Dear Nora Ephron,
I should have written this sooner. It's hard knowing now that it is too late for this to ever reach you. I have not read your books which is why I did not have you in the mental list of letters to be written but now that you are gone I realize although I did not pick up a novel, I have heard your words over and over in some of my favorite movies. These words and these characters have been my favorites for a long time, just like characters in my books. And I revisit them over and over like my favorite books. I was just too foolish to see this earlier.
I cannot stop watching once Sleepless in Seattle is on. If it's the very beginning, I know to clear my schedule for 2 hours because I'm not leaving. I just love everything about the movie. Unfortunately, it probably has caused more real life relationship problems than any work of fiction in history. More than just the story, fate bringing two people together, it's the conversations I love. I love Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell mouthing the words from An Affair to Remember and crying together. I love Tom Hanks and Victor Garber making fun of sappy girl movies. Most of all, I love Tom Hanks describing the love of his passed wife. "It was like....magic." I love it, I always have and I always will. I wish I knew what happen to Annie and Sam (and Jonah and Jessica) and hope they live all together in Seattle on the water and forever happy magically in love.
When Harry Met Sally should come with a waiver, this may happen to you, but probably will not. As Chuck Klosterman wrote, once a woman gets the idea in her head that a her friend who is boy may fall passionately in love with her and then become her boyfriend she will always believe it will happen. There is not a women alive who has not gone through it. Had a guy who was a friend who spent all her time with just waiting for the moment when it finally clicks in his head that yes, he does love her and runs to be with her exclaiming, "I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want to the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." I'm sure, in real life, it had happen and will keep happening in the future, but not for me (although I'm very happy with how my love story is turning out). The best scene is when Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal finally do have sex and you see her, ecstatic and happy and then pan over to him panicked and losing his mind. It's not perfect, it's not even good and it's so real which so many movies just don't do. I still love it because I love the dialogue, I love them talking together and I love how it feels like you and me and every conversation you swear you had but didn't.
It doesn't stop there, I'm actually rewatching You've Got Mail right now. I love Meg Ryan in this movie and for a long time I really though I just loved Meg Ryan. With no disrespect, I've seen her in other movies and not as impressed. It's the words, Nora Ephron's words, that give her the heart that I love and the words that make her feel like someone I know or could have known.
Most recently, I have loved Julie and Julia. Now for all honestly, I preferred the Julia part more than Julie but I do confess, I want to do what Julie did. I want to try something for a year and blog about it and have followers that care about it. I want to be transformed by something like she was by food. I have always loved Julia Child. I had no idea what an amazing and interesting person she was. I hope to have half the tenacity, spunk and joy she had, even if it wasn't really real. I need to go buy this movie right now.
Nora's characters are more real than most. Her woman are not lost or wander. They have careers, they live strong lives in the city. They usually already have a relationship so they are not usual PJ wearing, ice cream eating, crying over Mr. Darcy sad, sad women (no disrespect). I wish I could live in the places these characters live and have the experiences these characters have. Cooking, reading, writing, traveling and laughing through life. The saddest part of all this is there will be no more characters being silly, not perfect and have the ultimate conversations. I hope she had those conversations and I hope I have conversations worth having. You will be missed but you will live in over and over again. I hope more and more girls grow up on these movies and love them like I do. To me, they will always be...magic.