No, not Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s chatty, batty twelve-year courtship.
Twenty women from a performance group called Improv Everywhere, a “New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places,” recreated Meg Ryan’s fake-orgasm scene in the Katz’s Deli.
That iconic gag is now remembered as adorable — along with the rest of Ryan’s eighties oeuvre — but the original scene had a jagged edge to it. Sally tries to rid Harry of his delusions of Casanova-hood by convincing him that a few of the women he’s been with must have faked it. Nearly a quarter of a century later, it seems crazy that a thirty-ish man has to be informed by his female confidant that women fake it to make men feel better.
Even the scene’s closing line, “I’ll have what she’s having,” is a slight emasculation of Harry, since the elderly woman automatically assumes it’s one of Katz’s sandwiches, not the man across from the woman in ecstasy, that’s giving her such pleasure.
A lot of recreations divorced from the political intentions of the original event can come across shallow, misguided, or clueless. But shorn of the need to educate, Improv Everywhere’s participants are free to be merely light-hearted and fun, thanks to the sexual progress of the last 24 years.
Watch the When Harry Met Sally recreation: