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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Remix Month: When Ben met Harry & Sally

Welcome to Remix Month, where all this October I will be bringing you 5 posts from my archive that still resonate with me, and hopefully resonate with you too! Today we’re heading back to the 15th of November 2019, to talk about nostalgic references of comfort.

I want to talk to you about the way cultural references help us feel more at home in conversations and social interactions, and the comfort this brings.

At the end of September, I took a little break from work, and my schedule, and added 2 days holiday to my normal 3 away from retail. In those 5 days, I wrote all of October’s content, planned a new series with Restless, and went and got some fresh air with my mum. The Friday of that week, it rained and rained and rained.

So what better thing to do with a Friday afternoon, than sit and watch a film. Cosy and comfortable, I selected When Harry met Sally, which Netflix has been relentlessly offering me for about 3 months. I have never seen this film, I of course know of its impact, and its popularity.

Watching When Harry Met Sally for the very first time, in its 30th year of existence is a funny phenomena. You know how much it means to many, but that it also means nothing to you. All of a sudden there is a large amount of pressure on Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s shoulders.

Wherever I watch a classic film, or read a classic book, I feel a large amount of expectation and trepidation. You see, if you watch/read it and you don’t love it, you really worry about why it doesn’t connect to you. Is there something wrong with you, or is your taste more refined than the masses?

I really hate being the person who doesn’t like something that a lot of other people do. In situations like this, we all know someone who hates popular things, purely because they are popular. I would actually hate to be seen as somebody like that. I am very happy for people to love whatever they love, and having a shared love is actually really nice.

Okay so back to WHMS, and the comfort angle of this piece. What transpires is this film is 95 minutes of utter joy, and I totally get why people love it. It really made me smile, and laugh. It was easy to read, Meg Ryan makes an amazing case for bold trousers, and curly hair. Billy Crystal is perfect by the end, even though he is actually a bit abrasive to begin with.

I now can access the references, and shared joy that so many people have when they take about this film. There is a huge amount of comfort in being part of a group consensus. No one wants to only like whatever everyone else likes, but having some shared loves makes life a little bit easier. We feel a certain ease that when we are with people who like what we like, this is safety, this is comfort.

I couldn’t be happier that I finally watched WHMS, it feels nostalgic, because of the comfort it brings me, and the happy day it starred in. So if you are looking for comfort this week, maybe put on a classic you have never seen, and lose yourself in the joy that brings.

Thank you for joining me today, I will see you next week for a another instalment of Remix Month.

Shot by Rachel Pechey


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