When Harry Got Mail from Sally in Seattle

Okay, time to move away from dark humor to a brighter climate. I’d like to discuss romantic comedies or humor in romance in my next two posts. Nora Ephron wrote or co-wrote a few of the most romantic film comedies in recent years, including “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” The below excerpt is from her script for “When Harry Met Sally.”

Before the excerpt, here’s a Wikipedia entry about another famous scene in that movie:

The classic deli scene from Ephron’s screenplay for “When Harry Met Sally” was born when the film started to focus too much on Harry. Crystal remembers saying, “’We need something for Sally to talk about,’ and Nora said, ‘Well, faking orgasm is a great one,’ and right away we said, ‘Well, the subject is good,’ and then Meg came on board and we talked with her about the nature of the idea and she said, ‘Well, why don’t I just fake one, just do one?’” Ryan suggested that the scene take place in a restaurant, and it was Crystal who came up with the scene’s classic punchline – “I’ll have what she’s having.” Reiner recalls that at a test screening, all of the women in the audience were laughing while all of the men were silent.

And now, a sweet piece from the screenplay:

HARRY
Ingrid Bergman. Now she’s low maintenance.

SALLY
Low maintenance?

HARRY
Yeah. There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.

SALLY
And Ingrid Bergman is low maintenance?

HARRY
An L. M. Definitely.

SALLY
Which one am I?

HARRY
The worst one. You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance.

SALLY
I don’t see that.

HARRY
You don’t see that?
(mimicking her)
“I’ll start with the house salad, but don’t put the regular dressing on it, I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil instead, but on the side, and then the salmon with mustard sauce, but I want the sauce on the side.” On the side is like a very big thing with you.

SALLY
Well, I just want it the way I want it.

HARRY
Right. High maintenance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s