Today is a sad day for me as a writer and movie watcher. An amazing woman and talent died today who I highly respected both for her writing abilities as well as her thoughts and ideas on life and the world. Nora Ephron died at 71. For those of you who are not aware she wrote the screen plays for 3 of the most well-known romantic comedies of the last 30 years, those being When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle (one of my favorite movies) and You’ve got Mail.
She is one of the reasons I became a writer and ventured into the romance genre as writer and Novelist; a chancy thing for a male it seems. It is my hope that someday my books and characters will inspire people the way her writings and screenplays did for me. Her movies are deeply planted in the minds of moviegoers since the 80’s. Who does not remember the famous orgasm in the café scene with Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally… “I want what she’s having” (one of the best movie lines ever) .
Or the relationship between the single father Sam (played by Tom Hanks) and his son Jonah and the infamous talk show phone call made by Sam’s’ son. Sleepless in Seattle is tied at #1 for my personal favorite movie of all time. “You called a radio talk show…on Christmas Eve”!!!!! The movie possible put Seattle on the map in the minds of many Americans in a different way than Nirvana and the grunge scene did. The movie also remade Tom Hanks career and turned him into a blockbuster star.
One of my favorite scenes (among many others) in You’ve Got Mail back in the days of dial up when AOL was still big was when Tom Hanks goes and visits Meg Ryan while she’s sick after his mighty Fox Books shuts down her shop called the “The Shop Around the Corner”. The movie also made me WANT to go to New York city.
Meg Ryan was in all three of these movies and co-starred Academy Award winner Tom hanks in 2 of them. Academy award winner Billy Crystal was in When Harry Met Sally opposite Meg Ryan. What I liked about these movies was how even though Meg Ryan was in 3 of them and Tom Hanks was in 2 was how their individual characters seemed so different and unique in each film.
The movies were to me all about human interaction, relationships romantic or personal. Also about change, changing of the heart, mind and life…being brave I think….and that is one of the things that drew me to the characters as well as a deep respect for Ephron’s writing talents. I liked how she made her female characters strong, quirky and adventurous as well as fragile in certain ways. Her male lead characters were occasionally jerks. But strong, deep and flawed and not afraid to be sensitive and warm. All her characters were warm, witty and smart. They seemed like real people to me and thats one of the things I respected most about Nora Ephron’s writing, she made people real. Nora made love funny and interesting in a way that only I can hope I will. Her work was truly iconic.
Her movies are some of my favorite films of all time and even though I am guy a have no issue saying that and am not embarrassed about it all. The soundtracks to her films remain and will most likely be among my favorites, especially Sleepless in Seattle’s which I listen to while I write my novels and short stories. And maybe if we are lucky we will be able to enjoy another Nora Ephron film soon if there are any not yet produced screenplays in her desk drawer.
Here are quotes by Nora Ephron as well as clips from these 3 movies and links to other writings that she did in her great career I thought I would share for those who appreciate her work. I cannot wait until the next Academy Awards to see the montage this deserving women gets and will be furious if she don’t. I know that this little blog does not and will not do the breadth of her work justice but I wanted to say something…anything about this women who deeply affected my professional and personal life and I’m sure many others.
“you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.” ― Nora Ephron
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
“Reading is everything.” –Nora Ephron
“I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are” – Nora Ephron.
“I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.” ― Nora Ephron
“My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.” NoraEphron
When Harry Met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle
You’ve got Mail
Thank you Nora Ephron for being an inspiration, being iconic and mostly for just being you. You will be missed.