The Common Good

Top 10 Nora Ephron Moments: A Sojo Staff Tribute

The Sojo staff loves Nora Ephron. We already have up a contributor’s beautiful tribute to her life HERE. But we wanted to share our favorite N.E. moments. We also may or may not be planning a progressive dinner-movie party that will include: an appetizer of caviar and You’ve Got Mail, beef bourguignon (not it!) and Julie and Julia, dessert of pecan pie and When Harry Met Sally, and one really long curl of apple peel and Sleepless in Seattle. 

But for now, Sojo staff’s top 10 Nora Ephron golden nuggets:

1. Nicole Higgins, Executive Assistant
A true, blue When Harry Met Sally lover (and by that I mean I watched the movie with her while she choked back the urge to quote every single line), our Nicole prefers this early clip to the infamous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene.

2. Carrie Adams, Communications Manager
Carrie, brain engineer of the progressive dinner party and apparent romantic, pulled this quote from Ephron’s book I Feel Bad About My Neck

"When we were growing up, we used to love to hear the story of how our parents met and fell in love and eloped one summer when they were both camp counselors. It was so much a part of our lives, a song sung again and again, and no matter what happened, no matter how awful things became between the two of them, we always knew that our parents had once been madly in love."

3. Beau Underwood, Campaigns Manager
Beau shares an office with Carrie, who is perpetually hangry … and also, 10 feet tall. He submits this bit of “too close to home” from Julie & Julia. 

4. Duane Shank, Senior Policy Adviser
Duane says: "I’m not much of a moviegoer, but I do remember Silkwood. It was released in the early 1980s [and starred the Meryl Streep], just as the anti-nuclear movement was taking off. The story of a plutonium plant worker and union organizer who died/was killed in suspicious circumstances was powerfully depicted."

5. Jack Palmer, Communications Assistant
Jack and I both love this quote from WHMS. Jack, because of his dark side, and me, because I actually do this — and don’t quite remember whether it’s an unconscious ode after watching this as a child or whether Billy Crystal and I are just sympatico.

6. Joshua Witchger, Online Assistant
Joshua was kind of a Nora Ephron novice. But he did dig out this clip of N.E. on The Colbert Report from way back in 2006, promoting her book I Feel Bad About My Neck. As a bonus, Joshua learned some invaluable tips on skin exfoliating. 


7. Joshua (the novice) needed two submissions.
This one from Nora’s interview in Believer Magazine.

Here’s the given: It’s really hard for women. People are going to attack you in a way that feels more virulent than it does with men. And you have to know what you’re in it for, which is that you want to do your work, and you want to do as good a job as you can, and you want to do it again and again… To me, living well is the best revenge. You just have to keep writing things and doing what you do. For all of the women who direct, we’re always finding ourselves in situations in which people want to take pictures of “women directors.” We’re always feeling like we’re put into a category that is sort of on the side… And what all directors do is exactly the same thing… Yet there’s this moment when you are suddenly pigeonholed and interviewed every March by some very talented reporter who has just gotten the new statistics that only 13 percent of movies were made by women this year, and how is it possible, and blah blah blah… And what you’re meant to do in those interviews is complain about how difficult it is. So I don’t really like to do those interviews, because to me it’s just like, “Write the next movie and try and get it made.”

It’s always a shock to the people who run studios when a movie that is for women is a hit. They have an infinite capacity to be shocked.”

8. Carrie just needed to reinforce her status as queen romantic in the office. 
She wrote down her favorite quote from Julie & Julia on a Post-It. That post it is now displayed above my desk.

9. Jack again, amazed by N.E.'s forethought. 

In this exchange from Sleepless in Seattle—released in 1993—she already gets the future of the Internet. 

Jessica: I am telling them you're twelve so you can fly unaccompanied and the stewardess won't carry you around and stuff like that. 
Jonah Baldwin: Are you crazy! Who'd believe I'm twelve? 
Jessica: If it's in the computer, they believe anything. 
Jonah Baldwin: Are you sure? 
Jessica: Do you want me to say that you are really really short for your age and they shouldn't say anything because it would hurt your feelings. 
Jonah Baldwin: Yeah, that's a great idea! 

10. Me, Associate Web Editor
By rule, I love any movie in which John Travolta has a dance scene. But Michael holds special significance because this one was filmed in the same historic dancehall where my husband and I spent early date nights listening to live Texas country music and drinking Shiner Bock. Thank you, Nora, for highlighting Gruene Hall’s glory. 

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