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Interpersonal communication about When Harry met Sally movie - Essay Example

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The director of the comedy is Rob Reiner and there are two producers, namely; Andrew Scheinman and Nora Ephron, who was also the film’s script writer. There are many characters in the film such as Joe,…
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Interpersonal communication about When Harry met Sally movie
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Journalism, Mass Media & Communication Interpersonal Communication on “When Harry met Sally” Film “When Harry met Sally” is an American film which released 25 years ago. The director of the comedy is Rob Reiner and there are two producers, namely; Andrew Scheinman and Nora Ephron, who was also the film’s script writer. There are many characters in the film such as Joe, Jess, Marie, Helen and Amanda (Reiner, 1989). However, the two key characters in the film are Harry and Sally (Reiner, 1989).
The film was popular among the viewers, notable because of the total gross that it generated. It was only produced on a $16 million budget and earned a total of $92.8 million (Internet Movie Database, 1990). One of the producers and writer, Nora Ephron won an Oscar award. The main characters, Harry and Sally whose real names are Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan were also nominated as the best actor and actress. The film received critical reviews, which were positive (Internet Movie Database, 1990). Some of the most credible critics cited that the film had some of the most entertaining scenes and funny.
Thesis: While the film “when Harry met Sally” focuses on the differences between men and women it emphasizes more on the interpersonal communication as the key to overcoming gender differences.
Interpersonal Communication Theories/Concepts applicable in the Film
Social Penetration theory (SPT)
The theory proposes that relational closeness always progresses from a superficial state to one which is intimate (Kanu, 2008). Harry and Sally’s relationship only grew when they were alone after separating from their lovers. For example, Sally had broken up with her fiancé Joe and had to disclose it to Harry. In another scene, Harry is seen alone (Reiner, 1989). Similar to what the theory proposes, the closeness between two people develops as a result of self-disclosure.
Relational Dialectics Theory (RDT)
The RDT theory posits that relationships between people always reflect the tensions existing when people are communicating which usually arises from conflicts (Kanu, 2008). In addition, the theory proposes that relationships focus on the opposing behavior of people. In the film, it is clear that Harry and Sally began to regret because of spending a night together. The characters depicted a sense of guilt in different scenes (Reiner, 1989). As proposed by the theory, there are opposing tendencies because a relationship cannot exist without parties sacrificing their self-rule. Harry said he felt it was a mistake. While Sally agreed to Harry’s opinions verbally, her non-verbal tone in one of the scenes indicated she did not feel it was a mistake. The film confirms that the concept of just being friends and not lovers is not true.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT)
The theory proposes that when there is an interaction between people, the uncertainty between them reduces (Kanu, 2008). The theory presumes that when the relationship is beginning to grow, there are many doubts. Harry and Sally both thought it was wise not to communicate again after being together for one night (Reiner, 1989). There was uncertainty in the way that they would each view each other after that night. The two characters created a conflict. The uncertainty reduced once Harry became persistent to fix the relationship and declared his love.
Right from the beginning, the film confirms that there are those alternatives hat people in heterosexual romance deny. Therefore, the main aspects in the film show the relationship between two people from friendship to romance which makes room for belief that there is need for “otherness”. The film wants to teach the audience that the happily ever after ending is the proof of the effects of interpersonal communication even when it seems out of reach.
Another commendable film for watching would be the Friends with Benefits film. Similar to this film, it depicts the aspect and effects of interpersonal communication.
Internet Movie Database. When Harry met Sally [Web page]. Retrieved from
Kanu, A. (2008). Reflections in communication: An interdisciplinary approach. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Reiner, R. (Director) (1989). When harry met sally [Web]. Retrieved from Read More
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