When Harry met Sally is among the finest romantic comedies ever made. Nearly, two decades after it was released, it continues to charm viewers across the world. It is about the relationship between the title characters Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and also about relationship between a man and a woman in the larger sense. The movie starts with Harry and Sally’s ride to New York city, during the course of the journey the two discover that they have little in common. When they depart in Manhattan, the two would never imagine meeting again. However, five years later they bump into each other at the airport. By then the two are involved in very serious relationships. After spending time with each other during the journey, they part when they reach their destination. Their next encounter occurs six years later and this time both are newly single after failed relationships. Over time, their relationship grows into a close friendship despite Harry’s belief that a man and a woman can never be friends. All’s well until their relationship becomes awkward after circumstances force them to cross the sexual line.
The movie is refreshingly different from other romantic comedies as it has a certain raw feel about it. It is does not rely on clichés as romantic comedies usually do. The characters are well written and the audience can relate to them. It raises issues regarding male-female relationships but never answers them. They are used as a starting point for conversation between the two main characters. Like most romantic comedies, the story focuses mainly on the relationship between the two protagonists and every development in the film evolves their relationship further. However, the movie is predictable from the start but the dialogs and performances keep the viewer clued up. The dialogues are witty and throw up some memorable lines. Casting is among the film’s many strengths. Billy Crystal is excellent at handling the changes that age bring s to his character-from laidback to mature. Meg Ryan too is outstanding; her effervescent personality infuses life into the rigid and uptight Sally. The writing by Nora Ephron is exceptional and the direction by Rob Reiner is delightful. The movie is a must watch for all movie lovers.