‘You made a woman meow?!’

Standard

When Harry met Sally is 25 years old.  Now, as readers of this blog know, the chick flick (with a few exceptions) is not my favourite genre.  However, this gem from 1989 is one of the good ones.

The film centres on the relationship between Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal).  They first meet as graduates when they car share from Chicago to New York.  Harry blatantly fancies Sally, which appals her as he is dating her friend.  Harry is plain-speaking whilst Sally skirts around the issue, ‘Miss Hospital Corners’ as Harry calls her.

Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan)

The film follows the pair as they grow older and date various people.  I love their best friends Marie and Jess, played by Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby.  Their presence and chemistry with Crystal and Ryan is perfect.  Harry and Sally become close in their 30’s, after bumping into one another in New York, and start hanging out, but can men and women ever really be just friends?

Sally: I have as much of a dark side as the next person.

Harry: Oh really? When I buy a book, I read the last page first.  That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends.  That, my friend, is a dark side.

Nora Ephron (RiP) wrote the screenplay.  She really hits the nail on the head as to the way men and women view each other and relationships, whilst always maintaining the pace and brilliant, witty banter.

This film is a fabulous advert for visiting New York, particularly in the Autumn.  Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are both at their most charming.  If you like your romance with spark and wit, with a touch of reality, then When Harry met Sally is for you.  The Harry Connick Jr soundtrack is perfectly suited throughout.

Harry: If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted…..  That doesn’t work either, because what happens then is, the person you’re involved with can’t understand why you need to be friends with the person you’re just friends with.

This post is for my lovely friend Ali.  We have watched this film together since we were 18 and we know every line! xx

 

 

 

 

Working Girl

Standard

I didn’t watch Working Girl until I was in my early 20’s.  It is one of those films that is shown late at night a couple of times a year, so one evening, I was bored and decided to give it a chance.  I’m glad I did because I love it.

Directed by Mike Nichols and released in 1988, I don’t think things have changed all that dramatically for women in the workplace since then.  This film will resonate for many women in business and secretaries/PA’s who were better than their job.

Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) is a secretary from Staten Island who wants more out of life and wants to be taken seriously by her idiot male colleagues.  She has a degree in business, which she achieved through attending night school.  Her boyfriend, Mick (Alec Baldwin), doesn’t understand why Tess wants more out of life and wants her to settle down with him.

Tess and Katherine

Tess keeps being promised an executive position, but it never happens.  After getting her own back on her colleagues for another stupid prank they’ve played on her (involving the amazing Kevin Spacey as a slimeball), Tess is moved to another department to work for a new female executive, Katherine Parker, played to bitchy perfection by the wonderful Sigourney Weaver.  At first, Tess is encouraged by working for a female boss, but it turns out Katherine is no better than her old colleagues.  She just patronises Tess in a passive aggressive manner.

Jack and Tess

Disheartened, one morning on the Staten Island ferry, Tess has a brainwave for an important client, Trask, to make an investment in radio, but knowing nobody will take her seriously, she takes matters in her own hands.  Whilst Katherine is out of the country because of a skiing accident, Tess wangles her way into an important party, by using Katherine’s name, so she can meet executive Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford at his most charming).

Jack Trainer: “You’re the first woman I’ve seen at one of these things that dresses like a woman, not like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.”

Jack likes Tess’s pitch and says he will back her.  Whilst they work on their pitch to Trask, Tess and Jack fall for each other, but Jack just happens to be Katherine’s boyfriend and Katherine returns from Europe…..

Without spoiling any more of the plot, I hope I have told you enough to make you want to watch the film.  I haven’t seen Melanie Griffith in anything else, but she is fantastic in this.  She portrays Tess as sharp, witty, likeable and just the right side of cute.  The supporting cast are great, including Joan Cusack as Tess’s best friend, Cynthia, who has the brilliant line to Jack “can I get you anything? coffee, tea, me?” and Philip Bosco as Mr Trask.  The ending of the movie leaves you grinning and I love the song “Let the River Run”, which won Carly Simon an Oscar.  Just watching this film for the 80’s hair and fashion is a must.  Enjoy!

Tess McGill: “You bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you’re trying to get there.  And, if you’re someone like me, you can’t get there without bending the rules.”

Images: IMDb