Autumn Scene Spotlight: When Harry Met Sally

I love, love, love the Fall season!

Though I was born and spent the first half of my life in a tropical country, I’ve always preferred a cooler climate. I truly can’t imagine not having the four seasons… I don’t even mind snow, as long as it’s not the debilitating kind that wreck havoc on traffic and stuff. But let’s not think about that yet… for right now I’m basking in perhaps the most perfect Autumn ever! For the next 10 days, we’ll have a stretch of rain-free sunny days with temps in the mid 70s. WOW, it just doesn’t get any better than that!!

Well, this weekend I’ll be meeting up with some friends at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to check out the gorgeous Fall colors. It got me thinking about Autumn scenes in movies and the first thing that come to mind is this one from When Harry Met Sally.

Before Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached and a slew of others with ‘can men/women be friends without sex’ theme, we’ve got this classic rom-com. It’s one of those movies I’d watch when it comes on TV, and in fact, when I was staying at the Westin San Francis across from Union Square, this movie was playing right on the square so I could practically watch it from my window. Too bad I couldn’t really hear the dialog as this movie has lots of memorable ones.

Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay for Rob Reiner and I thought is pretty brilliant. There are lots of memorable scenes too, I mean who could forget the ‘fake orgasm’ scene at the diner? Billy Crystal & Meg Ryan have this effortless chemistry between them that make their relationship so believable. This conversation in this scene always makes me laugh, but sometimes I’m just lost in the enchanting beauty of the Autumn setting with those gorgeous colors of the leaves surrounding them.


Have you seen this movie? Feel free to share your own favorite Autumn movie scene(s).

38 thoughts on “Autumn Scene Spotlight: When Harry Met Sally

  1. It really is a great film. One that gets better over time, especially when played during the Fall (actually pretty good for New Years Eve, too). I also recommend my friend J.D.’s great review of this from 2009. Thanks. Ruth.

    p.s., I know this will sound strange for Autumn scenes in film (especially moving from a rom-com) but the first favorite to come to me is Clint Eastwood’s ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’. Maybe it’s a guy thing ;-).

    1. Thanks Michael, I’ll check out that review. Yeah, this has some great NYE scene too, you’re absolutely right.

      I’ve never seen that Eastwood flick, is that a Western??

      1. Yep, TOJW is a western. Clint loves shooting movies in the Fall (for exactly the gorgeous colors associated with that season). And this is one of the great westerns of the latter decades in the 20th century, IMO. Thanks.

  2. I’m pretty sure i saw this one, although i don’t have a strong memory of it to be honest. And as for autumm scenes…right now i got nothin.

    And i generally prefer the hotter weather. me and my dad both consider ourselves to be warm weather babies πŸ˜›

    1. You might like this one Julian, it’s got an honest conversation between a man and a woman exploring the idea of friendship and their trepidation about becoming more than that.

      As for climate, I really can’t stand heat anymore, it’s weird because I was ok living in a tropical country for 18 yrs where it’s 80-85 degrees all year long. But the last time I went back I actually got a heat rash, ahah.

  3. Great Topic!

    You are spot on with When Harry Met Sally. One of my personal faves. In my opinion, Friends with Benefits tried to be that film of the present generation but it did not accomplish this. Nora Ephron’s writing is wonderful.

    Here are a couple of other films I have thought of:

    Dead Poets’ Society – over time this film has not been one of my favorites (loved it when it first came out) but one must admit that the scenery evokes a typical New England fall. Beautiful

    Persuasion (1995)- Autumn in Regency England

    Stepmom – again not one of my favorites but it shows that beauty of Westchester County, NY in the fall (I am a bit biased)

    The Trouble With Harry – a slighlty lesser known Hitchcock film but the fall colors are so wonderfully vibrant and provide the perfect backdrop to the action in the foreground.

    Others: Mystic Pizza & Practical Magic (yes I kinda liked it)

    1. Oh yeah, if I were to do a top five list, DPS and Persuasion will definitely make the list. Glad you enjoy Persuasion too, I really love that version.

  4. I’ve sadly only seen the famous orgasm seen in Sally. My favorite autumn moments come from Dead Poets Society early in the film whenever the students are strolling across the campus. Beautiful.

    1. You’re missing out Castor πŸ˜€ I do have a soft spot for Meg Ryan’s rom-coms, ahah. I really like You’ve Got Mail, it really makes me want to visit NYC in the Fall and take a stroll with a warm cup of Starbucks coffee…

  5. Ted S.

    I’m not a big fan of Billy Crystal so I’ve never seen this film or any of his big hits back in the days. I could never understood why some people think he’s funny, although I did see Father’s Day which was quite dreadful.

    I love the fall too and the film I thought fits great with the season is The Untouchables. I love that scene where they were in Canada and took down the gangsters. The fall colors were everywhere. Also, I tend to watch it every fall season, hey I might watch it this weekend.

    1. Oh yeah I remember that scene! I love The Untouchables, and that scene is memorable indeed. I love Connery and Costner in it, perhaps one of their best roles ever.

  6. PrairieGirl

    I must be the only girl on earth who didn’t like WHMS. The ONLY excellent scene in the film is the one you mention that happened in the restaurant, that is a gem of a classic. That the two characters dragged out a semi-dysfunctional “friendship” for so many years drives me crazy! In general I like both Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, but this movie just left me very annoyed… for goodness sake, please make a decision one way or another… and hurry it up! I do like fall colors, however ;-D

    1. Ahah, your comment makes me laugh. Well that’s the gist of the film, Becky, that people often don’t realize their ‘soul mate’ if you will, even if they’re walking alongside them every day. It’s funny that they try to fix each other up but clearly they have more in common than with their respective dates, and of course their dates end up marrying each other, too. Too bad you didn’t really enjoy this one.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Ya, I know I’m supposed to like WHMS, but just can’t. Loved Sleepless in Seattle, though, and the theme was almost the same… two people just on the verge of getting together the whole time. Go figure…

  7. I’ve actually not seen this one myself either. And,like Castor, often confused it with the other famous rom-com. Beautiful scenery though. I love the fall too. It was so nice when I lived in Germany, I’d imagine quite similar to you in MN. Hope you enjoy your 10 days of it! πŸ˜‰

    1. I hope our gorgeous Fall weather will last more than 10 days, I just read the local weather forecast that the ‘mild’ weather might stay through the end of October, yay!!

  8. love that Autumn pic! You Americans have the best Autumns ever! Especially those in the East coast.
    I especially love Fall movie scenes set in New York πŸ™‚
    Although Fall has arrived here officially as well, we are still having up to 30 degrees Celsius every day and I’m still wearing my flip flops and short pants.

    1. Hey Dezzy, that’s nothing to complain about. I’m sure tons of Minnesotans would rather be able to still wear flip flops all through the Fall. I just happen to like the cooler weather but I think I might be in the minority where I live, ahah.

  9. I assume I’m the only UK based person to comment on this so far considering everyone keeps calling it “Fall”. We call it Autumn over here. Scott will back me up. It’s one of my favourite times of year as well, though unfortunately our autumn weather is never quite as warm as 70 degrees. Just mostly wind and rain. I like Billy Crystal in WHMS, I think comedians make good actors because they know how to deliver lines and his comic timing in this is superb.

    1. Hi Ronan, I prefer to call it Autumn also, hence the title of the post πŸ˜€ But Fall is what we call it in the US also, so both terms are correct.

      I do agree that a lot of comedians make good actors, and some of them like Robin Williams are also quite effective as bad guys, too.

      1. Haha, touche madam, touche. I agree about comedians making good baddies, Robin Williams was so creepy in I hour photo. I guess it’s because we are so used to him joking around, you forget just how good an actor he is, loved him in Good Will Hunting.

  10. I am Back!!

    I will take more time to read the posts I have missed when I have been around everyone ok Ruth?

    I love Autumn, or FALL. It means my birthday is incoming!!!!

    Nice post matey

      1. remember remember the 5th november,
        gunpowder treason and plot!
        remember remember the 5th november,
        the day after the birthday of Scott…..

        I know I suck at poetry hey?

  11. I thought of another one since we’re into October (and it is an annually screening for me at this time of year). It’s darkly seasonable, too: Sleepy Hollow .

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