Wednesday 27 June 2012

NORA EPHRON (1941-2012)

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.

Novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and director, Norah Ephron, was responsible for a clutch of sharp, stylish, witty, touching, movie rom-coms with an up-dated dash of what pepped-up those screwball comedies of the 'forties.

Apart from her published writings, she gave us the scripts for Silkwood, Heartburn, Sleepless in Seatle, You've Got Mail, Julie & Julia and, of course, When Harry Met Sally... directed by Rob Reiner and starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal...

Any writer would have liked to have had what Nora Ephron had –– pure talent!

A few memorable remembrances of a cool lady...

There is something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can't tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he's liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can't adapt to the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. All of this happens to me when I surface from a great book.

From the essay Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again

1. Journalists sometimes make things up.
2. Journalists sometimes get things wrong.
3. Almost all books that are published as memoirs were initially written as novels, and then the agent/editor said, This might work better as a memoir.
6. Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.

Here are some questions I am constantly noodling over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it's your last, or do you save your money on the chance you'll live twenty more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses? And where do carbohydrates fit into all this?  

I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn't it? By handling the obligations of the search mechanism, you almost prove you can keep up....

You can't retrieve you life (unless you're on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).  

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void. 

(Oh, and by the way, the lady sitting at the nearby table who wanted what Meg Ryan was having was played by director Rob Reiner's mother, Estelle Reiner.)

1 comment:

Beth Stilborn said...

A bright candle has gone out. She was truly a light for many of us.

You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies, and the voice-over commentary that Nora Ephron did is marvelous.

Thank you for this wonderful tribute.