RIP Nora Ephron

Very sad to hear that Nora Ephron has died. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is one of my favourite films. Her script, along with the excellence of the two leads, make it one of a very limited number of pitch-perfect romantic comedies. In a genre that’s dominated by knuckle-chewingly bad, syrupy nonsense, with typically one dimensional characters racing towards a limited variety of predictably bathetic conclusions, it stands out like a beacon, with a snappy, brilliantly crafted screenplay and fully rounded characters you can’t help but like, for all their flaws.

I can think of no better tribute than to quote from one of my favourite scenes:

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: How do you know?
Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally Albright: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally Albright: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry Burns: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally Albright: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
Harry Burns: I guess not.
Sally Albright: That’s too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098635/quotes

Good article on what makes the film so good here: http://ollyrichards.net/2012/04/01/when-harry-met-sally-masterpiece-review-empire-april-12/

Here’s Nora Ephron’s list of things she will and won’t miss. Funny and moving.

http://www.listsofnote.com/2012/06/what-i-wont-and-will-miss.html

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