When Harry Met Sally

Movie review by
Elisabeth Chaney, Common Sense Media
When Harry Met Sally Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Wit- and charm-filled romantic-comedy classic.
  • R
  • 1989
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The short vignettes highlight long-lasting, loving relationships, and the ultimate message is that you can find the right person for you. It may create unrealistic romantic expectations for teens, though.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harry and Sally have their individual quirks about love, relationships, and dating, but they're essentially good people.


No sex depicted, but many references to sex, plus an infamous simulated orgasm.


A few choice words, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie, while set against the background of a strong friendship and filled with great romantic role models, contains many references to sex. Though no sex is actually shown, about a quarter of conversation revolves almost completely around the topic. The most famous scene in the movie is a simulated orgasm at a New York deli.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byhibbert6 December 22, 2011

Gives too much permission...

All kids tend to think they are more mature than average. So if sex is OK for an 18 year old, then it's OK for me, even though, I'm like, CHRONOLOGIC... Continue reading
Parent Written byFosterFan September 9, 2011

A truly great romantic comedy.

When Harry Met Sally... is one of the quintessential romantic comedies of all time. Meg Ryan is lovely as the cheerful but opinionated Sally; and Billy Crystal... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous November 3, 2020

Not as innapropriate as people are making it out to be.

Why are people saying it's so inappropriate? In my opinion, it's not very inappropriate. There's no sex shown, which is actually out of the ordin... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byultimatetvlover_06 April 19, 2021

Romantic Comedy depends on maturity.

When Harry Met Sally is a really cute movie. It covers the topic of how boys and girls can’t be friends, because all they want to do is have sex. Yes, there is... Continue reading

What's the story?

Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) meet for the first time while sharing a ride from Chicago to New York City. Sally is an uptight, optimistic, and intelligent person, while Harry is a thoughtful, sex-crazed chauvinist. Over a period of 10 years, they bicker, become best friends, and eventually fall in love, answering the age-old question, "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?"

Is it any good?

Producer Nora Ephron and director Rob Reiner make delightful, timeless romantic classics, and this is their best-known work. Many have tried, but none has succeeded in capturing the charm, wit, and chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shown onscreen in this classic romantic comedy. Every element of this film possesses strength, including the script (supposedly based on Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron's true-to-life on again/off again relationship).

Who can forget such memorable lines as, "Oh, but 'baby fish mouth' is sweeping the nation?" and of course Rob Reiner's mother's declaration of, "I'll have what she's having." This film has a timeless quality that transcends decades, meaning that teenagers may not automatically write it off as an "old movie." As relevant and entertaining today as it was in 1989 and probably still in 2039, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is one movie not to be missed. Suitable for older teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendships and how people can change over time, premarital sex, and the role sex plays in adult relationships, both marriage and otherwise.

  • Is Harry correct in his theory that men and women can't be friends?

  • How realistic is the outcome of their relationship?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romantic comedy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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