In the 1930s, '40s and '50s, romantic comedies crackled with sparkling characters and whip-smart dialogue. Think Claudette Colbert and Clark Cable in It Happened One Night, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, and Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
Then, in the '60s we had the likes of Billy Wilder's The Apartment, in the '70s, Woody Allen's Annie Hall - and in the '80s, Nora Ephron's When Harry Met Sally...
Yes, a decade before romcoms lost their 'com' and became 'chick flicks' instead, the genre had found a new master in writer (and later director) Ephron, who has sadly passed away at the age of 71.
More on the passing of Nora Ephron:
Ephron's credits include Heartburn, You've Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle and Julie & Julia - but for many, her masterpiece was the screenplay for When Harry Met Sally..., which she co-wrote with the film's director Rob Reiner and producer Andy Scheinman. The character of Harry was initially based on Reiner ("He is extremely funny, but he is also extremely depressed," said Ephron) while the character of Sally was based on, you guessed it, Ephron herself.
"When you work on a movie, you don't sit around thinking 'We're making a movie about the difference between men and women.' Or whatever," Ephron wrote in the introduction to the published screenplay of When Harry Met Sally... "You just do it. You say, this scene works for me, but this one doesn't. You say, this is good, but this could be funnier."
The following 10 classic clips from the movie are all testament to that. Enjoy. And thank you, Nora, for all the wonderful, quotable, truthful laughs.
You made a woman MEOW?
That stupid wagon-wheel coffee table
Men and women can't friends
That, my friend, is a dark side
The most serious conversation to ever take place during a Mexican wave
Baby fish mouth
An amendment to the earlier rule
Surrey With A Fringe On Top
The best restaurant scene ever
The grand finale