Study Guide

When Harry Met Sally Love

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HARRY: I love you.

Really, dude? You love Amanda? Five years down the road, you won't even remember her last name. That, to Shmoop, does not sound like love.

SALLY: I love you.

We're a bit more inclined to believe that Sally really did love Joe. They were together for years and didn't break up because of a lack of love—they broke up because they didn't want the same things. Or so Sally thought.

SALLY: You're getting married.

HARRY: Yeah. […] What's so funny about that?

SALLY: It's... well... It's just so optimistic of you, Harry.

HARRY: Well you'd be amazed what falling madly in love can do for you.

Yeah, he's talking about Helen here—not Amanda. For their first two meet-cutes, Harry is supposedly in love with someone else—someone decidedly not Sally. He doesn't utter the L-word word again until the movie's climactic scene.

HARRY: So I say to her, "Don't you love me anymore?" You know what she says? […] "I don't know if I've ever loved you."

Yikes. Poor Harry. Remember, he was "madly in love" with Helen. Helen? Not so much. Perhaps this was a bit of a wake-up call for Harry? Love is, after all, a two-way street.

SALLY: And the thing is I... I feel really fine. I am over him, I mean I really am over him. And that was it for him. That was the most that he could give. And every time I think about it I am more and more convinced that I did the right thing.

Sally's clearly blowing some smoke here, but we give her props for keeping a sensible attitude. Of course we know from a crucial scene later in the movie that Sally is not exactly over Joe. Or should we say Idea-of-Joe? This moment also makes us a wee bit skeptical that she was ever really in love with Joe. Shouldn't the breakup have been a little messier if that were the case?

JESS: You find her attractive?

HARRY: Yeah.

JESS: And you're not sleeping with her.


JESS: You're afraid to let yourself be happy.

As Harry tells Jess of his growing friendship with Sally, Jess has a different theory for what's going on here: he thinks Harry has feelings for Sally, but won't act on them because he's afraid. While Harry swears this isn't the case, we can't help but wonder if Jess might be onto something. After all, he's proven right in the end, isn't he?

WOMAN: I knew the way you know about a good melon.

We could quote the old couples 'til the cows come home, but at the end of the day, this one's our favorite. It wonderfully captures how love is both miraculous—something you just know, without being able to explain—and mundane… like ripe produce.

HARRY: I've been doing a lot of thinking. And the thing is, I love you.

Pro tip, Harry: maybe next time, don't mention how much you had to hem and haw about it. Be like the lady with the melon. You just know.

HARRY: I love that you get cold when it's seventy-one 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 a 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 the life to start as soon as possible.


SALLY: We were friends for a long time.

HARRY: And then we weren't.

SALLY: And then we fell in love.

Well now, there's a handy summary of the movie. Who needs Shmoop? Wait a second…

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