They just don’t make leading men like they used to. I know I talked about this when we all watched You’ve Got Mail and wept (“Don’t cry, Shopgirl” – YOU BET I WILL), but I am talking about it again because nothing beats Billy Crystal romancing Meg Ryan in the 1980s.
To be honest, for a long time I couldn’t watch this movie. No, not because of relationship gone terribly awry (AS IF #LOL) but because this movie was on television one night when I had the stomach flu, and I associated it with drinking Gatorade and praying for death for about six years. But not anymore (I said, knocking on wood)! Not only did I last see this movie while sick with another flu (just whatever Gwyneth Paltrow had in Contagion - nothing to worry about, guys), but I have watched it many times in between, so you know what? We are going to watch it together because I do not believe in curses no matter what wearing these layers of rosary beads would imply.
But shhhhh, everybody – the cute old people are speaking!
1) I LOVE THE OLD PEOPLE
And I am not even going to pretend they are not actors. It’s stuff like this that warms my heart, and these are REAL PEOPLE in REAL RELATIONSHIPS as far as I’m concerned, and I love them all so much. They are all of us! They are none of us! They are some of us! Who cares. Look at their suits and their white hair and their stories of love. I really loved the McNugget meal I had today, so maybe that can sit on a couch with me for my own version of this scene I am currently filming in my head.
2) What a weird set-up this carpool situation is
I’m not going to lie. Maybe I’m a bad person (yep), but there is no way I would drive 18 hours with a stranger no matter how cool/nice/normal that person was. It’s just not going to happen. Can you imagine? No. I will not imagine because I’m watching what it looks like right now when Billy Crystal is spitting out grapes.
3) Why is Billy Crystal spitting out grapes?
Who brings grapes on a road trip? I have a very strict law in place called “only fast food and gas station snacks on this road trip, please and thank you.” And you know who would be breaking that rule? Billy “I love grapes!” Crystal and his seed-spitting tendencies. I would hate him. I would hate him so much that When Harry Met Sally wouldn’t even have happened, and I would’ve avoided him at the bookstore (SPOILER ALERT!) and left with Marie where we would’ve dissected her extra-marital affair even more than it had already been dissected.
4) Okay, but it’s amazing that we’re supposed to believe that they’re in university
Like, let’s all just take a moment to appreciate that Billy Crystal is playing a 21-year-old (or 24 – AT THE MOST) college student, and okay, fine, Meg Ryan can totally do it, but Billy! He’s like… 46. (This is when we find out he was actually a creepy professor and When Harry Met Sally is a lot darker than any of us would ever want to hope or believe.)
5) CAN men and women just be friends???
Well here’s a question for the ages: CAN men and women just be friends? I mean, personally, I have guy friends. But then there have also been other times where I have been led to believe that they’re not exactly my friends if you know what I’m saying. BUT now that I’ve said that, those “WHAT?!?!” realizations were throughout the late teens/early 20s debacle, and now there seems to be a wallop of friend ships setting sail everywhere, and in no way, shape or form are any of us into each other in the slightest. BUT other people I know argue the opposite. Personally, I think, sure. Yes. SOME men and women can be friends. But OTHER men and women cannot be friends. See what I did there? I completely avoided the question because I actually don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW? (But yes, I think guys and girls can just be friends.)
6) When Sally sees Harry at the airport she is my age
And not to make this all about me, but this is completely insane. She has always been a “grown-up” to me, and now she isn’t a grown-up at all. She’s an actual person who is my age. Also, Billy Crystal did not age wonderfully in this scene, BUT he is better looking because of it, if that makes sense. And also AS IF you don’t remember Amanda’s name, Sally Albright, whose boyfriend named Harry you did not hook up with. As. If.
7) Also, really, you hate Harry still, Sally? COME ON
Alright, so let’s do some simple math in our heads: Sally and Harry met four years ago (ish?) and she STILL hates him because he hit on her and he said men and women could not be friends. But I mean, by show of hands, how many of us would just sit with the person that we knew on the plane? I mean, people change in four years. Also, I mean, there were no TVs on these planes, so what else were/are you going to do? (Talk with the person you used to hate, obviously. Hands down, everyone!)
8 ) Carrie Fisher is the greatest
I don’t think any of us talk about how great Carrie Fisher is enough. First, let’s all just read Wishful Drinking together in unison. Second, SHE IS SO FUNNY. Her one-woman show is hilarious, her comedic timing is everything, and Marie is by far the character I think we all can relate to the most. (I mean, not the married-man-affair part, but she’s just so fun and her advice is so bad! And guys, we have all given terrible advice at one point or another, so let’s stop pretending just for a second.) Everybody needs a Marie. Or at least a Carrie Fisher. (Carrie Fisher, if you are reading this, I would like us to hang out and have wine together.) MARIE, EVERYONE. Get on board!
9) “He’s never going to leave her”
I just love this running joke so much. (“No one thinks he’s ever going to leave her.”) AND THEN SHE MEETS THE WAGON WHEEL GUY. [Insert all of the smiley-faced emoticons right here]
10) AND NOW THEY’RE FRIENDS
Okay, so we’re in the part of the movie where Sally and Harry are OFFICIALLY friends, and I love it because a) it’s me, and nobody here should be surprised and b) we all know what’s going to happen! Also, their past relationships sounded terrible. Just terrible. And now they’re in their 30s and they look their ages and I no longer have to think, “OH MY GOD they are the same age as I am.” (They’re grown-ups! Suckers!)
11) I always think that when Sally asks straight-up, “Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?” it sounds like she’s asking him out-out
Am I wrong? Is that not the wrong way to ask someone to hang out? I kind of feel like maybe they could have just busted out the classic, “Hey, so what are you doing tomorrow? Want to eat pizza?” and BOOM – friend zone. Saying the phrase, “Would you like to have dinner?” makes it so official. And official business is intimidating. So right off the bat if I were Harry I’d have my guard up because I would be all, “Why are you so fancy? This is all too fancy.” And I would feel pressured, and it would inevitably end disastrous.
12) Casablanca, everyone!
It’s a good movie, we all know this. But should I love it more? Probably. I never saw it when I was smaller, I went through my teens without seeing it, and then I saw it in a university class where I had to write a paper about it so inevitably I now associate it with stress eating and drinking too many hot chocolates. I also hated that class and I hated even more that we had to contrast and compare Casablanca with The English Patient, so basically every time they think about Casablanca I think about the class I hated with the group I hated even more.
13) “Making love” = NOPE
As you are probably very well aware, I am by no means an irrational person (LOLOL), but the phrase “making love” is just the wrong thing to say all the time. NO ONE SAY IT. I hate hearing it. I have never said it, I have never heard it being said, but I was raised to believe (through movies – and only movies) that this was a thing that “adults” say. WHAT ADULTS SAY IT?! Legally, I am an adult. I have never heard any of my fellow adult friends say “make love” because we would all start dry heaving and then nobody would finish the story in which the phrase was included. All of us. Every last one.
14) Billy Crystal is a “player” with his knit turtleneck
I love how Billy Crystal’s all, “Oh I slept with this woman!” and he’s a big player, but he’s wearing a crochet-knit turtleneck and it’s like, guys, IMAGINE. I mean, we love Billy Crystal. ALL OF US. But that sweater! Is that what “players” wore in the 1980s? Did they not look like Zack Morris? This was the difference between gentlemen of the 1980s and the gentlemen of today: a lot. Mostly, they did not wear crochet-knit turtleneck sweaters.
15) AHH THE DINER SCENE
Just imagine you went out to lunch with somebody who faked it in the middle of your lunch. In a public place. At a deli. Imagine. JUST IMAGINE. It would be hilarious and humiliating (but mostly hilarious).
16) BUT let’s just all agree that Harry and Sally are WAY too close to just be friends
So now it’s NYE, and Harry and Sally are dancing and dipping and kissing at midnight, and this is just one of those things that would instill a major “WHAT” if I saw my so-called “platonic” friends getting their hang on like this. Nothing about this seems friend-ish. Especially when they stop dancing and just LOOK at each other, and nobody stops to break the tension by being all, “UGH, we’re so weird why are we staring!!!” No, they just stare and kiss. And I GET that this is supposed to set us up for the “oohh they like each other!” moment, but COME ON, everybody. The jig is up, Billy and Meg! GET REAL.
17) Ohhh and then Marie and that guy hook up!
Now THIS I love right off the bat. Because they hate Harry and Sally so much and it’s so obvious (and funny)! And now Marie’s quoting things from magazines, and YES, it IS amazing, my best friend, Marie, magazine quoter. And Sally writes for New York Magazine? Good god, relax, everyone. I feel like we need that “Oh, looks like we’ve got a badass right here!” meme because everybody here is just so “fancy” and “successful.” And now they’re “calling” people. Man, it’s like it’s 1989 and not 2012 or something. Dating in the 1980s. Quite possibly the most terrifying and fancy thing that I am so glad I was only not born/four years old for.
18) Whatever kind of store Harry and Sally are at when he meets Helen, I WANT IN
In Canada, there was a chain called “Consumers” which I’m pretty sure is exactly like what The Sharper Image was/is. And I loved it because there were catalogs, but I also hated it because I couldn’t PLAY with anything. So I would go with my parents and look at the catalog and then feel bored because the only thing I could hold and/or look at were like, suitcases. And I’ll tell you just how many four and five-year-olds love suitcases: zero. Unless they’re filled with toys and snacks. So basically what I’m saying is that I love the IDEA of this Consumers/Sharper Image place, but I’m haunted by memories of rifling through the bargain discount bin in hopes of finding a Barbie that had been misplaced magically.
19) I also like the wagon wheel table, Jesse
Okay, so I THINK his name is Jesse, so let’s just go with that. Second of all, I am totally down with the wagon wheel coffee table.”It’s so awful!” says Marie. Well Marie, it’s so awful that it’s GREAT, more like it. I mean, you dress that up with a few vintage-y things and we are just laughing all the way to the bank. But wait, none of this is important because Harry is having a meltdown about having just seen Helen and Ira and not just saying, “Ugh, I saw Helen today guys and I’m in a really bad mood. Let’s have some beer.” (See? I can be a grown-up too, FILM.) (I promise drinking is not the answer, but come on, I think seeing your ex-wife for the first time in eons warrants a refreshment.)
20) “BABY FISH MOUTH!”
Also, shout-out to Betty Spaghetti, cast as Billy Crystal’s desert-making girlfriend, “Aunt Emily.” WHAT UP, PLAYER. (Literally, for The Rockford Peaches.)
21) And then this happens
BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T ACTING PLATONIC TO BEGIN WITH. Like, I don’t know anybody who I am “just friends” with who hugs me laying down and then kisses me…? Like, most of my guy friends would be like, “Ugh, that guy sucks – I’m buying you something to drink.” And then we would list all of the reasons why the ex in question was the worst, and we would all move on with our lives. Harry was never just a friend! I mean, hello, he said it from day one. And then he kisses crying Sally and we’re left with:
My thoughts exactly after seeing you guys canoodling at New Year’s, supposed “FRIENDS ONLY.” Suuuuure.
22) This whole situation is handled terribly
NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE COMMUNICATING. Why. And that includes Marie and Jesse getting married because why weren’t we made aware of this? Also, this the quickest relationship in the world since Marie and Jesse only actually met in like, January, and it’s not even Christmas yet. And she’s buying a dress, and Sally’s eating M&Ms, and in only three weeks, Harry was “kind of seeing an anthropologist.” WHAT? Guys, this weird, rom-com version of adult-land scares and confuses me. Isn’t the internet wonderful in that “the real world” doesn’t really look like this anymore? (And is confusing in completely new and original ways? I like it here!)
And Sally. Slapping your best pal at your other best pal’s wedding? Why don’t we all just calm down and gather ourselves for a minute. (Wait, he just said “make love” – MAYBE THAT IS WHY.)
23) “I am not your consolation prize”
DROPS MIC! YOLO!
24) New Year’s may be the worst holiday in the world, in all fairness
I really just can’t with New Year’s Eve, guys. The pressure! It’s too much. Anything with that much hype is terrifying and I really would rather just go out for dinner and then to the movies like I have done for the last four years. The best parties are always the type that just kind of happen on an everyday evening, so this high pressure/spend $250 on NYE scares and intimidates me in all the worst ways. Also, call me a Pessimistic Harry, but I always feel like being in go-go-go party mode for NYE does not ensure you have a fantastic New Years’ BECAUSE you will probably not feel amazing the next day, and we all know that starting January 1 off right is what matters. (Ex. Going to the movies and eating a lot of snacks, while not being hungover.)
Or maybe I am an adult! Somebody, quick – test me by bringing me a gentleman wearing a cable-knit crocheted turtleneck sweater. Then we will all know for sure.
25) AHHHH AND THEN HARRY SHOWS UP AND I THINK THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE ENDING IN THE WORLD
I will tell you right now what I don’t care about: anything other than the ending of this movie. So he shows up. And it’s NYE (I don’t care, like I just told you – I like NYE in 1989) and Harry makes the most BEAUTIFUL “I love you speech” in the history of always. Oh my GOD, my heart. He loves how she orders a sandwich! Is this real life? (No.) But I will tell you how much that matters! (Negative six.) And now the song is playing and they kiss and now they’re like those old people throughout the film! WHY IS EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL?! (Because of this movie.)
Billy Crystal, if you’re reading this, please put on your cable-knit crocheted turtleneck sweater. I think we love each other.