HomeMoviesWhat Was The Original Ending Of 'When Harry Met Sally'?

    What Was The Original Ending Of ‘When Harry Met Sally’?

    In a limited release 33 years back, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ became one of the classic romantic comedies that people devoured. It is a conventional formula love story, but the story of the love between Harry and Sally follows an unconventional path. They cannot agree on the ending of the most endearing love stories of all time ‘Casablanca’. But, in a series of some unconventional stories from older couples, their path collides and fate brings them together and they finally agree on Casablanca’s ending.

    The film stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the titular roles. It also stars the brilliant Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby as their friends. Nora Ephron has written this contemporary classic and Rob Reiner directed the film. Ephron’s script translates this complex relationship saga into a more punctuated and nuanced manner rather than being all over the place. The end is conventional, but Rob had an alternative ending to the film. And, boy could it have been sad!

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    Rob Reiner Had An Alternative Ending For ‘When Harry Met Sally’

    'When Harry Met Sally' had a sad ending
    ‘When Harry Met Sally’ had a sad ending

    A rom-com that had a formula troupe won the BAFTA for the ‘Best Screenplay-Original’ and it was nominated for ‘Best Writing’ at the Academy Awards. So, what sets it apart from other stories. It is the eschewed chemistry between two people falling in love. Harry is a high-spirited man with some slick one-liners which sounds theoretically good.

    Sally is a high-maintenance woman who likes her chef’s salad and pie in a particular manner, but possesses a calm demeanor. The conflicting thoughts hinder their feelings from surfacing, but before it becomes exhaustive we witness the two ending together.

    However, the director did not envision them ending together. It was totally different. In an interview Rob talked about an alternative ending. When they were shooting the film, he was a mess when it came to relationships. He said, “Now, this is interesting that we’re watching this scene [the ending] because I’d been married for 10 years, I was single for 10 years and making a mess of my personal life, in and out of relationships and not being able to make anything work”.

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    What Was The Original Ending He Envisioned?

    Rob Reiner
    Rob Reiner

    The film could have been different than it is today. We may not have relished the happy ending when Harry and Sally ended up together. But, thankfully, Rob Reiner found the love of his life, Michele Singer Reiner. Rob said, “And when the first draft of the script, or the draft we were going to shoot, Harry and Sally don’t get together. They meet each other years later and walk their separate ways”.

    But, he met his beloved wife while they were shooting and it changed the trajectory of the film. “I met my wife while making the movie and we changed the ending and this is what we came up with,” Reiner said. “Billy came up with some of this dialogue and that’s how we decided to end the movie, that they do end up together”.

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    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise is a Sub-Editor at FirstCuriosity. He has more than 2 years of experience in Entertainment content writing with the organization. Besides being a journalist and humanist, he loves cinema and intersectionality, basically everything that screams love, hope, and of course, Lady Gaga. Nishant loves and breathes popular culture, music, especially hip-hop and pop, and the royal family drama. Along with that, he takes great interest in the happenings in the technology world and politics. He is an LGBTQIA+ ally. Approach him with an apple juice to discuss Modern Family, Pose, and Schitt’s Creek.

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