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The Best of the Best of Nora Ephron

The HBO doc on the 'When Harry Met Sally' writer reminds us of her hits and wit

By Heidi Raschke

The new Nora Ephron documentary Everything Is Copy, which premiered on HBO Monday night, had us chatting about — and then Googling — the best Nora Ephron moments. What struck us was the variety of "best of" lists that have been created in homage to the beloved director/screenwriter/author/journalist/wit/force of nature after her death in 2012 following a battle with leukemia.

The Huffington Post remembered her bookish moments and recalled her quotes on aging. The Daily Beast recounted the best moments from just Sleepless in Seattle. Popdust called out music moments. And Time did a short but definitive list of movie highlights, topped, of course, by the "I'll have what she's having" scene from When Harry Met Sally.

In the HBO doc, created by her son Jacob Bernstein (from Ephron's marriage to her second husband, famed Washington Post Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein) , the likes of Steven Spielberg, Meg Ryan and Meryl Streep remember Ephron's talent for using comedy to get at the truth of human relationships.

Bernstein recently explained the title of the film during an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America: "My grandmother was a writer. She would say, 'Everything is copy.' The meaning of the phrase was: This aggravating sad thing that happened to you today is going to become a funny story later on. "

That phrase became his mother's mantra and led her to pen Heartburn about her divorce from Bernstein (one of her three husbands), all those hit romantic comedies as well as Silkwood and Julie & Julia. That's some good copy indeed.


Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
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