When Harry Met Sally Almost Had Another, Sadder Ending

It's what would've happened if director Rob Reiner hadn't met his wife in real life, he says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2024 8:49 AM CST
When Harry Met Sally Almost Had Another, Sadder Ending
Meg Ryan, left, and Billy Crystal attend the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival opening night gala at the TCL Chinese Theatre on April 11, 2019, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

In the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally, the title characters end up marrying more than a decade after their first meeting—a happy ending to an ordeal of a relationship. Now, director Rob Reiner says the movie was inspired by stuff going on in his own life at the time, and that if he hadn't met his now real-life wife, Michele Singer, during filming, the flick's ending would've been a bit more bittersweet. Deadline reports that Reiner, 76, appeared last week on CNN's Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?, where the director noted that "the original ending of the film ... was that Harry and Sally didn't get together."

Reiner explains that after one marriage had ended (to Penny Marshall) and a single life that had stretched for nearly a decade after that, he wasn't optimistic that he'd ever be paired off again. "That gave birth to When Harry Met Sally," he said. "I hadn't met anybody, and so it was going to be the two of them seeing each other after years, talking, and then walking away from each other." Of course, Singer then entered the picture (Reiner's life), and "I changed the ending" of the other picture (the movie), he said, per USA Today. In the film, Harry (played by Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) end up kissing at a New Year's Eve party, and it's revealed that they married three months after that fateful moment. (More When Harry Met Sally stories.)

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