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When Harry Met Sally: Special Edition

Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning? That's the question at the heart of When Harry Met Sally, Rob Reiner's classic romantic comedy about the complicated world of dating, love, and friendship. From the moment the two title characters meet (post-college graduation at the University of Chicago in 1978), they wrangle with the notion of whether men and women can actually be friends. Harry, a neurotic, death-obsessed shlub played expertly by Billy Crystal, says no — according to him, "the sex part always gets in the way." But Meg Ryan's Sally, a cheerful, high-maintenance girl who hasn't yet lost her idealism, thinks Harry's wrong. By the time 11 years have passed and Harry and Sally find their happy ending, it's hard to tell who was right. But the point — that negotiating male-female relationships is difficult and funny and ridiculous and scary — has been made. When Harry Met Sally was an immediate success, and it's not hard to see why. With a superb cast (Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby provide excellent supporting turns as Sally and Harry's best friends) and a witty, insightful script by Nora Ephron, the film has become a universal shorthand for the way people talk about relationships. (And then there's that unforgettable deli scene....) It's great to finally have this classic available on DVD, and MGM's special edition release doesn't disappoint. The roster of special features includes three biggies: a full-length audio commentary by Reiner that's engaging, if sometimes sporadic (he often lets the actors and best scenes speak for themselves); a 33-minute "making-of" documentary that offers fresh interviews with Reiner, Ephron, Crystal, and Fisher, plus footage of Ryan and Kirby from 1988; and seven deleted scenes. Nothing major was left out, but it's still fun to see the extra footage. The other extras are a music video of Harry Connick Jr's "It Had to Be You," the theatrical trailer (plus previews for The Princess Bride and This Is Spinal Tap), French and Spanish subtitles, scene selection, and an eight-page booklet inside the keep-case. The crisp widescreen transfer does full justice to the beautiful Manhattan locations (check out the colors of those autumn leaves!), and the Dolby Digital audio is clear as a bell. All in all, a great treatment for one of the best romantic comedies ever made.
—Betsy Bozdech

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