I had the same reaction to What About Bob. As a kid, I thought Bill Murray was funny and Richard Dreyfus was a jerk. Watching it now, I have the opposite feeling, and I feel bad for Richard Dreyfus.
Love that movie so much. I really liked this aspect of it -- both Harry _and_ Sally were insufferable in their own ways during their first meeting. As they grew more mature, they became more palatable.
*F.R.I.E.N.D.S* was also, IIRC, an adaptation of Cameron Crowe's grunge rom-com *Singles*.
I've had the same thing happen to me with ... *Star Wars*. I used to relate to the Skywalkers, but I feel Obi-Wan far more now. I understand the wistful, gentleman sadness to him, the guy who let the whole shebang fuck up under his nose and lost his "little brother". He fucked up, but he keeps smiling!
There's probably a German word for this exact phenomenon - and before some smart Alec pipes up, growing up doesn't quite capture the spirit.
I watched Coming to America for the first time in years last night and I've gone from thinking Semi was being difficult and rebellious to realising that actually Prince Akeem is an absolute arse and demands far too much of his "friend". Also Akeem and Lisa's romance needed a lot more work!
I'm in my twenties (first saw the movie in my late teens) and always thought Harry was kind of a dick. A funny dick, but a dick nonetheless.
Reality Bites is the same way. You see it as a teenager, her picking the bipolar self absorbed artistic asshole seems romantic. Now it just seems sad and self destructive. That movie is great in a way because it inverts the rich jerk v. poor guy with a heart of gold and gives us the rich nice guy v. poor jerk.
Fight Club is in the same vein as well.
*When Harry Met Sally* is one of my top five favorite films (don't @ me). I saw it when I was 18 and thought he was a jerk. Still think he is. But goddamn I love Billy Krystal's performance and Harry's dialogue. It's just fantastic.
I always liked that about the film, that when he's 20, he's so full of shit and into himself. He stays witty, but he loses a lot of the cocky bullshit.
And the sequel just made no sense, were he embraced being single, stopped shaving and hung around with that family seemed to have very little to do with the first film.
Recently I rewatched Close Encounters of the Third Kind when it was in theaters last summer. I was surprised and shocked how the main character abandoned his family so quickly.
Harry is just an insecure everyday guy who can’t see the forest for the trees let alone deal with his feelings until he figures himself out at the end.
I felt the same way about High Fidelity. I adored Rob Gordon and thought he was cool and misunderstood. Now I watch it and realise he's an asshole, self centred and entitled. Still love the movie but from a different viewpoint and my older wiser perspective
Same how I felt with Eric from That 70's Show. Thought his parents were dicks. Turns out they're dealing with a stoner dumbass for a son. On top of that it's like they actually have an extra 5 kids because of his friends. You'd think Bob and Midge would help out. NOPE they're kids themselves.
Eric's kind of lovable though and he's just a kid. Red and Kitty just want to be good parents because of how Laurie turned out.