The first draft of When Harry Met Sally ended with Harry and Sally never becoming more than friends. The first draft also included the above exchange, after Sally suggests they create a movie about their lives together. It ends with Harry saying, “I love you. You know that.” “I love you too.” “When I say ‘I love you,’ you know what I mean —” “I know what you mean. I know.”
Nora Ephron was important. She was important for women, vocal in that it’s okay to feel this way when people tell you that you should feel that way. She was important as a writer, giving a solid validity to Romantic-Comedies that, in modern cinema, is so rarely accomplished. I am a huge fan of RomComs and it is easily because of two major players in the game: Nora Ephron and Woody Allen. Still, Allen has never been able to write dialogue like Ephron. She found a way to take simple conversations that happened in life and put them on paper to show us what simple conversation can mean. What we learned from Ephron is that those quiet moments — those walking and talking, those sitting and talking, those phoning and talking, those talking and talking moments — can be monumental. Life changing. Life ruining. Important.
I was shocked when MCA died. I was disappointed when Ray Bradbury died. But I felt a genuine sense of loss when I learned about Nora Ephron’s death. A gasp in the parking lot of the mall as I checked Twitter, a longer-than-usual ride home as I took the back roads. The only thing these people have in common is that they produced art that I imbibed throughout my teenage and early 20s, but it’s hard not to compare the three considering their recent deaths.
When Harry Met Sally is, hands down, one of my two favorite movies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it. I fall asleep to it several times a month. It’s comforting and familiar, like an old blanket or a Xanax or perhaps an old blanket and a Xanax at the same time.
I’m going to miss Nora Ephron’s presence on this Earth.