When Harry Met Sally

Bomb Rating: 

Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan? You know, if you're Rob Reiner and you'reexpecting the audience to buy this pairing, why not just cast Tombo the Unicycling Gorilla as Meg's love interest? The idiots in the audience will get just as weepy when Meg realizes that Tombo is the true love of her life, and he probably works cheaper than Billy Crystal to boot.

Director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron are to blame for starting the entire genre of "Meg dates Schlub" films. To make matters worse, after ten years of trials and tribulations, it's Harry (Crystal) who can't commit to Sally (Ryan), not the other way around. Yeah, right. The real-life version probably would have made for about a twenty-minute film when Sally said something like, "Excuse me while I go find a six-foot-four Adonis, you Brillo-haired midget."

Both actors play their characters at ages 21, 26, and 31. This is okay for the botox-riddled Ryan, who probably still needs her parents to get into R-rated movies. Crystal is another matter. During their second meeting, on the airplane, Harry is supposedly 26, yet Crystal appears old enough to be transporting his prostate in a separate carry-on.

"When Harry Met Sally" uses typical conventions of this genre. Take, for example, the Wisecracking Friend. On Harry's side is Jess (Bruno Kirby), and on Sally's side is Marie (Carrie Fisher). If ever the writing on somebody's face screamed "Thank God I'm working," it's Carrie Fisher's. Another convention is that everybody is so quirky that schizophrenics can watch this movie and feel normal by comparison.

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