Last night on Twitter is when I first started seeing quite a lot of Nora Ephron quotes posted. You spend enough time on social media, you realize that when someone who isn’t talked about much is suddenly talked about excessively, they’ve either gone to jail for doing something really bizarre… or they’ve died.
I kind of wish Nora Ephron had just done something really bizarre.
Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.
The writer of some of my favorite books and movies has passed away and while clearly I never knew her personally, I feel a loss in a way. Her characters, particularly the women, were easy to relate to (Sally, perhaps a little too much so) and were real. She had an uncanny knack for writing dialogue, and it was distinctive. Whether you’re watching “When Harry Met Sally” or “You’ve Got Mail” or “Sleepless in Seattle”… or whatever… you could peg that dialogue as Ephron dialogue. In a world where so many writers are trying to be someone else, to have a voice of your own that was both recognizable and yet accessible enough for so many to relate to is a rare and wonderful gift. Were her films award-winning caliber? Um, probably not. But you can’t deny the fun, light-hearted spirit.
You’re the worst kind: You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.
I find that I’ve always known countless more women than men who have a near rabid love for “When Harry Met Sally” – it’s been one of my favorites for years. I loved the friendship between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, loved the evolution of their relationship from the time they first met in Chicago to his “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out” speech. That the movie is infinitely quotable was because of Ephron’s writing and her gift for creating characters that the viewers couldn’t help but love, even despite their flaws.
Oh but “Baby Fish Mouth” is sweeping the nation? I hear them talking.
I’ve found that in reading Ephron’s books, as well as seeing her movies, bits and pieces from various stories worked their ways into different pieces of work. The “two neuroses knowing they’re a perfect match” quote from Sleepless in Seattle? That was originally written in the novel, Heartburn, which was made into a movie in the late 80s and only real asset really was that Carly Simon “Coming Around Again” song which I still love because it reminds me of my childhood and my dad’s wife playing Carly and singing along and oh, that whole album conjures up memories. There was a syndicated columnist in Heartburn as well who I’m guessing shaped Greg Kinnear’s role in You’ve Got Mail (I could be wrong. I’m too tired to analyze).
Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?
I found myself, this morning, almost wishing that it had been Delia Ephron who had passed away instead and then I felt immediately awful because poor Delia’s only offense is that she never has written as well as her sister (Her latest novel sits on my kitchen counter, I’m about a third of the way through – and while I feel it was written as though she could envision making it into a movie, it feels like she wanted it to be somewhat of a female “Hangover”, but didn’t know how to execute it, so there’s a lion who sits in the middle of the bar who will never measure up to Mike Tyson’s lion in Hangover). The novel “Hanging Up” was decent, but unlike Nora’s stories, didn’t translate well to the screen and instead ended up being some weird mishmash with (of course) Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, and a third person who I can’t even remember and am too lazy to look up on IMDB. Had it been Delia, I’m not sure I’d have been as sad.
I suck as a human.
I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.
So, cheers to you Nora, wherever you may be. Thank you for the words and the entertainment and the memory and the characters that you created. They’ve embedded themselves in pop culture history, and more importantly, my goofy little heart.