“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
― Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally (1989)
I have been listening to Harry Connick Jr.’s album release of tracks which made up part of the soundtrack to WHMS and have re-watched the film. Both have reminded me that they are essentially a celebration of individuality.
Harry C’s wonderful big band and jazz renditions of classic numbers such as It Had To Be You, Love Is Here To Stay, and I Could Write A Book demonstrate how these enduring songs can nevertheless benefit from the individual touch of a talented artist. There are also ballads – But Not For Me is beautifully rendered. My favourite, Winter Wonderland, is a brilliant jazz piano treatment of a Christmas highight. I found this link to the track on YouTube for you to have a quick listen….
And as for the film itself? It is generally of course considered to be about relationships between men and women – can they be just friends? Various different sorts of relationships are explored as the film progresses. The brief stories told by the elderly couples to mark the passing of time between different phases of Harry and Sally’s relationships were rendered on film by actors, but were based on real life tales.
But back to individuality. Harry and Sally come to love each other over time for being themselves, despite, or indeed because of, all their quirks and indiosyncrasies. This is the essence of life, is it not? It’s one thing I am enjoying about coming into the middle part of my life – one finds that it becomes increasingly easier to eschew societal and peer pressures. Of course we need to know ourselves in the first place – it’s never too late to start finding out if you think you haven’t been introduced…
“…be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
― Henry David Thoreau