Rob Reiner Changed ‘When Harry Met Sally’ Ending After He Met His Future Wife On Set | Video

The couple has now been married for 35 years

Fans of the 1989 classic “When Harry Met Sally” are in for a surprise: in an interview on CNN’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” director Rob Reiner admitted the movie originally had a tragic ending but he changed it all after he met his wife Michelle while shooting the film.

Reiner told Wallace, “So you want to hear something interesting about that?” After Wallace replied in the affirmative, Reiner continued, “The original ending of the film that we had was that Harry and Sally didn’t get together.”

“I had been married for 10 years, I’d been single for 10 years, and I couldn’t figure out how I was ever going to be with anybody,” Reiner explained “And that gave birth to ‘When Harry Met Sally.’”

“And I hadn’t met anybody,” he added. “And so it was going to be the two of them seeing each other after years, talking, and then walking away from each other.”

But happily for romantics everywhere, fate stepped in. “I met my wife Michelle, who I’ve been married to now 35 years, I met her while we were making the film, and I changed the ending,” Reiner concluded.

“So,” Wallace replied, “We owe that tearjerking ending, and I say that in the highest form of praise, to Michelle.”

“That’s right,” Reiner said.

“When Harry Met Sally” stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as the titular characters. Writer Nora Ephron released the movie’s script in paperback format a year after the film came out. In that book, she revealed she was inspired by Reiner’s divorce from Penny Marshall to write the movie in the first place, and based Crystal’s character on the director (Sally was based on Ephron and a few friends).

She also detailed how working with Reiner was different from working with other directors. Ephron explained, “What made this movie different was that Rob had a character who could say whatever he believed, and if I disagreed, I had Sally to say so for me.”

One of the key questions of the movie is whether or not women and men can truly be friends. In real life, Reiner said no, because a man would always want to have sex with a woman, but Ephron believed it was possible, because she had male friends she did not want to have sex with.

In the book’s 11-page introduction, Ephron wrote, “The truth is that men don’t want to be friends with women. Men know they don’t understand women, and they don’t much care. They want women as lovers, as wives, as mothers, but they’re really not interested in them as friends. They have friends. Men are their friends. And they talk to their male friends about sports, and I have no idea what else.”

“Women, on the other hand, are dying to be friends with men. Women know they don’t understand men, and it bothers them: they think that if only they could be friends with them, they would understand them and, what’s more (and this is their gravest mistake), it would help. Women think if they could just understand men, they could do something.”

“Women are always trying to do something. There are entire industries based on this premise, the most obvious one being the women’s magazines… that are based completely on the notion that women can do something where men are concerned: cook a perfect steak, or wear a perfect skirt, or dab a little perfume behind the knee,” she concluded.


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