He Said, She Said (1991)

Romance and comedy, in essence, make a successful pair in cinema over the years unlike literature where a romantic tragedy is still largely glamorous. The reason could be due to the fact that the public at large view cinema as entertainment and literature as education. He Said, She Said, is an intriguing romantic comedy, along the lines of When Harry Met Sally, which thrives on the gender-stereotyping clashes. The film cuts down the stereotyping a bit and instead shows a series of events in the love-life of Dan and Lorie in both viewpoints.

Dan and Lorie are newspaper columnists with opposing views, who fight a lot and naturally fall for each other and move in together. Television ropes them in for a show called “He Said, She Said” wherein they have to box each other on different topics. The entire film revolves around a moment in the show where Lorie loses her temper and hits Dan with a coffee cup. First, he narrates what led to that incident. Then, she narrates what led to it and what you see are moments filled with great lines, mild humor, biting stares, subtle pain, and a casually building chemistry that sparks off unbearable sweetness to savor.

Kevin Bacon, playing Dan, charms at right moments though his face is a bit too stern for outright romantic gestures. But it’s Elizabeth Perkins all the way. She completely steals the show, in fact owns the entire movie as Lorie, Lorie Bryer – a confident journalist, a shy TV host, a short-tempered, sleep-talker who has a seamlessly cute smile and an open-mouthed laugh, and who goes into fits of rage during those frantic moments of possessiveness.

To quote a memorable line from the movie when Lorie argues with Dan that she wants to get married,

She said, “I know you’re scared of taking this step. I am scared too. But, that’s the great thing, you see? We could be scared together.”

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