It’s hard to think about what romantic comedies were like before Nora Ephron. Sure, they existed. And there was romance and heartache and riding off into the sunset. But something about Nora’s romantic comedies, from “When Harry Met Sally” to “Sleepless in Seattle” to “You’ve Got Mail,” set the tone for modern romance. The messes and the missteps. The humor and heart. Women were as interesting as the men. Dialogue we all wish we spoke. And, heavens, how grand were those grand romantic gestures.
But a career like Nora’s was always about more than the big kiss and fade to black. She was so many things: a journalist, an essayist, a humorist, a feminist. She wrote and directed her own movies when few women got to right and direct their own movies. (Though, sadly, that hasn’t changed much since she started in the early 90s.) She cultivated a style, a voice, a sense of humor that is often emulated, but never quite replicated. In a way, she felt like a funny friend to all of us who would pop into our lives to bring a little sparkle and smart conversation to a party, and then pop back out leaving us all wishing we had more time to spend with her. Because a lot like falling in love, her work always won us over because of its irresistible combination of the little things and big things that makes a beautiful, fully human whole. Thanks for the romance and the laughs, Nora.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron, 1941-2012