This 1989 romcom stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as Harry and Sally who, after a chance encounter, seek to remain friends in spite of Harry’s insistence that a (heterosexual) man and woman can never be just friends.
Set in 1980s New York with a tale of a believable, slow-brewing romance, this is most like Frankie and Johnny, but in place of Johnny’s relentless pursuit is a friendship based on mutual romantic disinterest. This allows the two to grow close to each other without becoming involved, even as their best friends Jess (Bruno Kirby) and Marie (Carrie Fisher) hit it off.
Crystal has something of Jerry Seinfeld about his voice and manner, and best bud Jess resembles George in voice if not appearance, with the New York setting contributing to this impression. But a crucial difference to the sitcom is that Seinfeld is able to maintain a friendship with a woman (Elaine) without much apparent difficulty.
Its view of relationships may not appear that modern now, but this doesn’t stop it being believable and realistic, and also likable. There are some quite funny scenes and director Rob Reiner shoots New York brilliantly as it rolls through the seasons, resulting in an enjoyable film which is still good now.
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