“Someone is staring at you in ‘personal growth’.”

This next one is similar to “Roxanne” and “Splash.”

No, Daryl Hannah isn’t in it, but it is considered a comedy romance.

A pretty good comedy romance.  Some people’d say great and I wouldn’t disagree with them.

Personally, it’s not a “go to” genre for me.  Most guys that I know don’t have that as their favorite genre either, but I do like a well written, witty, comedy romance, and this one delivers.

At that stage in my life, a lot of the comedy romance movies that I’d seen and enjoyed had one of two things–slapstick/screwball (“Roxanne,” “Bringing up Baby“) or goofy fantasy (“Splash“).

This one was different.  It was mostly dialogue between two people at a time (sometimes 3 or 4 people at most).  I found that I really had to pay attention to what people were saying to each other in order to gain an interest and an understanding of the story that the writers were trying to tell.  There was little movement or action unless people were walking and talking.

It was unlike any type of movie that I was used to or had viewed, yet I found myself surprisingly captivated.

I remember watching it with my mom and sister for the first time and I began understanding what “adult” humor was:  wit, sarcasm, timing, and circumstance.  It was the first time I started laughing at the same time they laughed instead of just laughing because they laughed, like I had learned to do when I was seven or eight.  I actually understood the jokes and found it funny like they did.

In those other comedies I was learning when to laugh.  By the time I had seen this one, I was ready to laugh.

And laugh I did when I watched “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time.

harry sally

I found that as I watched it, my mom and sister enjoyed Sally’s point of view and I was of course fond of Harry’s cynicism (take in mind I didn’t know what cynicism was at that time but I was learning quickly that I enjoyed his “mood.”)

Sally was cute and annoying (it takes her 5 minutes to order lunch and she is an unapologetic optimist).  Harry was short, goofy looking, and didn’t like anyone or anything.  Perfect matches right?

Looking back, I should’ve known better (SPOILER-of course they will end up together-IT’S A COMEDY ROMANCE!!!).  Again, this was one of the first CRs that I’d actually sat through and I wasn’t jaded at this point with all of the formulaic CRs to follow.  I think that is why I enjoyed it so much.  I view it as my first true Rom-Com and I was young enough for it to be a surprise for me as the story and conflict developed.

I’m stretching a grin across my face as I write this, remembering how naive I was when Harry trudges over to Sally on New Year’s Eve and berates her at the party like he wants to start another war and then it turns into one of the greatest “I love you speeches” ever written.  I seriously remember thinking, “Oh yeah, so they are going to get together.  Huh…look at that.”

This might be the Comedy Romance that ruined the genre for me, actually, because it is the one that I compare the rest to and you can never have a surprise after you have seen your first formula Rom-Com.

Apologies to anyone that has read this before seeing it.  I know that I haven’t been my usual cryptic self while writing about a movie I enjoyed, but it was exciting for me to finally give something away.

Almost as exciting as watching a well written Comedy Romance for the first–as a naive youth–time.


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17 thoughts on ““Someone is staring at you in ‘personal growth’.”

  1. One of my absolute favourites. Happy to watch it any time. And you’re right. So much better than many that have come later… And I became a great fan of Harry Connick Jr. at the time too. Thanks for the memories (I remember watching it in London during a holiday here before I moved…)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating article. Even though as a guy, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I do find romantic comedies enjoyable if they’re intelligent, well acted and generally done right. Sadly there haven’t been many over the last thirty years that have accomplished the basics. The formula’s been done to death. So the genre is in a rut that it may never be able to dig itself out of.
    Oh for the days of When Harry Met Sally.. the film where I first fell in love With Meg Ryan. I actually watched it on a date, on its initial release, and couldn’t help moaning and gasping whenever Meg would do something… roll her eyes, deliver a line, laugh… my date continually elbowed me in the ribs and got very agitated. No second date for us, but my love for Meg Ryan movies endures to this day!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Somebody once posted on my blog that “There are some actresses whose beauty is amplified to such a degree on the movie screen that people who have only seen them on dvd may never understand the full force of the attraction. i have only experienced this golden screen sensation twice. The first time was seeing Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. The second was Michelle Pfeiffer in Married to the Mob.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Meg Ryan a big fave of mine and of course Billy Crystal! I would have never thought of them playing opposites but they did it well! Loved Meg with Tom Hanks also. She has such screen chemistry, absolutely adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great breakdown of this classic. One of my favorites for sure. This genre usually doesn’t peak my interest either but at the time I was a teenager and had a crush on Meg and thought Billy was hysterical in many other roles. Going in I was probably thinking “how can I go wrong seeing this?”. And I loved it. It’s well written and it’s left me with a line I throw out when something makes no sense at all “BABY FISHMOUTH!”.
    It’s a comedy yes, but it strikes right at the heart of most relationships. The conflicts are real and it’s very relatable. The bar was set very high.
    I agree with pretty much everything you said about this great 80s film!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It’s the one I compare most Comedy-Romance movies to. I feel like “Love Actually” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” are worthy of equality with this movie as they both showed me something different. Yet, they are still compared–and expected to be as good as–“When Harry Met Sally.” THE BEST of that genre for sure.


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