Interpersonal Communication Film Review
“When Harry Met Sally”
1. In the beginning, the relationship between Harry & Sally was not interpersonal as they did not really know each, having just met recently, & they were also not interdependent they did not rely on each other for anything emotionally or mentally. However, years later they become close friends & do form an interpersonal relationship as they are firstly interdependent, as they rely on each other to feel happy by comforting one another, spending time with each other, & call each other all the time when they are bored or needing to discuss their lives. For example, during the movie they were watching Casablanca together, or rather in their own separate apartments, but were conversing & commenting on the movie through telephone line to keep each other company in their so-called “mourning phase”.
2. I believe that the relationship between Harry & Sally is symmetrical as they are both grown adults that were in relationships for a significant amount of time. When they reunite, it’s succeeded by them having just fallen out of their relationships, even later learning that their previous partners have moved on, & they now have to recover from their emotions which is what they help each other do as their relationship deepens & develops. For example, they each comfort each other when Harry learns his wife was seeing someone else & when Sally finds out that her ex-boyfriend is getting married.
3. On Harry’s part, self-disclosure, when he told Sally he wasn’t ready for another relationship, allowed both him & Sally to get to know each other on a more personal level & become friends, which goes against what Harry told her when they originally met, that men & woman could never be friends. For Sally, she self-disclosed when she admitted that she had had good sex at the beginning of the movie & later when she admits to Harry that she’s torn up at the fact that her ex is getting married. The first case made Harry laugh at her & did not contribute to building their relationship. Whereas, the second case caused them to finally become intimate even though it did lead to some arguments. Using the Johari Window, I believe that both parties did not use self-disclosure properly. This is because I believe they had a big hidden area in the window regarding their feelings for each other & their feelings toward their ex-partners. For example, Sally always insisted that she was over Joe yet we find out later that she was torn up over his marriage. Additionally, both Harry & Sally never admit their attraction for each other, but rather choose to keep their friendship.
4. One of Harry’s motivations for initiating his relationship with Sally is simply attractiveness. Harry states many times throughout the film how beautiful Sally is. However, she is not only beautiful but very kind, bright, & easy to talk to.
5. I believe one of Sally’s main motivations for initiating her relationship with Harry is responsiveness, at least once they reunite after their other relationships fall apart. Harry, later in the movie, is very kind to Sally, not the same as his overly sarcastic self in the beginning & allows himself to become close friends with Sally without any intimacy complicating the friendship. Harry always listens to her & tries to comfort her when she feels upset or sad, which makes Harry attractive to her.
6. I believe the main factor that caused the deterioration of Harry & Sally’s relationship is communication skills. To begin with, they were both never really open about their feelings for each other as they felt it would ruin their preexisting friendship. So then, when Sally called Harry over after finding out Joe is getting married & they then have sex, it is an immediate shock to the relationship as Harry abruptly leaves & Sally during the following weeks becomes more & more distant with Harry. The main issue that caused these problems was Sally & Harry’s lack of communication in explaining why he left so early, why them sleeping together meant nothing to him as well as why Sally didn’t choose to ask him these questions & pushed him away for weeks.
7. The two Essential Interpersonal Communication Behaviors in which Harry & Sally engaged to get back together are affectionate communication & influence. In the last scene of the movie, Harry runs to the New Year’s Eve party to tell Sally that he loves her & wants to be with her which is an example of romantically affectionate communication as he is expressing his feelings for her. He uses compliance-resisting influence when Sally dismisses his claims of love by saying he only says that now because is lonely on New Year’s Eve but he convinces her otherwise by telling her all the unique & quirky things about her that have made him fall completely in love with her. This is compliance-resisting as Sally at first does not want to comply with Harry’s request to be with him forever. He then engaged in a further attempt to influence her by telling her everything about her that he loves.
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