You’ve Got Nora

There are movies that you watch when you’re sick, or heartsick, or feeling lazy, or feeling insanely happy.

You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie.

Most people scoff at this bold statement of mine.
“That’s just a chick flick
“Out of all the movies in the world that is your favorite?”
“The movie where Tom Hanks meets Meg Ryan on the top of the Empire State building?”

But I saw the movie when I was 10 and the world stood still for me.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” This line kills me EVERY TIME. And I hope that someday, somehow, I will be sent a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. And then I might die of happiness.

You’ve Got Mail is a movie that utterly defined who I am. It defined my posture. It defined my love for books (though, this was pretty defined before). It defined my love for cities. It defined my love for friendships. It defined what men I would always fall in love with.

And the other day I turned on Sleepless in Seattle. In a way, I was feeling lonely… but not really wishing that anyone else was with me. I was feeling tired… but not really ready to fall asleep for the night. It was craving something that just wasn’t there. And it a way, this craving is always there. Every time I turn a corner. Every time I brush my teeth. It’s for romance. And Nora Ephron always delivered romance.

Maybe you don’t know who Nora Ephron was. She was a writer and a director that created three of my most favorite movies. You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. She was a brilliant woman who knew women. She wasn’t afraid to write complicated female characters in the dreaded “romantic comedy” genre. Why do people hate this genre so much? If makes you laugh, it warms your heart and if you’re highly emotional like me, it’ll make you cry. What more could you ASK from a film? In my opinion, Nora Ephron was a genius. And in my wildest fantasies, I can’t imagine having half the career that she had. But with her passing, it reminds me to focus on what I love. And what I love is writing. And movies. And I feel that I’ve strayed too far away from that.


When she was asked by Rolling Stone if she was still a romantic after being divorced multiple times, she said, “If I weren’t a romantic, why would I keep doing it? There’s no one who’s more romantic than a cynic.”


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