Nora Ephron, whose sharp dialogue and sweet storylines dominated the romantic comedy landscape of the 1990s, passed away June 26 at 71. But she was much more than just a rom-com film machine. A former journalist, Ephron wrote essays for New York, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine before she began her foray into film after working on the script for All the President’s Men alongside then-husband Carl Bernstein.
Perhaps it was her beginning in a heyday of New York journalism that shaped her into an astute scribe whose films could charm even the most skeptical of males.
Here’s a retrospective of some of her greatest film moments to commemorate a prolific life and career.
The 1989 classic is perhaps Ephron’s most indelible work. From the electric chemistry between Billy Crystal and Ephron favorite Meg Ryan, to its all-too-true observations of inter-gender friendships, Ephron’s script elevated the movie into a high echelon of romantic comedies. And, then, of course, there’s the deli scene — one of the all-time great moments in movie comedy, with a punchline delivered in a killer cameo by director Rob Reiner’s mother.
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