When I first saw When Harry Met Sally the summer after middle school, I thought it was revolutionary. No romantic comedy I’d seen before was so frank, so funny, so real. Admittedly, my rom-com education had been lacking up until then, primarily filled by early Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez schmaltz. It’s no exaggeration to say that Nora Ephron changed how I viewed romantic comedy.
Erin Carlson’s I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy makes just that conclusion as well — on a much broader scale. Carlson’s book, which explores Ephron’s unlikely rise from acerbic essayist to the queen of romantic comedy, turns a loving eye towards her three most famous movies and the people behind all their moving parts. It’s a nostalgic, frothy read punctured by moments of insight from Carlson and melancholy from Ephron’s own life, as well as the underlying struggle of female creatives in the male-dominated Hollywood.
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Romantic comedies where a man and a woman who are at odds eventually fall in love are a dime a dozen. That’s a story that has been kicked around Hollywood for decades, but audiences keep eating it up. More often than not, nothing new is brought to the table in these movies, but in the case of When Harry Met Sally in 1989, director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron crafted a romantic comedy that adhered to the conventions of the genre but also played with them in a new way.
A new video essay from the Lessons from a Screenplay YouTube channel breaks down how When Harry Met Sally succeeds where many romantic comedies fail, proving why the film is one of the most highly respected, praised and imitated in the genre. Watch the When Harry Met Sally video essay below. Read More »
Funny or Die has been killing it recently. This time, the site has roped in quite a collection of talent: Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner, Helen Mirren and more (Mike Tyson!) to create a fake trailer for a very ill-considered sequel to When Harry Met Sally. It is a lot like Robert Altman’s film The Player, condensed to under five minutes and with a few 2011-appropriate thrown in. Check it out below. Read More »
I admire Volkswagen for their support of independent film over the past decade. If you attend a regional or big time film festival, you’re likely to see them listed as a sponsor on the big screen before each film (alongside Stella and Visa). In the past, we’ve featured some of their “See Film Differently” television spots which featured film fanatics sharing their vastly different interpretations of classic movies (if you haven’t seen those, check them out now). Last year we featured a series of “See Film Differently” ads directed by Seth Gordon, the filmmaker behind The King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters. And during the Summer we featured a couple of print ads that VW were running that “see films differently” by presenting them in police reports, Insurance Filings, and other forms.
For their newest series of “See Film Differently” television advertisements, VW has launched a campaign focused on movie locations. “Turning the Camera On Locations” visits “a number of iconic film locations to see what effect the movies have had on the everyday lives of those who work there.” Watch the two television spots which feature Ghostbusters and When Harry Met Sally, after the jump.
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