Study Guide

When Harry Met Sally Sex

Sex

When Harry Met Sally is R-rated, so what did you expect?

Sex is everywhere in this movie. Harry's having it. Sally isn't. Then they have it together, and it changes everything—just like Harry said it would in their many conversations about sex. That's right: when people aren't having sex in this movie, they're talking about it.

That's not to say that nothing else happens in the movie. Plenty does. But since the film's central question is whether or not men and women can be friends without sex getting in the way, it makes a whole lot of sense that the theme would pop up again and again. What's most interesting is the way in which Harry and Sally view the deed: Harry sleeps with everyone, hoping to get over Helen. Sally knows that method doesn't actually work, so she sleeps with no one, waiting for someone who will truly mean something to her after Joe. Both those theories blow up in their faces, though, when Harry and Sally fall into bed with… each other.

Questions About Sex

  1. Tell us: can men and women be friends without sex getting in the way? Be honest.
  2. Is it the sex, or Harry's behavior afterward, that leads to Harry and Sally's estrangement?
  3. Why are Harry's and Sally's respective attitudes toward sex ultimately unsuccessful in helping them get over their exes?

Chew on This

Harry and Sally are proof that men and women can be friends. The only reason they stop being friends is because Harry freaks out after they sleep together. But for months and months before that, they were doing just fine.

Harry and Sally are proof that men and women can't be friends. After all, at the end of the movie, they're not friends: they're husband and wife.

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