Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Nora Ephron has died.

See the New York Times, "Nora Ephron, Essayist, Screenwriter and Director, Dies at 71" (via Memeorandum).

And I can't help being reminded of this movie, as the Times notes:

Her first screenplay, written with her friend Alice Arlen, was for “Silkwood,” a 1983 film based on the life of Karen Silkwood, who died under suspicious circumstances while investigating abuses at a plutonium plant where she had worked....

Ms. Ephron followed “Silkwood” three years later with a screenplay adaptation of her own novel “Heartburn,” which was also directed by Mr. Nichols. But it was her script for “When Harry Met Sally,” which became a hit Rob Reiner movie in 1989 starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, that established Ms. Ephron’s gift for romantic comedy and for delayed but happy endings that reconcile couples who are clearly meant for each other but don’t know it.

“When Harry Met Sally” is probably best remembered for Ms. Ryan’s table-pounding faked-orgasm scene with Mr. Crystal in Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side, prompting a middle-aged woman (played by Mr. Reiner’s mother, Estelle Reiner) sitting nearby to remark to her waiter, indelibly, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

The scene wouldn’t have gotten past the Hollywood censors of the past, but in many other respects Ms. Ephron’s films are old-fashioned movies, only in a brand-new guise. Her 1998 hit, “You’ve Got Mail,” for example, which she both wrote (with her sister Delia) and directed, is partly a remake of the old Ernst Lubitsch film ‘The Shop Around the Corner.”
And the scene also reminds me of my good friend Norman Gersman in New York, who took me to Katz's Deli for dinner on September 10, 2010.

See: "Safe Landing in New York!"

BONUS: From Roger Simon, "Nora Ephron Passes."