This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would likely be far more negative.
It’s time to look at a romance film from not so long ago that has two characters over complicate the topic of whether a man and a woman can be friends. The answer is as obvious as it is simple, yes. Still, it gets to be a little harder when you’re the two main characters of a mainstream Hollywood type film and both constantly run through relationship after relationship. Maybe it is then inevitable that the friend zone will start to crack.
The film starts off with Sally and Harry going on a road trip over to New York City. It was convenient for them to share the car and I’m assuming that they both paid half of the gas cost. That’s when Harry brings up the topic that they could never be friends while Sally disagrees. Eventually, she realizes that she won’t be able to convince him otherwise and they part ways upon reaching NY. 5 years later they run into each other at an airport and then continue to see each other briefly after 5 years. Finally, they both run into each other again and decide to hang out. As they are both in relationships, Harry declares that maybe they can be friends again, but only time can tell if he is right.
As the film is all about trying to answer this question seriously, it’s time to bring my insight to the table. It’s actually sad that the film spends so long trying to answer this question only to bring back the incorrect response. Spoiler alert, Sally and Harry get together. Men and Women can absolutely be friends. Unlike what Harry would have you believe, you don’t immediately look at someone and wonder how you can be more than friends. That’s just Hollywood. For myself, I’ve had more female friends than male ones. Now, we can discuss the differences between friends, acquaintances, and co-workers, but getting into all of that will just take a while. Needless to say, the difference isn’t extremely large. Friends are people you’d spend time with outside of work whereas the other two categories have meetings that are exclusive to the location you’re at.
I like to think that I get along with just about everyone. Outside, I tend to attract either the elitist “PC Master Race” crowd from guys or the more business stuffy ones who have no hobbies. I still find topics to talk about though and everyone has a hobby if you dig deep enough. However, I end up talking more with girls because they are the ones who actually end up being big anime or video game fans. With guys I talk about politics and life a lot which is fine, but I certainly prefer to talk about my hobbies. Also, I just don’t have as many opportunities to talk to guys because in my classes it’s usually 80% girls to 20% guys and at work at one point, all of my floor’s co-workers were girls. We finally got some more guys, but for a very long time there were none. I don’t think there’s anything complicated about the whole thing, you can be friends with anyone and that’s why this film’s premise is pretty laughable, but I tried not to hold it against the film too much…
Unlike Hannah and Her Sisters, I can at least say that this film was pretty amusing. It had a far more upbeat nature and didn’t dwell on any really dark plots. It’s not meant to be the kind of film that gets you thinking or wanting to subtly get out of the theater. It’s supposed to give you a few laughs as you go through the adventure. It’s entertaining enough to mask its flaws during the watch. This isn’t a good movie in the end, but as far as romance comedies go, it certainly could have been worse.
Unfortunately, I did not like Harry or Sally. Harry is your standard Captain Kirk esque character who moves on from one person to another very quickly. He is constantly in an affair, but they usually don’t last a week. He actually made it all the way to marriage once, but then he was still dumped. After all of these rebounds didn’t work, Harry finally remembers good ole Sally. Meanwhile, Sally has also gone through a bunch of different guys and has a hard time getting over her multiple ex’s. I don’t get why the two of them have such an issue with that though, you’d think that they wouldn’t really care much after they were broken up. Certainly not enough to have a panic attack in the middle of the night right? Well, I guess they just weren’t ready for the romance game.
As mentioned earlier, I didn’t care much for the ending since it was basically trying to prove that Harry was right all along. That’s the last thing that I wanted to be proven since Sally certainly had the right idea all along. They could and should have been friends rather than just having a one off affair for no reason. Based on who they are, it’s hard to imagine the ending sticking either and she’ll have to look at everything that he says carefully since he was a very iffy person from the get go.
Harry and Sally each have a best friend who they use to communicate with each other behind the other person’s back or just for life advice in general. Naturally, those two get together since nobody can not get together by the end of a film. It was just another sad coincidence for the main characters, but either way I’ve always found blind dates to be rather dubious. It just seems rather desperate if you ask me and if you’re meeting for the first time as a date, then it’s hard for that to be a proper relationship since it seems like both parties don’t care much to learn about each other. They’re just launching right into the date.
Overall, When Harry Met Sally is a very cynical kind of film where you learn to doubt what everyone says at face value and always look for hidden agendas. It’s not a very fun way to live and if you followed Harry’s advice, your life would be pretty miserable. Even if you don’t automatically believe what people say, there’s not much reason to think on it. Just move on from one conversation to the next and it won’t matter too much whether it was true or not. The film isn’t quite as deep and wise as it leads you to believe, but it can be fun to see the heroes over complicate every single issue and act as self proclaimed experts. At the very least, you should have an enjoyable enough time watching the film if you sidestep some of the dicey conversations and just focus on the comedy. If you’re looking for a film with valuable life lessons, check out Magi Madoka Rebellion. It’ll help you debate with yourself whether it is right to save someone without their consent at the expense of other people or to strive for the greater good, but lose your best friend. These are the tough questions that require a long explanation as opposed to this film’s premise which you can answer correctly with one word.