An afternoon with Nora Ephron

Screen shot 2019-10-12 at 18.30.24.pngHave you read Nora Ephron?  You’ve probably seen her films: “Sleepless in Seattle”, “When Harry met Sally”, “You’ve got Mail” perhaps even her older film “Heartburn”.  However, she wrote witty short journalistic pieces on life as she experienced it, about her friends, full of her love of food, sociable dinners, her kids and her thoughts on love, through 3 marriages.

If you haven’t already read her works, dive into the nearest bookstore (after watching “You’ve got Mail” you recognise the importance of the independent bookstore) – and pick up one of her books.  Open at random and start reading, and you find this confident, confidential voice, one-to-one.  If you have free time, buy one, take it to a cafe and enjoy your new friend’s company.

For example, she writes in “I’m sorry about my neck” on how she goes with a friend, long-distance to buy a much coveted and longed for designer handbag, they go to a cafe to celebrate and suddenly, looking up, realise that it has begun to rain heavily outside, and her friend has to go out into that deluge with the expensive and long-awaited handbag….

Every now and then, I need a little bit of her witty company.  Last week, it was the urge to again watch “You’ve got Mail” and enjoy the sparkling repartee between the characters, both written and spoken.

This afternoon, I felt the urge to watch a documentary about her – it’s called “Everything is Copy” and was made by her son, Jacob Bernstein.  Appropriately for a family of scriptwriters where everything is public and up for discussion, Jacob interviews friends and professional colleagues of his mother – and father – as well as family.  Especially important are his aunt Delia, who worked with Nora on many of her films, but was always conscious of being the younger sister.

The documentary has little, rewarding interviews with Nora herself, being interviewed on TV and firmly switched onto “entertaining” mode.  Excerpts of what she wrote are read out by actresses who worked with her, and there are copious interviews with people who knew her well, carefully edited into little, prime revelations by her journalist son.

Further Reading

I’ve previously written about Nora in these articles:

Nora and New York 

A witty quote about food

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