It is commonly known that the film industry is horrible in its treatment of women, and it is sometimes said in such circles that women aren’t very funny. How then to explain the hugely successful career of the writer most famous for “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally ... ,” Nora Ephron, who died Tuesday night?
Ephron was, as The New York Times said in its obituary in summarizing her roles, “a journalist, a blogger, an essayist, a novelist, a playwright, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and a movie director. ...”
Even people who don’t like Nora Ephron movies have to concede that she broadened things for women, both the female professionals following in her wake and the female audience members soaking in her stories. She was no bleeding-edge feminist, but in a culture that produces one vapid Prince Charming chick flick after another, Ephron generally focused on characters—Julia Child among them—who had their own force of personality, their own reasons for being.
Truthdig contributor Carrie Rickey remembers on her own blog eight of her favorite Ephron lines. Here are three:
“When your children are teenagers it’s important to have a dog so someone in the house is happy to see you when you get home.” — from the book “I Feel Bad About My Neck”
“Harry, you have to find a way of not expressing every feeling you have, every moment you have them.” — spoken by Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally … ”
“She makes coffee nervous” — spoken by Tom Hanks (of Parker Posey) in “You’ve Got Mail”