One Christmas Night my sister and I were trying to find something to watch other than the 20th hour of A Christmas Story, and we both simultaneously suggested watching When Harry Met Sally… which maybe wouldn’t be that weird considering my sister and I have the psychic connection all good sisters have, if When Harry Met Sally… [yes, I am going to type in that ellipsis every single time. Buckle up.] were a Christmas movie.
But then Becky argued that it is a Christmas movie, because of the two scenes where Sally lugs a Christmas tree away from a lot: once, with Harry’s help, and once without it:
Neither of those scenes have dialogue. It’s really just a visual joke and illustration of the Harry-shaped hole in Sally’s life. But to Becky, it’s enough to make it a Christmas movie, and that’s enough for me too.
Similarly, two nights before my sister’s wedding we also decided to watch this movie. That is much less of a stretch: in addition to there being a pivotal wedding scene, the whole movie is about the road to marriage.
So, Christmas movie, check. Wedding movie, check. New Years movie? Obviously. Great background noise for a game night? Can you say “baby fish mouth”? Appropriate assignment for a twelfth grade health class? According to my high school, edu-lutely!. When Harry Met Sally…: a movie for all seasons.
But here I am only going to cover the wedding, because I’ve got siblings to be
celebrating the holidays playing Kinect with.
So here is Marie and Jess’ wedding:
You may recognize this shot because it is in every wedding movie. If you, like me, watch far too many wedding movies, when confronted with this shot your eyes seek out the nuances in the frame. Here: that table of champagne behind the guests at the ceremony. That’s one of my unlimited-budget wedding fantasies: a celebratory drink for the whole crowd immediately post-ceremony. I’ve been to two weddings that had that and loved it both times. But we’ve only got one “free” round of champagne in our contract, and I’m going to use it during the toasting portion of the reception.
This wedding is set around the holidays, and I think the dark green color works well for that scenario. I might have used a piece of holly in the boutonniere instead of ivy, but that might be too on-the-nose. I also think that Sally’s dress holds up pretty well from 1989. It is hard to imagine a grown woman wearing it, but very easy to imagine an adorable four-year-old wearing that style to Christmas Dinner and Grandmama’s house. I think that is high praise for a 1980’s bridesmaid dress.
The reason Harry and Sally look so miserable in the above shot is they’ve just been screaming at each other in the kitchen. My favorite thing about that scene is that the catering staff barely notices them, even though they are screaming at each other. I suspect that sort of thing happens at weddings all the time.
If I hadn’t already contracted with my venue, I would totally ask candidates “How does your kitchen staff handle guest drama spilling over into employee-only areas?” Because I’m gonna lay 3:2 odds on that being relevant to my wedding day.
Harry and Sally reconcile after the above tiff, thankfully, and in the closing couch interview mention that they got married three months after finally getting together. How could someone as anal as Sally Albright plan a wedding in THREE MONTHS? She has a sauce ON THE SIDE for her wedding cake, but she can handle planning this sauce-on-the-side wedding in NINETY DAYS. I need over a year. What does it say about me that I couldn’t plan a wedding in three months and SALLY can? [I don’t care that Sally is fictional. It still freaks me out.]