Nora Ephron: My Own Jane Austen

ANNIE:  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.

Nora Ephron ruined relationships for me. I mean that in the best, most wonderful way possible. Mostly I do.

Before there were comics in my life, before the zombies and the horror movies, what I loved more than was probably healthy were romantic comedies. When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favorite movies. You’ve Got Mail makes me smile and giggle and cry, and I absolutely love it to pieces, with all its flaws. For better or (mostly) worse, Singles* and Sleepless in Seattle had the most profound affect on the way I look at romance and relationships. And My Blue Heaven still makes me laugh more than most comedies.

Book lovers had Jane Austen. I had Nora Ephron. She was smart and witty and just the right about of whimsy. She made me believe love and happily ever after. I spent most of my twenties believing that some wonderful stranger would take my hand as I was getting out of a car and… magic.  Or that my soulmate was there the whole time, hidden in my best friend. Or that my sworn enemy could really be the love of my life. Or that fate would bring me and a man from across the country. All because it was Meant To Be.

Nora Ephron made me believe in a world that was just a bit sunnier than the dull, monotonous one we live in. And despite my bad days and attempts to be dark and twisty, I still believe in that world. A place where standards are everyone’s soundtrack, where things really do come together in the third act,  where I can believe that my partner in crime is somewhere out there, I just haven’t met him yet.

All that aside, Nora Ephron was simply a fantastic writer. There was an honesty in her work, an easiness to it, that made it not only relatable but resonant. She had an unparalleled mastery of language and an ear for dialog that enabled her to elicit the precise emotion needed for the moment, whether it for a screenplay or a blog. Her romantic comedies transcended genre and were just plain good movies. And she was funny! So, so funny.

We’ve lost a brilliant storyteller with the passing of Ms. Ephron. And I’ll miss her presence terribly.

* Yes, I know Singles is a Cameron Crowe movie and doesn’t really apply here, but it doesn’t mean it had any less on an affect.

3 Responses to “Nora Ephron: My Own Jane Austen”

  1. Jim says:

    I was astonished to see she was in her seventies. She seemed much more “current” in her mindset. My condolences.

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  3. Jon says:

    I always liked her movies and am now reading her essay collections. So good! Also, I think your RSS feed isn’t working?

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