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When Harry Met Sally Almost Had a Different, Better Ending

Illustration for article titled iWhen Harry Met Sally /iAlmost Had a Different, Better Ending
Screenshot: YouTube

When Harry Met Sally was a perfectly decent movie, but you know what would have made it a great movie? If it hadn’t resulted in the extremely dull, extremely hackneyed conclusion of its protagonists winding up together. I’m so tired of happy rom-coms I could scream! How is it that My Best Friend’s Wedding is the only film to accurately depict the incredibly common phenomenon of a relationship just not working out? Not because someone dies, or has to leave Vienna? Or Italy? But because of the much more banal reality that sometimes, it just...doesn’t?

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Turns out When Harry Me Sally was on the verge of being a great movie, but director Rob Reiner decided to screw it all up. For the film’s 30th anniversary over the weekend, Reiner told Couchsurfing’s Lola Ogunnaike that Harry and Sally didn’t originally end up together. Per People:

“Now, this is interesting that we’re watching this scene because I’d been married for 10 years, I was single for 10 years and making a mess of my personal life, in and out of relationships and not being able to make anything work,” Reiner said.

He continued, “And when the first draft of the script, or the draft we were going to shoot, Harry and Sally don’t get together. They meet each other years later and walk their separate ways.”

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Now that’s the shit I want to see! What happened? What possessed Reiner to destroy what could have potentially been an iconic ending?

“I met my wife while making the movie and we changed the ending and this is what we came up with,” Reiner said. “Billy came up with some of this dialogue and that’s how we decided to end the movie, that they do end up together.”

Think of the hours we could have saved ourselves, as a culture, debating the validity of male/female friendships had Reiner’s stupid happiness not gotten in the way. What a waste.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

mcwhadden
Cherith Cutestory

Normally I’d agree but I think the ending is perfect. One of the few romantic speeches I actually find romantic. And having them be the final couple in those vignettes made perfect sense.

Most romantic comedies have one or the other being quirky but it’s supposed to be fun! and cute! In Harry Met Sally they were both annoying af and that was a plot point. It wasn’t supposed to be endearing. But they liked that about each other. Why not get together with someone you actually genuinely like as a human being? That their relationship was based on genuine friendship already makes it different than most rom coms.