Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thanks, Nora

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


dc said...

Of course I knew her movies and loved them...but somehow her books and articles didn't quite enter my radar.

Since reading the outpouring of tributes and memories about her and her work, I'm intrigued. Just read her article about divorce. Razor sharp and fierce. I plan to read her books and articles soon.

She's obviously left a formidable legacy. Thanks Nora.

egghead said...

Well, she was great, almost perfect because she had this wonderful dry wit. She could turn in all that she observed about life and romance and make it so damned funny. We need her humor I suppose . . . She was a romantic with a sharp edge. A realistic one?

I don't know. I do know I've seen a total of two very grown up savvy men cry on TV about her (Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Matthews). They were in love with her, you could see it in their eyes! So, I'm still counting. I'm sure Charlie Rose is crying too. Last interview I saw her in, I believe she had written a book about her mother and was interviewed by Charlie Rose.

Hey, everybody, look over her work these next few days. She really left us a lot of timeless classics.

Alexandra said...

This death hit home.

I have loved Nora ever since Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson were together and I thought, who IS this woman and where can I read everything she has ever written.

This woman: who spoke the truth about everything.

Telling you, this one hurt.

Norma Desmond said...

I still haven't found the words to express the strange sense of loss I feel about Nora's passing, particularly as I, quite naturally, did not actually know the woman. I suspect it comes from understanding that, in many ways, this woman shaped my perception of what love can, could, and should be. For that, there will never be enough words to thank her.