EINTKILF Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From ‘When Harry Met Sally' Jessica Tholmer

I saw the movie for the first time when I was a freshman in college. If I ever have children, especially a daughter, I will surely make them watch it at like…the age of five. And then once a year for the rest of their lives. When Harry Met Sally is so much more than a romantic comedy; it is a lifestyle. Perhaps everyone is not as witty as Harry Burns, or as adorably obnoxious as Sally Albright, but everyone can at least relate to their, well, relatable relationship. At least I sure know I can. Come to think of it, these two fictional characters may have ruined my dating life. Thanks, Rob Reiner!

EINTKILF When Harry Met Sally

1. Some women fake it.
I just thought I’d get it out of the way, because I’m pretty sure whenever anyone hears the name “Harry” or “Sally” or the movie’s title, or like, goes to a restaurant, they immediately think of Sally’s radically extravagant fake orgasm in the diner. You go, Sal Pal. Way to overly prove a point in public. My kind of girl. (Proving points, not faking orgasms.)

2. High maintenance women who think they are low maintenance are the worst.
Definitely my favorite line in the movie, and I love dropping it like it’s hot on girls that think they are low maintenance and then turn around and say something so over-the-top without even blinking. Speaking of, I was telling two close friends yesterday over dinner that I was pretty sure I was Harry Burns and my friend (who happens to be my ex-boyfriend) simply had to open his mouth and I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t even say it.”

Read: I am the kind of high maintenance who thinks I’m low maintenance, aka I am the worst.

3. Men and women cannot be friends.
I have noticed an abundance of articles written on various websites, in magazines and newspapers recently discussing this “hot topic”. Can men and women really be friends? Of course. Let’s be honest: I pretty much have a bunch of male friends with a side of ladies. (I got chicks on the side!) My closest group of pals are all men, and I grew up surrounded by boys since I have no sisters. That all being said, I would say maybe two of my friendships are platonic, like legitimately. I have exceptions: married men and the kind that also date boys are totally my real, legit friends. (I hope). Other than that, Harry’s got it right: “The sex part always gets in the way.” Sigh. Oh well, friendship is super overrated.

3a. Overly emotional = best time to make a move.

4. Old couples are WAY cuter than anything else on the planet.
Ohmygosh, there is a YouTube video composed of just the old couples from the movie and I watch it probably three times a week, and it makes me cry maybe four times a week because sometimes I cry just thinking about it. And a lot of you reading this don’t know me in real life, so you’ll probably giggle at that and think I’m joking, but I’m a total spaz and I am dead serious. Things that will always make me cry: when dogs die in movies (or real life), the movie Stepmom, the episode of Friends with the prom video and these old people. And when I accidentally jab my eye with my mascara wand, because that hurts.

5. It is so not okay to date married men.
I appreciate Sally’s best friend Marie more and more every time I watch the movie. Gosh, do you guys have a friend like this? I totally do, and it is so endearing to me. I love when Marie finally just admits that he is never leaving his wife and then she meets Jess and they fall in love and I just love her and I think I said love too many times, so now I want to keep saying it to be annoying. Love.

Also, I think I’m biased because I love (there it is again!) Carrie Fisher because she’s Princess Leia, duh.

6. Never write people off entirely.
I always say “never say never,” and yes, I said it even before Justin Bieber named his movie and song after the expression. Harry and Sally are the greatest example of “never say never” because who would have thought that the man Sally calls the “Angel of Death” would end up being the love of her life? Well, we all thought that, obviously, because what a terrible romcom this would be if they did not end up together. BUT! I am almost positive that I already know the man I will one day marry, and I don’t really know who it is going to be, so I like to keep my options open by being nice and flirty with everyone. Just in case, you know, so they can’t be like, “man, remember when you used to talk mad smack about me to all of our friends? Sucker, now we’re married.”

7. Sleeping with your friends isn’t such a bad idea.
Let’s be honest: it is super messy when you find out your ex-boyfriend is getting married and you cannot stop crying, so you call your best friend over to console you and then the consolation goes further than you meant it to go and then you sleep together and then you guys fight, obviously, because one person always has feelings for the other person and even if you pretend to be cool about it, you still end up getting mad about stupid little things that wouldn’t have bothered you before–

–wait, I actually lost my train of thought. The point is, sometimes you sleep with your friend and then you fight about it and then you end up falling in love with each other anyway. So, don’t not sleep with your friends.

I am giving out the world’s worst advice this morning. Sorry! You don’t have to take it. Or you should use this column as a pick-up line. “Hey baby, Jessica Tholmer said it’s cool to sleep together and she knows everything about love.” And your he or she will be like, “Who is Jessica Tholmer?”

8. New Year’s Eve is the most romantic holiday.
That’s right, kiddos! It is a fact! Forget Valentine’s Day and Christmas, and there is nothing romantic about Thanksgiving. If you want to make a move, make it on New Year’s Eve. You have nothing to lose, because the next day is not only a new day, but a new year! Make some plays.

9. Avoid “days of the week” underpants.
…or avoid men named “Sheldon.” Verdict is out.

10. Do not express every feeling that you have, every moment that you have them.
And if I am being completely honest, I actually have definitely not learned this lesson yet, I am simply recognizing that it is great advice. Every time I have a ridiculously outlandish reaction to something and I let everyone know how I’m feeling (which is pretty much every five minutes), I think of this scene and I laugh. And then I think, at least I can laugh at myself, because someone should be laughing at me. I’m ridiculous.

That stupid wagon wheel, Roy Rogers, garage sale coffee table!

And so is Harry Burns. And so are we all. Ahh, human beings. I just want to pinch your cheeks. Life is grand.

Okay, quit your day jobs and let’s all watch When Harry Met Sally today.

PS I said “love” 10 times in this column. You are welcome.

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  1. I totally cry at dogs (or animals in general) dying in movies, Stepmom (I used that scene with Jena Malone and Susan Surandon for a play I was in. Cried like a baby every night.), and that episode of Friends. Also, the episode of Friends when Monica proposes and she can’t do it alone so Chandler gets down on his knees too, and they propose to each other. …I just got a little teary eyed typing that. Guess I know what I’m watching tonight.

  2. Sigh, this is one of my top films ever competing with “500 Days of Summer”. I love every thing about it, the hilarious dialogue between Harry & Sally, New York City, and of course the best ending ever with Harry’s speech about what he loves about Sally. UGH it makes me yearning for the love of my life every New Years. It might be the reason why it’s my favorite holiday.

  3. Best. Movie. Ever.

    I definitely need to work on 10.

  4. :)

  5. I still blame Harry’s New Years Eve “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out…” speech for ruining my chances at ever really being satisfied with anything a boyfriend says ever. Seriously, you just can’t top that. Not even the curly-haired best friend from Teen Witch can top that.

  6. YES. YES. YES.

  7. My sister and I watched Stepmom too soon after our dad married his second wife and and we both cried so hard and got mom-dying-of-cancer nightmares for a week. That movie is dangerous. But When Harry Met Sally is the best.

  8. On a trip to NYC recently, I got to eat at the “I’ll have what she’s having” deli. After the trip, I was telling people about it, and discovered I have two friends who have never seen When Harry Met Sally. I may be reevaluating these friendships. Love this post!

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