When Harry Met Sally

Photo #1

Film (with rating): When Harry Met Sally (R)


Studio: MGM


Summary: Harry
and Sally’s relationship begins with mutual dislike, then throughout the years
morphs into friendly acquaintances and then best friends. Throughout it all,
they have one fear: sex will ruin everything. Or will it? 


Review: In
light of screenwriter Nora Ephron’s death last week, I am pulling an
oldie-but-goodie out of the vault for tonight’s Meatless Monday Movie. And what
a classic it is! “When Harry Met Sally” was sort of a rite of passage
for us in college. It was considered some sort of disorder if we had not
watched this film repeatedly by the time second semester rolled around.


Not only was “When Harry” a classic, it inspired
countless romantic comedies in its wake (many, many of which were just watery
shadows of this jewel). Ephron, the writing genius that she was, crafted
brilliant and intelligent dialog that notched “When Harry” up the
credibility scale. Oh, the dialog! It is something to behold. Even those not enamored
with the craft of writing will appreciate Ephron’s talent. And those of us who
live and breathe the written word? We’ll be insanely impressed. Her words–in a
romantic comedy, mind you–have stood the test of time for more than 20 years.
That’s some good writing.


 Sure, at its
surface, this was a movie about two rather clueless people bumbling around the
big city, trying to find love. But through some fantastic character
development, inspirational directing (thanks, Rob Reiner!), loveable characters
played by the pre-plastic surgery Meg Ryan and the always likeable Billy
Crystal, and the famous fake-orgasm-in-a-deli scene, you’ve got a hit.


Extra highlight: A making-of featurette


What to serve for dinner: A Vegetable Paprikash (Vegetarian Times, September
1998) and green salad. With dressing on the side, of course.  (Yes, this movie is the reason I was
called “Sally” more than once in my college years and beyond. What’s
wrong with ordering every food accessory on the side? “I just want it the
way I want it.”)


1 Tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage

2 medium onions, sliced

2 medium carrots, sliced

2 medium green bell peppers, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced

1 cups sliced mushrooms

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 to 2 Tbs. hot or sweet paprika

cup vegetable broth

cup fat-free sour cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (Remember, not
too much pepper on your Paprikash!)


In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add cabbage,
onions, carrots and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8
minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Cover and cook until vegetables
are wilted. Stir in flour and paprika and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring
constantly. Stir in broth and bring mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring
constantly, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and season
to taste with salt and pepper.


What to talk about over dinner: Can men and women be friends without sex getting in
the way? Is it better to marry for sex or friendship, or both? Which should be
first? Have you ever dated a good friend? Have you ever lost a friend because
you guys dated? What is your favorite line in the movie? Who had the nerve to
act out the deli scene in public? What was the one piece of furniture you and
your partner fought about when it was time to move in together? What was the
funniest part of the film? How much did you love the Harry Connick Jr.
soundtrack? Do you have Sally traits, or Harry traits? What is your favorite Nora
Ephron movie? Favorite Rob Reiner film? Why did Meg Ryan mess with her face? Do
you think Billy Crystal was the best Oscar host ever? If not, who was your