The movie, When Harry met Sally, initially presents audiences with a premise that focuses on the inability of men and women to form platonic relationships since sex gets in the way (Bennett, 24).
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This is one of the driving aspects of the film and is somewhat confirmed in the end when Harry and Sally do in deed have sex which does result in an initial lasting awkwardness and distance in the relationship yet culminates towards the end with the two of them getting married.
It must be stated though that the premise is wholly wrong and is in no way an accurate depiction of the relationships between men and women.
Arguments against the Movie’s Premise
Evolution and Personal Experiences
The first and main premise given by the movie is the fact that men and women cannot be friends due to the possibility of sexual tension getting in the way of the friendship. This particular line of reasoning neglects to take into account that humanity has already evolved to a point wherein the primal instinct to have sex can be overcome.
The premise posits the idea that men and women only get together for the act of sex without taking into account the fact that men and women befriend each other for other reasons. This can range from similar interests, to particular hobbies or merely enjoying each others company.
The fact remains that based on my own personal experience I have had friendships with many other members of the opposite sex with sexual desire never getting in the way of the friendship. It is due to these experiences that I can safely say that the initial premise of the movie is wholly inaccurate and in need of changing in order to accommodate real life social situations.
Boundaries in Social Relationships
All relationships whether based on passion or mutual friendship have certain barriers that are upheld at all times. In fact, all good working relationships have set boundaries clearly set that determine the type of relationship people have and the types of behaviors allowed.
Within the movie the concept of relationship barriers is never fully explored and thus allows for the character of Harry to make his unsubstantiated conclusion regarding the impossibility of friendship between men and women.
In most real life situations it is the barriers that have been set up beforehand in order to properly guide a relationship that helps to prevent any adverse sexual interaction from occurring. As such based on this premise it can be seen that the movie lacks any true adherence to the concept of friendly relationships and is in fact existing in a world where there are no such things as boundaries.
Based on what I saw in the movie I can say for certain that its views are so far removed from reality that they are in fact implausible to accept. Men and women can easily become friends when they choose to without concepts such as sex and intimacy getting in the way.
In fact in most cases when people become friends they no longer look at the other person as a sexual object but rather as another facet of their life. It is due to this that I can say that while I somewhat enjoyed the movie I can never truly accept the premise behind its plot line.
Bennett, Ray. “‘When Harry Met Sally’.” Hollywood Reporter — International Edition 382.42 (2004): 24. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web.