Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Will sex ruin a perfect relationship between a man and a woman? That's what Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) debate during their travels from Chicago to New York. 11 years and 2,000 miles later, they're still no closer to finding the answer. And they've never ventured past their friendship to discover the love that's right in front of them. Will these two best friends ever accept that they're meant for each other... or will they continue to deny the attraction that's existed since the first moment When Harry Met Sally? (MGM) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 100
    A ravishing, romantic lark brimming over with style, intelligence and flashing wit.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Like Harry and Sally, the movie is hardworking, spot on; it winepresses its conversation into epigrams. No surprise here.[31 July 1999, p.65]
  3. 88
    Together, Crystal and Ryan really click. Even though their characters are polar opposites (or perhaps because of it), their interaction has a charm and warmth that most motion picture pairings lack.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    As a successful careerist who tries purging his neuroses in a coin-operated batting cage, Crystal is funny enough to keep Ryan from all-out stealing the film. She, though, is smashing in an eye-opening performance, another tribute to Reiner's flair with actors. [12 July 1989, Life, p.1D]
  5. 75
    From his long experience in television, [Reiner] has learned how to create characters with just enough depth to hold together but not so much that they become too individualized, too stubbornly complex. [12 July 1989, Tempo, p.1]
  6. What he forgot to ask Woody [Allen] for was the keen insight into middle-class folkways that marks the best Allen pictures. [28 July 1989, Arts, p.10]
  7. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Like the sitcom version of a Woody Allen film, full of amusing lines and scenes, all infused with an uncomfortable sense of deja vu.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Oct 5, 2013
    Best Romantic Comedy I have ever seen. Director Rob Reiner has a killer instinct for setting up jokes and punchlines, and is vastly aided by the performances and chemistry of Crystal and Ryan, as well as crisp supporting work from Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby and I can seriously say that is one of the greatest films of all time. Expand
  2. KristinF.
    May 17, 2007
    Best Romantic Comedy I have ever seen.
  3. Sep 19, 2010
    I'm probably one of the sappiest guys I know. Maybe even abnormally so. It is probably because I grew up with primarily my mother. As a result, I fall for the romantic comedy. I would like to think I like the more intellectually stimulating ones, but most people would probably say I'm fooling myself. I can't stand Pretty Woman, or any other Julia Roberts romantic comedy. Nor can I tolerate pure fluff. Again, maybe I'm naive, but I tend to like the romantic movies that do a little more than the normal romantic fluff.

    When Harry Met Sally redefined (or defined, depending on to whom you talk) the romantic comedy. The dialogue, memorable quotes, flawless acting and directing, as well as the sparkling chemistry between two unlikely actors, When Harry Met Sally is a near-perfect story of two opposites who, over time, grow to realize just how compatible they really are. It's a hopeful friends-to-lovers progression that never seems forced. Rob Reiner adapts Nora Ephron's script and edits it to flawless execution. At no point does the connection seem unnatural. The audience is carried end-to-end and experiences the same maturity through Harry and Sally's relationship, recognizing the imperfections of each character and recognizing elements of each's life in their own lives. When Harry Met Sally set the standard and has been copied poorly by many wanna-bes, but it is the original and worth the time if you have never seen it.
  4. AshrafA.
    Jul 23, 2009
    Really, really good, a very wonderful movie... better than the overrated Lost in Translation
  5. Aug 23, 2013
    The element of surprise is the key factor that makes Harry (Billy Crystal) meeting Sally (Meg Ryan) so spot on, I for one was lead to believe that these two were going to start the film as best friends, but we see various situations where the two run into each other over the course of twelve years, they live their lives with typical progression of occupation, dating and marriage, and perhaps more so now, divorce. But yet their paths continue to cross to the point where they do indeed become each others shoulder to cry on, which by way of default stirs feelings that set the whole random occurrences into motion. Harry is a fast-talking and confident in his successful career role, while Sally also leads quite a mirrored life to Harry, yet their personalities and attitudes are entirely different.
    They begin a friendship which tests boundaries and openness from the beginning, and many of the funnier moments of the film come from the various explanations of conversations they had when they last met, but how differently the two remember them. Billy Crystal's comic timing is impeccable, he delivers his lines with ease and promise, showing his skill of handling complex dialogue but still managing to make every word count to something funny. He plays a m,an who has the answers to life and its imperfections, yet doesn't know much as well, the whole aspect of the film challenges friendship and sexual tension, while Meg Ryan plays a character who shows an exterior confidence but also has the soft centre of a human being who wants to be held and loved like anyone else. She has a strong likeable personality that works well with her good looks, easily matching the witty delivery of Crystal, with a few of her very own memorable scenes that continue to print the film into many minds.
    We have a strong supporting cast in the form of Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, who play the respective friends of Harry and Sally, these two play pivotal roles in the cause and effect routine of dating and taking it to the next level, the opposite of the two lead characters situation. But like what many others have said, it can feel in many aspects like a sitcom being told in various flashbacks, it sometimes loses its cool when it skips five years ahead or so, more time could have been spent developing these characters as individual entities rather than the two of them facing similar situations.
    That aside, this is a strong and likeable romantic film that has witty characters and unorthodox moments, the leads share great chemistry and will never fail to be there for some laughs.
  6. JayH.
    Jul 30, 2009
    One of the best romantic comedies of it's era. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal make a surprisingly engaging film pair. The supporting cast is great. Superbly written and directed. The restaurant "orgasm" scene has to be one of the funniest scenes ever filmed. Expand
  7. Aug 14, 2014
    Thanks to some blisteringly honest humor from Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner and a keen sense of warmth between Crystal and Ryan,"When Harry Met Sally" rightfully earns its spot atop the list of cinema's most iconic romantic comedies. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews