’s best friend Marie, is a high-quality platinum dry comedy. “Someone is watching you in Personal Growth.” “Thin. Pretty. Big boobs. Your basic nightmare.” Everyone thinks they have good taste and have a sense of humor, but there’s no way they all taste good. [and a sense of humor]. “There’s a whole other movie inside When Harry meets Sally … called When Marie met Jess … and it’s just as good.

At the end of When Harry meets Sally … life just looks better. It’s a film about appreciating people you take for granted and a love story about finding a soul mate on your own timeline. As Harry says, “When you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Likewise, when you realize that Friday Night Movie Club is going to focus on When Harry meets Sally…, you want Friday Night Movie Club to start as soon as possible, especially after a week like this. Go to the Vulture Twitter account tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

When Harry meets Sally is available to stream on HBO Max and to rent on Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and iTunes.

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