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RIP: Nora Ephron

06.26.2012

As a female writer, I can't help but look up to someone like Nora Ephron. She has done so much in her career and in life that I can only hope to reach one day. The way she crafts characters and their relationships are something special. Any romantic comedy easily tries to copy off the formula she was known for.

Sadly at the age of 71, Ephron has passed away.

The first time I saw WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, I felt like someone had written a movie about the kind of relationships I like to see. Boy meets girl, boy finds girl appealing, girl finds boy particularly loathsome, the feeling ends up being mutual even though they care about each other, both parties are too stubborn to see what everyone else does...they truly love each other. Not only that, but she knew that a relationship was a long struggle no matter what the conflict. Ephron was also particularly good at the banter between the two. Look at the chemistry between Meg Ryan and her co-star, Tom Hanks in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and YOU'VE GOT MAIL. Look at the chemistry between Ryan and Billy Crystal in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. It's not just the acting, but the words that they breathe into life.

It wasn't always about love though. It was about the relationships we have throughout our lives. Not only did she write about those connections, she directed the actors though them in films like MICHAEL and JULIE & JULIA. She also wrote screenplays for MY BLUE HEAVEN, SILKWOOD, MIXED NUTS, BEWITCHED, HANGING UP, and many others. Several scenes from SILKWOOD were filmed near my hometown.

Ephron's talent didn't stop there. Early in 1962, she worked as an intern in the White House while John F. Kennedy was president. Ephron also spent many years as a journalist and had work published in Esquire, The New York Times, and several other outlets. She then moved on to films, then playwriting, novel writing, and essays.

The impression that Ephron left in film is one that will echo for many years. She will be missed.

Extra Tidbit: I also recommend that you give JULIE & JULIA another try. It gets better with each viewing.
Source: Deadline

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