Rob Reiner's meeting with wife made him change 'When Harry Met Sally' ending

February 18, 2024
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Rob Reiner revealed that his and Nora Ephron's script originally had a sadder ending for Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan).

Rob Reiner’s 1980s classic ‘When Harry Met Sally’ almost had quite a different ending, according to ‘The Hollywood Reporter’. During an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace, the classic film’s director and co-writer Rob Reiner revealed that his and Nora Ephron’s script originally had a sadder ending for Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan).

“It was going to be the two of them seeing each other after years, talking and then walking away from each other,” Reiner told Wallace, according to ‘The Hollywood Reporter’. “I had been married for 10 years. I’d been single for 10 years, and I couldn’t figure out how I was ever going to be with anybody, and that gave birth to ‘When Harry Met Sally’.”

Reiner continued, “I met my wife Michele, who I’ve been married to now for 35 years. I met her while we were making the film, and I changed the ending.” When Wallace asked if fans have Michele to thank for the tear-jerker finale, Reiner said, “That’s right.”

Since ‘When Harry Met Sally’ was released in 1989, the final moments of the film have gone down in rom-com history as some of the most iconic ever.

After years of their will-they/won’t-they relationship, Billy crashes a New Year’s Eve party that Sally is at and delivers a memorable monologue about how he loves everything about her — from how her nose crinkles when she looks at him a certain way to how it takes her an hour and a half to order a sandwich, adds ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.

He tells her, “I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

To this day, ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is a beloved rom-com, and Crystal thinks the reason why is “because it’s the truth”.

He told ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ when celebrating the film’s 30th anniversary in 2019, “It’s an amazing movie, I have to say, because there’s no plot. In typical romantic comedies, they go through so much: their adversity, he had to move, he got drafted, he’s in the Army, he came back, they found each other again — no. The obstacle in this movie is themselves.”

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