Our Young Film Programmers film pick for September is Rob Reiner's WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. Highly influential, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY revitalised the moribund romantic comedy genre, made a superstar of Meg Ryan, and in two minutes of heavy breathing gave cinema one of its most memorable scenes. Set over 12 years in New York, young professionals Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) go from meeting to becoming friends to, well — this is a romantic comedy. Benefiting from an observant and witty script by Nora Ephron, it also offers insight into the differences between men and women. More importantly it's very funny, though the most hilarious scene is also the least believable: Sally is really too conventional to do that in a crowded restaurant. Knowingly modern, the picture's snappy one liners, neurotic honesty and straight-to-camera interludes are in the tradition of Woody Allen's New York Jewish humour, a prime example being Annie Hall (1976), while the inspired use of standards not only made a star of Harry Connick Jnr. but started a trend developed in EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU (1996) and LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST (2000). Perfectly played, with excellent support from Carrie Fisher, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is the archetypal modern romantic comedy.
Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher.
Running Time: 92 minutes