Spotlight: Nora Ephron

“You can never have too much butter – that is my belief. If I have a religion, that’s it”
Nora Ephron

Spotlight: Nora Ephron

We already love her. She was born in 1941 and died in 2012. She wrote and directed some of our favorite movies like Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail.

How did she get to Hollywood?

Her parents were screen-writers. She had two sisters who were screen-writers. And another sister who wrote crime fiction. Writing and more writing, you’d think it was a natural path to Tinsel Town. But it wasn’t.

Ms. Ephron dreamed, in high school, of going to New York and being another Dorothy Parker; poet, writer and critic. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1962. Now, check this out, she applied to be a writer at Newsweek but was told that they did not hire women writers. It is almost hard to believe when her hero, Dorothy Parker, was writing for Vanity Fair forty years prior!

She was a writer for ten years at the New York Post (five years) who happily hired women writers and even Esquire, a men’s magazine! I dunno what was up with Newsweek but shame on them! She wrote satire, lampoons, funny and serious pieces. A true writer and reporter.

Her second husband was Carl Bernstein, the guy who was part of the reporting on Watergate. They wrote a version of All The President’s Men that did not get used but someone saw it and got her writing in television and eventually movies.

And she was always writing. Heartburn was based on her own novel and like so many of her great stories were mostly autobiographical. I enjoyed reading that Mark (who was really Carl Bernstein) was capable of having sex with a Venetian blind! Ha, what a burn. Lovely bits of writing.

So, after the success of Silkwood and Heartburn, it was a steady stream of the Nora Ephron that we love. And to think that it all started with a dream of being like Dorothy Parker.

I love her devoted relationship to food! A lot of her great quotes are about eating, even thinking things like, when writing, “have I done enough work to justify a trip to the kitchen?”. Of course she wrote Julie and Julia which is all about food and more and more memories pop up as you think about her career like the “I like pie” song in Michael.

I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.

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