I did not know that Nora Ephron was 71 this year. To me she will always be that fortysomething, fun lady on the VHS "making of" feature of "When Harry Met Sally."
You know, the one where you have to roll actual tape forward if you just want to watch the feature and not the movie.
Nora Ephron goes way back, apparently. "When Harry Met Sally" is from 1989, a long time ago. But it hasn't gotten stale for me. No cell phones, no Internet in that movie. And yet, it's just as fresh as the day it was released.
I went to "Heartburn" starring Meryl Streep in 1987 at the Regency Theatre in San Francisco with my best friend, when both of us were still aspiring writers. It is a sad movie,with a Carly Simon song at the end that breaks your heart. My friend didn't care for it. But I liked the way Ephron wrote dialogue. It was real.
"Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail" were two actual movies I actually saw in theaters when my children were infants. That was a feat, to get me and my kids' mom out for an evening. Thank you, Ms. Ephron. The happiness those movies brought were a balm.
"Julie/Julia" was a joy as well, as I have written in this space. We saw it at the premiere.
Nora Ephron was more than a screenwriter, however, as this link demonstrates. She was a hero for us who see writing as a craft and aspire to entertain and edify others with our own work.
So I pour out a virtual libation for this hero of writers. Long may she exert her influence over us.