Sunday Open Thread: Nora Ephron

 Posted by on July 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Books, Film, Other Culture
Jul 012012

We lost Nora Ephron this week. She meant a lot to me. Friday night, I watched You’ve Got Mail in her memory, one of my favorite rom-coms, a beautifully-constructed, witty, and kind-hearted romance.

Do you have a favorite Nora Ephron movie, book, or play?


  22 Responses to “Sunday Open Thread: Nora Ephron”

  1. Based on the piece by Lena Dunham (“Girls”) in The New Yorker ( I watched “This Is My Life”. A perfectly charming first effort, I thought…

    • I haven’t seen This is My Life yet, but both Dunham’s and Tom Hanks’s obits made me want to.

    • Thank you so much for this link, wilberfan. I thoroughly enjoyed Lena’s tribute to Norah.

  2. When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail are all favorite movies of mine.

  3. Hi Deb,

    Like you minutes after seeing that Nora passed away, I pulled “Sleepless in Seattle” from my collection and started loving it all over again.

    In addition to the marvelous script, it was great to see so many outstanding performers doing good work on screen before they were generally known.

    It frustrated me that on that night I did not have “When Harry Met Sally” or “You’ve Got Mail” in my collection. Fortunately Amazon has then, so they should arrive by 9 July. I do have “Julia and Julie” which I have not seen since I bought it.

    On a Mad Men note, the premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s latest series, “The Newsroom” motivated me to pull for the shelves and re-watch the premiere episodes of his series “SportsNight”, “The West Wing” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”

    The first thing I noticed was that several times on “the West Wing” “The CIA Director” was played by “Grandpa Gene” himself, Ryan Cutrona.

  4. When Harry Met Sally, absolutely. I still drop quotes from that one all the time: “I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon.”

    Oddly, I think of Heartburn very often. I only saw it twice, but there was something about the bigness of the emotions in that movie that really affected me. And come on: Meryl and Jack Nicholson? Who could forget a pairing like that?

    I found Heartburn to be mean-spirited, only occasionally funny, and unforgettable. Go figure.

    • “Ooohh jeez what are we going to do call the cops, its already out there!”

      “You move on from the safe lunch to dinner, you go dancing, you do the white man’s overbite…you have sex, then you think how long do I have to hold her before I can go…is 30 seconds enough?”

      “But I would be proud to partake of your Pecan Pie.. Pecan Pie…”

      GOLD observations of men and women and relationships!!

  5. Sleepless in Seattle is my very favorite movie, and I’ve watched it so many times I couldn’t even begin to guess at a number :). You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally are both in my top 5 list also.

    I’ve got all 3 on DVD and I still watch them all whenever they show up on TV, which is often. I sometimes try to fool myself by saying “Oh I’ll just watch for a few minutes” or “I’ll just watch this part” but my heart smiles as I think that because even I don’t believe me. If I watch for a minute, I’m in for the whole movie, once more :).

    The ultimate hopeFUL romantic’s movies — and that’s what I am and will always be.

  6. Loved, loved ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and must have watched it a dozen times. When Hanks character walks around that corner with the dog and approaches Kate it’s one of most beautiful, life affirming moments in film. When she starts to cry and says “I prayed it would be you!” I just lost it the first time, and I know I’ll really cry when I watch it again because I’ll mourn the passing of Ephron, who truly understood a woman’s heart. Rest in Peace.

  7. Thanks for this post, Deborah. I too was very sad to hear the news.

    You’ve Got Mail is definitely one of my favorites–I guess if I had to pick just one favorite though, I’d choose When Harry Met Sally. Both are great though–love the dialogue!

    Some recent articles on Nora:

    “The Mail Girl Made Good”

    “The Power of Nora’s Voice” (love the “retro” picture of her at her typewriter!)

    “A Very Modern Woman”

    “Nora Ephron: The Sally to My Harry” (by Rob Reiner)

  8. My husband and I will always watch “You’ve Got Mail” because we met online.

  9. I love When Harry Met Sally, although I have misgivings about Harry’s stalkery behavior after Sally tells him to get lost. (It’s the same problem I have with most rom-coms, really, though I like how Say Anything subverts it by having the stalkery stuff not work for Lloyd, and how he only gets Diane back after he stops being a stalkerific jerk.)

    And I think Heartburn was a better book than movie, mostly because Nicholson was miscast, but also because of the movie’s WASP-washing of the material. Example: In the book Mark refers to his ex-wife as “the first Jewish Kimberly”; in the movie, she becomes “one of the first Kimberlys.” Aaaargh!

    • Interesting perspective from you as usual!!! I only saw Heartburn once but from what I remember of it, I agree with you on the miscasting.

  10. I like the line Rob Reiner’s mom delivered after Sally demonstrates for Harry how to “fake it” in the restaurant.

    “I’ll have what she’s having”

  11. I firmly believe that “When Harry Met Sally” is the greatest romantic comedy of the past 50 years, and ranks with the Cary Grant-Katherine Hepburn-Myrna Loy masterpieces of the 40s.

    I loved that movie from the first time I saw it — the summer it came out — and every one of my numerous re-viewings over the years has confirmed that feeling. It never gets dated, it never gets less funny, and the last New Year’s Eve scene never stops making me cry.

    Also, Carrie Fisher was absolutely wonderful in it. “Someone is staring at you in personal growth.” I adore her.

  12. So, since so many of you (like me) are You’ve Got Mail fans, I will ask a slightly off-topic question. The movie The Shop Around the Corner–worth seeing?? It was released in 1940, so I’m wondering how well it holds up over time.

    • It’s Ernst Lubitsch and is considered a classic. It’s a strange mix, it has dark turns in it that will take you aback if you’re expecting purely a rom-com. But any Jimmy Stewart movie is worth seeing; the cast is outstanding.

    • Oh, Shop Around the Corner is just wonderful. A hundred times more tender than “You’ve Got Mail.” You must see it. The interplay between the two main characters is just delicious, and there are many hilarious supporting characters. It’s one of my very favorite movies.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.