“Harry and Sally Didn’t End Up Together”: It’s a True Love Story That Changed the Ending of One of the Greatest Romantic Comedies

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal: we no longer present “When Harry Met Sally”, one of the most memorable rom-coms in the history of cinema. But the ending could have been much darker.

SPOILERS – Warning, the article below reveals potential spoilers. If you do not wish to know its contents, please do not read what follows…

Glasses of champagne, party favors, fireworks, a crowd celebrating the New Year, and in the middle of the deafening hubbub… a man and a woman.

After long years of doubts, uncertainties, arguments, sometimes stormy friendship and risky rapprochements, while an invisible romance was patiently woven in the secrets of their hearts, Harry and Sally finally declare their love to each other. Following a new conflict, when the two protagonists are on the verge of leaving each other for good, Harry joins Sally at the last minute and reveals his feelings for her during a memorable tirade.

For this magnificent final sequence but also for many other scenes sprinkled throughout the film, When Harry Met Sally is one (according to a list established by the AlloCiné editorial team a few years ago) of the 10 romantic comedies that you absolutely must have seen in his life.

Originally, Harry and Sally didn’t end up together

And yet…

The joyful and moving happy ending that we know almost never saw the light of day. Indeed, as he recently revealed, at the time of shooting the film, director Rob Reiner (also known for having directed Stand By Me, Princess Bride and Misery) was going through a very complicated period emotionally. Divorced for around ten years and rather defeatist about his situation, he initially intended to reserve a much sadder fate for Harry and Sally:

“In the original ending of the film that we had planned, Harry and Sally did not end up together”told the filmmaker, guest on the show Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace (relayed by Collider).

20th century Fox

“I met my wife (…) and I changed the ending.”

“I had been through 10 years of marriage, then 10 years of being single. I couldn’t figure out how I was ever going to live with someone again, and that gave birth to When Harry Met Sally. I hadn’t met anyone, so [selon ce qui était prévu,] the two characters would see each other again after several years, talk to each other and move away from each other.”

But as production on the film was in full swing, the tables turned completely around for Rob Reiner when he fell in love with his future wife all over again. A new start in his love life which he immediately wanted to share with Harry and Sally.

“I met my wife, Michele, who I’ve been married to for 35 years now. I met her while we were making the movie, and I changed the ending.”

If we have to thank anyone for the magnificent final sequence of When Harry Met Sally, it’s Rob Reiner’s wife.

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