• Ellis & Gareth

Scene Standoff: When Harry met Sally vs. Chariots of Fire

That iconic if not a little inappropriate scene in 'When Harry met Sally' where an onlooker says "I'll have what she's having" vs. the opening beach scene in 'Chariots of Fire'.

If you've clicked on this wondering what's going on, then click on the link here to read the rules of the Scene Standoff: https://www.focusfilms.online/post/scene-standoff-lion-king-vs-grease


"I'll have what she's having!" - When Harry met Sally

As the two title roles visit a diner, Sally (Meg Ryan) begins to replicate a sexual experience that instantly makes Harry (Billy Crystal) rather uncomfortable. But a lady on a nearby table is taken aback by the moment in a different way and she says the words: "I'll have what she's having."

- Gareth's scene


Running on the Beach - Chariots of Fire

The opening sequence in Chariots of Fire sees the stars of the film running on the beach to that iconic piece of music that is played so often in pop culture in similar slow motion scenes.

- Ellis' scene

Ellis - italics

Gareth - bold


PERFORMANCE

I mean, it's fantastic! Billy Crystal is great at reacting but it's Meg Ryan who's the scene stealer. I even feel awkward watching it which is the point of the film.


The Chariots of Fire scene is really iconic but it is just some blokes running on the beach. And they all pull really weird faces.


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - 9/10 CHARIOTS OF FIRE - 3/10


NECESSITY

For Chariots of Fire, this scene sets up the whole film. But it still doesn't need to be as long as it is.


I guess this When Harry met Sally scene is necessary for their relationship.


It shows how comfortable she feels in his company,


To the plot it's not necessary but for character development it is.


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - 6/10 CHARIOTS OF FIRE - 7/10


REFERENCABILITY

Every time you do a slow motion run, you sing the music from Chariots of Fire. It's parodied all the time in TV and Film; this is a top end score.


"I'll have what she's having" is referencable I guess. Apart from that, it's not really though.


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - 7/10 CHARIOTS OF FIRE - 10/10


POPULARITY (using Letterboxd for reference)

You go first, what's Chariots of Fire?


3.3.


Well you gave When Harry met Sally a 4, I gave it a 4, the average rating is a 4.


It's almost a genre in itself of these two people just having conversations and that's the whole film. There's many films with similar concepts: Before Sunrise, Midnight in Paris, Malcolm & Marie...


Those time loop films fall into that bracket too. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things and Palm Springs both came out this year and feel similar to those.


It's the power of dialogue. How much you enjoy those films depends on how interested you are in their conversation.


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - 4.0 CHARIOTS OF FIRE - 3.3


ICONIC RATING

On a scale of beach objects, how iconic are these scenes? So top end is a bucket and spade, perhaps a surfboard, and low end would be a windbreak.


They're ugly aren't they!


I've never had one so don't know what they do.


They break the wind.


Well yeah I figured that.


For Chariots of Fire I'm going with a kite. They're pretty iconic at the beach but when you actually use one they're pretty boring. Chariots of Fire is very iconic but as a film it is a bit dull.


Whereas mine is slightly less iconic but it's brilliant. So I'm going with a jet-ski. You don't go to the beach to watch one but you can't stop watching them when they're in the water.


How do we make a decision between those two?


Well I have never actually seen the Chariots of Fire scene.


Oh! Well in that case it shouldn't go through. If you've not seen it then it's not iconic enough.


WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - jet-ski CHARIOTS OF FIRE - kite

THE FINAL STANDOFF

When Harry met Sally 3-2 Chariots of Fire

This was a close bout but ultimately we decided that When Harry met Sally is the better scene. This is the first instance where perhaps our affection for the scene played a factor, but Gareth has never seen the Chariots of Fire scene, and to put it through would defeat the concept of the Scene Standoff.


Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal's chemistry throughout this film is electric but in this scene particularly you find out so much about their characters. For both of them, these were some of, if not their greatest roles and it has in time gone on to define the romantic comedy genre, with more current films being compared to it.

As much as we love it, it got through by the skin of it's teeth. How much longer can it last?


Current Standings: G - 9 E - 14


NEXT BATTLE:

FROZEN VS. DIRTY DANCING

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When Harry met Sally is available to Rent or Buy

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