I was surprised last night when I saw the news that Nora Ephron had died. She simply seemed too alive to die, which I know seems like a stupid thing to say, but maybe someone understands what I mean. I also thought she was too young, but then again, I think I thought she was much younger than her age, 71.
Ephron’s parents were screenwriters, but she initially resisted the family business, working as a journalist until 1983 when “Silkwood,” the screenplay she co-wrote with Alice Arlen was nominated for an Oscar. After that, she was all in.
Ephron’s best known movies are probably “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.” She also directed the latter two, a big deal at a time (yes, as recently as the ’90s) when women rarely got a chance to direct mainstream Hollywood fare, especially comedies. Her most recent writing and directing effort, “Julie & Julia” (2009), was very well-received, both critically and at the box office. She had an off-Broadway play, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” running in New York over the last year, and reportedly was working on another play, “Lucky Guy,” which Tom Hanks was considering appearing in.
Ephron was a witty, funny writer whose screenplays were tight and to the point. I mean that as a huge compliment, as I loathe the bloated, rambling scripts that often get made now. She was a throwback to the ’30s and ’40s in that area. Her essays are also often hilarious. I think “When Harry Met Sally” was brilliant and have been told I would love “Julie & Julia” (arrgh, to see list). I didn’t love many of her other movies, not because I didn’t think they were well done, but simply because they just weren’t subjects that appeal to me. I understand how valuable they were, though.
So Nora Ephron, gone too soon