Rob Reiner changed the ending of When Harry Met Sally after meeting his wife

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Classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally originally had a more heartbreaking ending where Harry and Sally didn’t get together. Here’s why that was changed. 

It’s hard to imagine a rom-com that is more perfect, more iconic than When Harry Met Sally. Rob Reiner’s 1989 classic has long been considered one of the best of the genre and is often looked at as a blueprint for how to make a romantic comedy work. 

Well, it turns out that the ending of When Harry Met Sally was originally very different. The current ending sees Harry confess his love for Sally at a New Year’s Eve party and the two get married and live happily ever after. 

However, director Rob Reiner recently said in an interview with Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace on CNN (via Deadline) that the ending we all know and love was only conceived after Reiner met his wife Michele Singer while filming When Harry Met Sally. 

“The original ending of the film that we had was that Harry and Sally didn’t get together,” Reiner said. 

Reiner was married to film director Penny Marshall (A League Of Their Own) from 1971 to 1981. 

“I’d been married for ten years,” Reiner said. “I’d been single for ten years, and I couldn’t figure out how I was ever going to be with anybody. That gave birth to When Harry Met Sally. I hadn’t met anybody, so it was going to be the two of them seeing each other after years, talking, and then walking away from each other.”

When Harry Met Sally was written by Nora Ephron and directed by Reiner. Ephron’s writing was also nominated for an Oscar and the film was a box office hit, grossing over $90 million on a $16 million budget. 

Reiner has rarely spoken of the film’s original ending (it pops up in an interview with The AV Club from 2016 here), but Reiner and Singer have now been married for 35 years, which only makes When Harry Met Sally even more romantic and swoon-worthy.

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