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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

entry arrow11:51 PM | Cut from 'When Harry Met Sally...'

Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally..., with a screenplay by the ever witty Nora Ephron, is for me probably the best romantic comedy ever made, or at least one of the best -- up there with Lady and the Tramp, Annie Hall, Sleepless in Seattle, and Bringing Up Baby. I watched this film in the summer when I was about to enter college, and I was still in that innocent haze where the future was promising with so much possibilities. They were showing it in Ever Theater in Dumaguete, and the biggest typhoon to ever hit the city was raging outside. But still I went downtown, hitched a pedicab and passed by this strange sight of trees being uprooted and roofs flying off. (Still, most DumagueteƱos walked around as if nothing was happening: we never have storms, and so were not prepared to act the appropriate way. We went to the movies.) And in the dark, I discovered what intelligent romantic comedy was all about. It was perfection. The screenplay had no false note, and it was funny and intelligent all at the same time. The music by Harry Connick Jr. cradled you in a great mood all throughout. And Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal were at the apex of their careers, bringing to the characters that warm chemistry often absent in so many so-called romantic comedies. This is my favorite scene from the whole movie, and this is probably one of the funniest ever in American cinema...

Carnegie Deli in the daytime. Harry Burns and Sally Albright, best friends (and soon-to-be reluctant lovers), are each about to eat large pastrami sandwiches. Sally is questioning him about his ghastly dating habits.

Sally: So what do you do with these women? You just get out of bed and leave?

Harry: Sure.

Sally: Explain to me how you do it. What do you say?

A waiter brings their order.

Harry: I say, I have an early meeting, an early haircut, an early squash game.

Sally: You don't play squash.

Harry: They don't know that. They just met me.

Sally: (Rearranging the meat on her sandwich.) That's disgusting.

Harry: I know. I feel terrible. (Takes a bite of sandwich.)

Sally: You know, I am so glad I never got involved with you. I just would have ended up being some woman you had to get out of bed and leave at 3 o'clock in the morning and go clean your andirons. And you don't even have a fireplace. (Quite irritated now, slapping the meat over more quickly.) Not that I would know this.

Harry: Why are you so upset? This is not about you.

Sally: Yes, it is. You're a human affront to all women. And I'm a woman. (Bites into sandwich.)

Harry: Hey, I don't feel great about this but I don't hear anyone complaining.

Sally: Of course not. You're out the door too fast.

Harry: I think they have an okay time.

Sally: How do you know?

Harry: What do you mean, how do I know? I know.

Sally: Because they...? (She makes a gesture with her hands.)

Harry: Yes, because they... (He makes the same gesture back.)

Sally: How do you know they're really... (She makes the same gesture.)

Harry: What are you saying, they fake orgasm?

Sally: It's possible.

Harry: Get outta here.

Sally: Why? Most women, at one time or another, have faked it.

Harry: Well, they haven't faked it with me.

Sally: How do you know?

Harry: Because I know.

Sally: Oh right. (Sets her sandwich down.) That's right. I forgot. You're a man.

Harry: What's that supposed to mean?

Sally: Nothing. It's just that all men are sure it never happens to them, and most women at one time or another have done it, so you do the math.

Harry: You don't think I can tell the difference?

Sally: No.

Harry: Get outta here.

Harry bites into his sandwich. Sally just stares at him. A seductive look comes over her face.

Sally: Oooohh!

Harry, sandwich in hand, chewing his food, looks up at Sally.

Sally: Oh! Ooooh!

Harry: Are you okay?

Sally, her eyes closed, ruffles her hair seductively.

Sally: Oh, God!

Harry is beginning to figure out what Sally is doing.

Sally: Ooooh! Oh, God! (Sally tilts her head back.) Ohh! (Her eyes closed, she runs her hand over her face, down her neck.) Oh, my God! Oh, yeah, right there.

Harry looks around, noticing that others in the deli are noticing Sally. She's really making a show now.

Sally: Oh!

A man in the background turns to look at her.

Sally: Oh! Oh! (Gasps.) Oh God! Oh yes!

Harry, embarrassed, stares at her in disbelief. Sally is now pounding the table...

Sally: Yes! Yes!

The man in the background is now watching intently. Sally is now pounding the table with both hands.

Sally: Yes! Yes! Yes!

Harry looks around, very embarrassed, smiles at the other customers. An older woman seated nearby stares.

Sally: Yes! Yes!

By now, the place is totally silent and everyone is watching.

Sally: Yes! Oh! (Still thumping table.) Yes, yes, yes!

Sally leans her head back, as though experiencing the final ecstatic convulsions of an orgasm.

Sally: Yes! Yes! Yes! (She finally tosses her head forward.)

Sally: Oh. Oh. Oh.

Sally sinks down into her chair, tousling her hair, rubbing her hand down her beck to her chest.

Sally: Oh, God.

Then, suddenly, the act is over. Sally calmly picks up her fork, digs into her coleslaw, and smiles innocently at Harry.

A waiter approaches the older woman to take her food order. The woman looks at him.

Older Woman: I'll have what she's having.

What the hey, watch the clip and enjoy.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich