Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Goodbye Nora Ephron




Nora Ephron could write.  She created some of the most amazing women ever to grace the screen.  They were always fully formed.  They were flawed and funny. 

In her first feature she gave Karen Silkwood an epilogue for a life that ended too soon.




She even wrote dialogue that made Cher look impressive.    Both Meryl Streep and Cher were nominated for acting Oscars and Nora was nominated for the screenplay.  





Her fictional account of her own marriage in "Heartburn" gave Meryl Streep another great role.   It was raw and real and showed all the warts.  Neither of them were perfect.  Her fictional counterpart Rachel is just as messed up as her husband.

Mark Forman: When we're married, I want this once a week.
Rachel Samstat: I'm never getting married again. I don't believe in marriage.
Mark Forman: Neither do I.

She was the inspiration and voice behind Sally Albright of "When Harry Met Sally".   It started as a story of Rob Reiner's foray back into singledom and became a great love story.   I love that it is the character's flaws that keep them apart, not some convoluted plot device.  Because of her, I know I am the worst kind of woman.  I'm high maintenence but think I'm low maintainence





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.


Until I looked at her IMDB profile, I didn't know she'd written "My Blue Heaven".




Steve Martin disapeared in the role of Vincent Antonelli, AKA Tod.  The dialogue was snappy and fun.  We quote this movie a lot in my house.

[Vincent Antonelli is questioned about the stolen goods in the trunk of the car he stole]
Hannah Stubbs: The books...
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You have something against books?
Hannah Stubbs: I have nothing about books! I am curious about the books in your trunk.
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You see, I was thinking of writing my story, so I bought this one on how to do it.
Hannah Stubbs: Why do you need 25 copies of it?
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: In case I want to read it more than once...


When she turned to directing she made her mark. 

I mean she created a whole movie where the lovers don't meet until the last scene.  In "Sleepless in Seattle" she managed to convince us that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were meant to be.  She also created other people, family and friends that made them even more real.




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.


She made John Travolta an angel.





She made Steve Martin crazy.





She reunited Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  They fell in love over email and went to war face to face.  And we still bought their romance.





She made Nicole Kidman bewitchingly goofy.







I find it fitting that her final movie featured Meryl Streep.  She brought Julia Child to delightful life.






There was so much more to this incredible woman.  She wrote books and spoke in a voice women hadn't heard before.  She was funny and real.  She wasn't afraid to point the funny and real at herself . She will be missed.



4 comments:

  1. I don't know if you've already seen this Jo, but this is what Meg Ryan had to say about Norah yesterday.

    “Nora was an era. We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created a simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.”
    — Meg Ryan

    RIP Norah.

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  2. Thanks Paul. She touched a lot of lives. What a beautiful tribute.

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