Wednesday, June 27, 2012

i've always loved when harry met sally

Nora Ephron died yesterday  R.I.P. I've always enjoyed When Harry Met Sally, the screenplay she wrote for Rob Reiner's hit movie. There are many times that Reiner steers the movie into Woody Allen-lite territory, and it is Ephron's smart and funny dialogue about how men and women talk and think that keeps it from becoming too silly. Most people's favorite scene is when Sally shows Harry how women fake orgasms  over lunch at Katz's famous deli  (I used to live right round the corner). But I tend to like the scenes where Sally and Harry are walking through the city, or just arguing with each other. They seem very real, less sit-com-y, to me.

I also like that Sally is a woman who likes what she likes — and wants to control everything from salad dressing to the way she like's her pie ...

Ephron also wrote the screenplay for Mixed Nuts (which she also directed), which is a crazy movie, starring Steve Martin and many, many others, but definitely worth a look. And she wrote the fabulous Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep. In the '90s she started directing as well as writing. Her most successful movies would be Sleeples in Seattle and You've Got Mail, both starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I don't like either of them as much as When Harry Met Sally, but they have their moments. Her most recent film was Julie and Julia, where Meryl Streep turned in an amazing performance as Julia Child.

Ephron came from a screenplay-writing dynasty. Her parents, Henry Ephron and Phoebe Ephron, wrote the screenplay for Desk Set, another fabulous battle of the sexes movie, starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. She was a true talent, and a woman who managed to have a voice in Hollywood. She will be missed.
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