Although we’ve never chatted over a cappuccino somewhere in Manhattan or exchanged friendly banter about where you can score the best tiramisu in the West Village since she was a major foodie, I’ve always thought that Nora Ephron and I could be great friends.
You know, if we actually knew each other…
See, in my book she’s right up there with Jane Austen and Judy Blume as a writer who has a particularly profound influence on me—and my own work. Not only does her quick wit, ear for dialogue, cultural observations and clever turns of phrase still make me insanely jealous in that “why didn’t I think of that?” way, but her stories were born crowd-pleasers and smart to boot. Imagine that.
Funny enough, when I think of Nora’s movies, it almost always reminds me of being sick. Whenever I’m red-nosed, achy and blowing my nose every 20 seconds, my M.O. involves wrapping up in my favorite down blanket, plopping on the couch and watching one of my favorite sick-day movies—You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle or Julie & Julia.
Just in case you were wondering, I adore When Harry Met Sally, too, but it’s more of a Christmas or New Year’s Eve movie for me, and (gasp!), I still haven’t seen Heartburn. I have the book but not the movie and am guessing I’m going to need to remedy that. It has darling Meryl in it, after all.
Anyway, as you can imagine, I, along with the rest of the world was saddened to her of Nora’s sudden passing late last month. It’s hard to believe there won’t be any other Nora Ephron films, but I’m thrilled she ended on such a fantastic note as Julie & Julia was one of my favorites, a rare instance where the movie was totally better than the books.
From the sounds of it, she had quite a send-off, a fitting tribute to a terrific lady who wrote little gems like these…
Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You’re the worst kind; you’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don’t see that.
Harry Burns: You don’t see that? Waiter, I’ll begin with a house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. “On the side” is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.
—When Harry Met Sally
Joe Fox: The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” What day of the week is it? “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.”
—You’ve Got Mail
Annie Reed: Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance… nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was…
Becky: A movie! That’s your problem! You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.
—Sleepless in Seattle
—Julie & Julia