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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When Harry Met Sally

I watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time in many, many years the other night. I saw the movie when it first came out (1989) and ever since then I thought it was about the age-old question of whether or not men and women can be friends. But after seeing it again with fresh eyes, I saw something different. I'm probably late to the party on this, but that's okay. It won't be the last time.

It seems to me that the movie is more about the way in which men and women interact with each other, and on a deeper level, it's about the way men and women view each other.

In Harry's case, he sees Sally as someone who doesn't take risks, who is obsessive about things she shouldn't be obsessive about, and he seems to think that she is a bit naive about men. Sally sees Harry as being a tad bit arrogant while at the same time being a lost soul who is only interested in sex.

As the years pass, they stick with each other through tough times, and eventually they both come to the same conclusion: they have a tremendous amount of respect for the other person and that respect is beginning to morph into love.

It all comes to head at the end of the movie when Harry is out walking the streets alone on New Year's Eve. He realizes that he needs to go to Sally, who is attending a New Year's Eve party alone, and tell her how he feels about her. The problem is, she's ticked at him because he hasn't seen it sooner.

Here is a portion of their conversation:

"I love that you get cold when it is 71 degrees out," Harry says. "I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you are looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.

"And it's not because I'm lonely. And it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spent the rest of your life with somebody you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

"You see, that is just like you Harry," Sally says with tears and love in her eyes. "You say things like that and you make it impossible for me to hate you. And I hate you Harry. I really hate you."

Then in a whisper, she says it one more time. "I hate you."

Then they kiss.

The scene is a perfect example of the complexity and the beauty of relationships between men and women.


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