The Wolf Files: Meg Ryan Faked Here

Tourists Bask in Hollywood Infamy

By Buck Wolf

June 3, 2003 --   — Remember when Meg Ryan demonstrated the art of faking an orgasm in When Harry Met Sally? Would you like to have what she had? In the very same spot? Now you can.

Katz's Delicatessen in New York City will soon bear a plaque to commemorate the scene in the 1989 Rob Reiner comedy when Ryan demonstrated to Billy Crystal just how easy it is to fool a man.

Ryan's moan-and-groan performance was so good, a middle-aged woman at a nearby table delivered one of the movie's best lines, "I'll have what she's having."

You'll soon see such plaques throughout New York. Organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival announced that Katz's Deli was the first of many locations to be commemorated under the new "Set in New York" program.

Katz's didn't wait for the city to act. Several years ago it posted a sign that read, "You are sitting where Harry met Sally." But that's not exactly accurate.

The characters actually had shared a car ride years earlier. But how much detail do you really need when you're eating?

An Appetite for Scandal

It's unclear what other sites will be designated. One would imagine that you'll soon see a plaque at the top of the Empire State Building, where Ryan shared a more traditional film moment with Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle.

Those fairy-tale moments are nice, but there's no denying that movie lovers have an appetite to see where some of the most salacious and even horrific scenes were filmed.

Even in New York, some moments of movie magic are just passed over every day, such as the subway grating on the northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street, where Marilyn Monroe posed suggestively as a gust of wind billowed up her shear white dress in 1955's The Seven Year Itch.

Joe DiMaggio, Monroe's then-husband, was supposedly furious with the shot, and their marriage dissolved soon after.

"It's a reality check." says Chris Epting, author of James Dean Died Here (Santa Monica Press), a travel guide to offbeat cultural landmarks. "When you connect with a movie, it's only natural to be drawn to whatever part of the story actually exists."