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When Harry Met Sally: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal reunite for 30th birthday

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Lauren Geall
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Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal on the red carpet at the TCM classic film festival for a commemorative screening of When Harry Met Sally

It’s hard to believe that When Harry Met Sally is 30 years old – but the film is as lovable as ever. 

Since its release in 1989, When Harry Met Sally has come to grace multiple lists of the top rom-coms of all-time for it’s hilarious take on the realities of male/female friendship. And now, a commemorative event has taken place to honour the beloved film’s 30th anniversary.

A screening and a panel with director Rob Reiner and the film’s stars, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, was hosted at the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) film festival in Hollywood on 11 April. 

Talking to Variety, Reiner said he couldn’t quite believe the film’s age. “It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?…‘Harry Met Sally’ is 30. All it means is that I’m old. That’s all it means.”

When Harry Met Sally boasts a 90% rating on film review site Rotten Tomatoes, and the movie’s screenwriter, the late, great Nora Ephron, also claimed an Oscar nomination for her screenplay back in 1990. 

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at When Harry Met Sally reunion
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan at the 30th anniversary screening of When Harry Met Sally

If there’s anyone left who hasn’t seen it, When Harry Met Sally explores the twelve-year relationship between two friends, as they go from arguing on a road trip across America to falling in love.

The debate that frames the film – that men and women can’t be platonic friends because sex will always get in the way – makes for a timelessly relatable story about love and relationships.

What isn’t up for debate, however, is the fact that Ryan’s fake orgasm is the most iconic scene in the film.

During a conversation about Crystal’s character Harry’s one night stands, Sally (Ryan) challenges him by suggesting that some of the women he sleeps with may be faking their orgasms. Harry doesn’t believe women can do such a thing – until Sally fakes a full-on orgasm in the middle of the crowded restaurant, leaving him to deal with confused looks from practically every table.

“I’ll have what she’s having,” an old lady at the neighbouring table – played by Reiner’s real-life mother – quips.

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in a black and white promotional shot for the 1989 release of When Harry Met Sally
Ryan and Crystal in a promotional image for the 1989 release of When Harry Met Sally

Despite demand for a sequel from the film’s dedicated fans, Crystal told Entertainment Tonight that they’re happy leaving the characters alone.

“We talked about that for years and years and years,” Crystal said. “And for those of us who believe in happily ever after, that’s where they are and that’s where they should be.”

The film’s screening at the TCM festival is just one event commemorating the anniversary. Crystal will also be involved with a classic hand-and-footprint ceremony, and Ephron and her work will be honoured with her own tribute and panel discussion.

“We frequently chart our lives through the movies we love,” TCM host Ben Mankiewicz told the Los Angeles Times

“For people of my generation, the fact that When Harry Met Sally is 30 years old is both thrilling and incredibly uncomfortable.”

Images: Getty/Hulton Archive

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