A Modern-Day New Yorker Revisits “When Harry Met Sally”
It is a truth universally acknowledged that “When Harry Met Sally” is the best romantic comedy of all time. I’ve seen it more times than I can count, but upon my most recent viewing, after a long hiatus that included a move to New York, I had plenty of new thoughts about the movie — things I’d never picked up on or noticed before. So I decided to share some of them with you.
1. They drove all the way from Chicago to New York in one go? Without stopping? That seems inhuman. Like, no wonder they decided they didn’t like each other.
3. Sally seems very, very good at determining how much someone owes on a bill in a restaurant, which is a valuable quality to have in a partner.
4. Sally drops Harry off in Washington Square Park. like, under the arch. This is not the fastest route to any residential building. Is Harry homeless? Does he not want her to know where he lives? After 13 hours, is he just desperate to get out of the car?
5. Harry’s only five years out of college and he’s already tired of “the whole life of a single guy.” Clearly this is before Tinder.
6. Marie carries a Rolodex around in her purse. The 80s were a very inefficient time.
7. Sally and her boyfriend Joe never made love on the kitchen floor because “it’s this very cold, hard Mexican ceramic tile.” Should’ve gone for cork.
8. What the hell kind of political consultant is Harry that he has an apartment like that? That is not the apartment of a political consultant. That is the apartment of a Saudi prince.
9. I think it’s very sweet that they call each other. In a time before cell phones, I guess you just had to call your friends at work or at home and hope they were there. It seems that the extra effort would make the payoff especially rewarding.
1o. Can someone please explain to me the sartorial choice of shorts over sweatpants? Was that a thing in the 80s?
11. Is this the ugliest sweater of all time?
12. Carrie Fisher’s character designs store windows, which is a thing I never noticed before when watching this movie.
13. Bruno Kirby’s character wrote an article called “Pesto is the Quiche of the 80s,” which I think demands a Kitchn followup re: what was the pesto/quiche of the 90s, 2000s, and today.
14. “In a city of eight million people, you’re bound to run into your ex-wife.” By some weird New York logic, this is actually true.
15. That coffee table IS awful, but I think time has been kinder to it than the 80s chintz couch they have it paired with.
16. There is a user on Apartment Therapy who posts as “Baby Fishmouth” and that delights me.
17. There’s something I really love about Sally’s bedroom. It’s so 80s but also just so cozy and inviting. The stuffed penguins! The flowered curtains! The wicker headboard!
18. I also kind of love Jess and Marie’s bedroom. It’s definitely aged much better than their living room. I could see this look being only a few years from coming back. Also, if you look very closely, you’ll see that they have a Hudson’s Bay blanket, which is very on trend.
19. Marie’s dress is basically Princess Di lite but I kind of love it?
20. I love that even in movies that are only 30 years old, the computers and televisions look like relics. I bet you couldn’t even play Oregon trail on that thing.
21. Another thing I never realized: We learn in this scene that he actually did buy the karaoke machine.
22. While wandering disconsolately around New York on New Year’s Eve, Harry walks by the arch in Washington Square Park, which reminds him of the first time he met Sally, and possibly of the year he spent living on the streets.
23. Throughout the film, Sally’s hair gets progressively wilder and curlier, which I guess is a metaphor for her personal transformation from uptight college student to chill orgasm-faking 30-something. Which is cool, I guess, but what is this movie trying to say about people with straight hair? Is this anti-straightist?
24. “I came here tonight because when you realize that you wanna spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Damn. That’s good.