Ari and Josh first meet and develop an intense dislike of one another when Josh arrives at the apartment where Ari is staying, to cook a meal for his girlfriend, who happens to be Ari’s roommate and occasional hook-up. Ari likes to keep things very casual, never spends the night with her hook-ups and is trying to make it as a stand-up comedian. Josh is quite neurotic, a trained chef, who wants to become world famous. Unlike Ari, he’s a romantic and he really wants to impress his girlfriend by cooking something really complicated for her.
The two keep meeting over the years and don’t exactly become more friendly with one another (one time, Josh overreacts and fires Ari’s best friend after blaming her for messing up a dish for a food critic), until the time when they are both depressed and getting over failures both personally and professionally. They form an unlikely friendship and soon they are texting each other daily, often watching movies together while talking on the phone and trying to encourage the other to get back into dating. Things are going great until one New Year’s Eve when they end up kissing and it becomes clear that their feeling for one another is clearly more than platonic. Unfortunately, Ari, previously commitment-phobic, now recovering from a disastrous marriage, can’t really handle the emotional upheaval she feels for Josh and avoids dealing with it by taking a job away from New York. Is the connection between her and Josh strong enough that it will survive her emotional cowardice?
Confession time. While I like When Harry Met Sally, I don’t love it. It’s probably not even in my top 10 romantic comedies, mainly because I find both Harry and Sally too annoying to really care about either of them much (and certainly not whether or not they become a couple). I appreciate the movie as the genre classic it has become, and I adore Carrie Fisher in it. I think there are a lot of very funny and well-observed scenes in it, but I don’t rate it all that highly as a romance. Because the couple are just friends for most of it. This is the same reason why, although I really wanted to love this book, I merely like it. Parts of it were great, but Ari and Josh spent far too much of the book, especially the second half when I wanted them to just be a couple, apart and wallowing.
Full review here