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Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally

Castle Rock

Annie Hall. Harold and Maude. Pretty Woman. Manhattan.

What do all those movies have in common? Women in fashion vests, for one. But they are also widely agreed up on as part of the upper echelon of romantic comedies. The actual order of ranking is a topic up for discussion—and, let's be honest, argument—and will probably never be settled. But movies of this caliber are solid in their quality and their longstanding fandom.

But, we're here to bring a little certitude to this space. We're here to say something...drastic. Overreaching. Unfeigned. We're here to announce once and for all that When Harry Met Sally is the best romantic comedy of all time. 

We'll let the dust settle a bit. Those of you solidly in the camps of Sleepless in Seattle or Groundhog Day or even the new school How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days hangers-on will surely be a bit ruffled by this statement. But we stand by it proudly.

This argument should start with the obvious: Acknowledgements. When Harry Met Sally was nominated for an Oscar—a rare occasion for a traditional rom-com—for Nora Ephron's screenwriting. It also received five Golden Globes noms, for best motion picture and both best actor categories, among others. But quite truthfully, these mainstream award shows do nothing to sway us in our undying love of and appreciation for this movie. This is why.

1. Sally is the perfect anti-rom-com star. No offense to the Kate Hudson's of the film world, but it's getting a little tiring to watch thin, beautiful magazine editors (why are they always magazine editors?) with overly humongous New York City apartments. Sally is none of those things, except for thin and beautiful. This is Hollywood after all, we can't ask for everything. But she actually has to try for her success at work. 

And she isn't plucky or cutesy or anything that could be remotely described as a manic pixie dream girl; she's kind of a nut job. A hilarious nut job, but a nut job nonetheless—one who can't order a normal meal at a restaurant to save her life and has to practically stick her face underneath the sneeze protector to inspect every inch of every vegetable she pulls from the salad bar.

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

2. Nora Ephron writes women with spot-on sincerity. Movies are never without tropes or stereotypes, to which we say: They're not tropes if they're dead right. If anyone out there claims that they've never cried irrationally over something as small as thinking about the fact that someday, in the future, you'll be an age older than you are, is lying. To yourself and to the world. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

3. Nora Ephron writes male/female relationships with spot-on sincerity. Not to be cynical here, but honestly...they can't really be friends. They can start out as friends, but it's basically all going to go the way of Harry and Sally. Watching them transform from hating each other to...not so much...is incredibly endearing. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

4. The Love Declaration Scene is the stuff dreams are made of. This scene was relationship goals before relationship goals were a thing. These moments are the pivotal moment of a romantic comedy; every single flick in the genre needs the big crescendo in which the formerly doomed couple has a love breakthrough, and they can be cheesy or they can be a scene that gives every viewer faith (whether it be false hope or not) that they can have grand love, too. Harry delivers one hell of a speech, and it's enough to push past all the cringe-y-ness of over-the-top declarations. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

5. Even the most mundane parts of the day are fodder for hilarity. When was the last time you enjoyed watching two New Yorkers browsing the shelves at their local Barnes and Noble? It was probably around the same time you enjoyed watching them wait for a plane to take off or walk through a random street. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

6. Actually, add Pictionary to that list of mundane activities. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

7. It has the best one-liners of all time, and most of them have nothing to do with romance. In fact, the movie's best quotes are actually zingers, like "You look like a normal person, but you're actually the angel of death." Or "You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance." 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

8. But then it drops the most romantic one-liner and you completely forget how obsessed you were with the angel of death. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

9. It changed the way we read books altogether. Sorry, suspense and twist endings! We'll be going straight to the last page from now on. 

When Harry Met Sally GIF

Courtesy Columbia Pictures