On HBO: A Tribute to Nora Ephron From Her Son

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 3:03 pm

“Everything is Copy,” the documentary about Nora Ephron by her son, premieres tonight at 9:00 on HBO. Ephron was the daughter of Hollywood screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron (“Desk Set”), who named her after Ibsen’s famous heroine of “A Doll’s House” and based their hit Broadway comedy “Take Her, She’s Mine” on the challenges of raising Nora and her sisters. Nora Ephron began as a journalist, and her collected essays about women and media are witty, self-deprecating, and fiercely funny. She often quoted what her brilliant but difficult mother told her as she was dying:”Take notes.” Her parents taught her that everything was material for her writing, and her first novel, Heartburn is the bittersweet, but fiercely funny of her marriage and humiliating break-up with Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, the second of three writers she married. She wrote the screenplay for the film, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

She also co-wrote the screenplay for “Silkwood,” also directed by Nichols and starring Streep, and then went on to write iconic films like When Harry Met Sally…, and she wrote and directed Sleepless in SeattleYou’ve Got Mail, and Julie & Julia.

I’m a big fan of her film with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin, My Blue Heaven, a comedy about a long-time crook in the witness protection program, and I think it is very funny that it came out around the same time as “Goodfellas,” a brilliant drama about a crook in the witness protection program, based on a book by Ephron’s third husband, Nicholas Pileggi. Everything is copy, indeed.

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