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‘When Harry Met Sally…’: The heartwarming origin of the ‘Meg Ryan Fall’ trend

As we enter autumn, TikTok has taken a turn from focusing on the “coastal grandmother” summer aesthetic, to one more fitting of the current season: “Meg Ryan Fall.” This trend is inspired by the namesake’s hit movies of the 80s and 90s. Because of the popularity of the aesthetic, many of Ryan’s movies have faced a resurgence in popularity. Among her most well-known works is the iconic “When Harry Met Sally…,” a 1989 romantic comedy written by Nora Ephron. In this film, Ryan’s character decorates herself in warm colors, tweed jackets, baggy jeans and thick sweaters: all essentials of the TikTok aesthetic. Even greater than Ryan’s outfits in the film are the memorable story and its characters.

 “When Harry Met Sally…” stars Billy Crystal and, of course, Meg Ryan. The film follows the friendship of Harry Burns, a stubborn man who believes in the impossibility of friendship between men and women, and Sally Albright, a determined, confident woman who tends to have a more optimistic point of view. Despite having different approaches to the world, the two characters share in their growing disillusionment with dating in New York City, and find friendship with each other through it. 

Overall, “When Harry Met Sally…” is an extremely funny and even more so heartwarming story. The main reason as to why the movie is so great is the performances of the actors. The chemistry between Crystal and Ryan is succinct and memorable, but each actor also creates a character that exists wonderfully on their own. Additionally, supporting actors Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby are fantastic in the film, making a just as intriguing secondary plot line. These memorable performances can be attributed to not only the talent of the actors, but also the comedic genius found in Nora Ephron’s writing. 

Apart from the memorable acting and script, the general atmosphere of “When Harry Met Sally…” is another reason why the movie is so enjoyable. The film takes place in New York City and follows Harry and Sally through the changing seasons. Through this, viewers get to see a beautiful fall (contributing even more to the TikTok aesthetic) and a cozy Christmas in New York. The film acts as a love letter to not only love itself, but also to the city of New York, as shown through both the main plot, and the short clips of unnamed elderly couples discussing their love stories inserted throughout the film. It is because of New York that all of the characters of the story are able to experience love, as reflected through the romanticized ambience of the city. To add on, the soundtrack created by Harry Connick Jr. adds even more depth to the already romantic and gorgeous atmosphere created by Ephron’s script, the actors’ performances, and the setting.

All in all, “When Harry Met Sally…” is a phenomenal movie that can be enjoyed in any season, but is definitely a must-watch in order to truly appreciate not only the “Meg Ryan Fall” aesthetic, but also the value found in time, in friendship and in love. 

Contact Maggie Clark at mclark34@nd.edu.