What Makes When Harry Met Sally… A Classic?

The accounts both gave of their collaborative process agree that the genesis of the film was shared lunches and the conversations at them about contemporary romance and dating rituals

It was a film I’d liked but not studied, but the BFI asked me to write the Classic on it to tie in to the LOVE season it had in 2015. I really came to appreciate the film once I sat down to analyse it.

Hmm! I would say that, narratively, this is a comedy about https://datingranking.net/local-hookup/melbourne/ a woman and a man who meet at various times in their lives, and eventually get to the right point to be friends. For a while their individual neuroses balance each other out but then their increasing intimacy starts to cause more problems… From the point of view of form, I’d say it was one of the most cleverly and elegantly structured films I’ve seen.

Part of what is so great about When Harry Met Sally… is that it embraces its genre forebears. Like Doris Day and Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959) and Lover, Come Back (1961), the central characters start out disliking each other – or rather she dislikes him and he dislikes her but not enough not to make a pass at her! Then, like a good screwball comedy, such as It Happened One Night (1934), the two start to get along together and become a unit. It’s important for audience enjoyment that we can see they belong together before they do, or at least before this has become a conscious realisation and desire. There are lots of moments in When Harry Met Sally… where they reveal their longing to be together without knowing it. Read more