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Comedy Movies - When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally
Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan
MGM United Artists

When Nora Ephron's "When Harry Met Sally" hit the cinema screens in 1989 a cultural icon was born. No other romantic comedy in recent memory has managed to tap into the angst and joy of the pursuit of love, friendship and happiness as this movie did in the capable hands of director Rob Reiner.

The pace of the movie is borrowed from the matinee episodic movies of old Hollywood when Rudolph Valentino ruled the box office. The bridges between the episodes - when the lives of Harry and Sally intersect - are made up of clever stories told by older couples who have been together forever tell the story of how they met. Of course the stories are all part of the movie, but they are so well done some audience members originally thought they were all real stories.

Harry Burns and Sally Albright, played respectively by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, live up to their names with Harry burning every bridge behind him and taking the most pessimistic view of life possible and Sally being the cockeyed optimist who always looks on the bright side of life. Opposites attract, well not always and therein lies the humor, the quick dialogue and sincerely touching moments of this movie.

This episodic comedy is skillfully woven together with a great supporting cast - Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher - and despite the weakness inherent in all romantic comedies (you know the couple will get together in the end) remains engaging and smart from start to finish.

This movie is simply the best romantic comedy of the last half century

Denis Bernicky



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