Today, the film industry, literary world, and most of my inner circle, lost a valued member in the passing of Nora Ephron. She was one of my all time favorite screenwriters and directors. "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail" are in my top 10 favorite movies of all time ("Sleepless" is actually in my top five) and "Julie and Julia" ranks in my top 25 for sure.
Nora wrote female characters in a flattering, smart, not overtly feminist, yet clearly feminist, kind of way. She wrote about women who were smart and funny and capable and were their own heroines. They did not play the victim, they were not helpless or dumb or desperate. They were strong yet quirky, which are two qualities that make the best kind of woman. On the other hand, her leading men were not stereotypical either. They too had many sides and emotions and humor. Nora set the bar on the romantic comedy as a genre, and as a woman who loves to see rom-coms, I can say with certainty, that she stands alone in excellence. Her love stories were full of literature and intentionality and were slow moving; not about one night stands, pick up lines, and meeting at bars.
I once read - through Natalie's blog - about what kind of Meg Ryan and Co. character are you, and it made me think of a more appropriate question for me, which is what one of Meg Ryan's Nora characters are you? I believe every woman is probably one, or at least some of one. My friend Amy and I have discussed this. The theory is as follows...
You are a Sally if... you're quirky, follow a set of rules you don't quite know why you follow, and can surprise people when they least expect it ("I'll have what she's having"). You may also be the type that folds her underwear, among other quirky habits.
You are an Annie if... you are a bit uptight, you have a stalking tendency, and need constant validation from your friends. You are also known for wanting to live in a movie version of your own life ("you don't want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie").
You are a Kathleen if... you are cute and innocent, nostalgic, and like to read. You don't like to be out of your comfort zone, but will make changes when you realize it is better to be unsure than unhappy ("there's the dream of someone else"). You also may also be her if you hate boats and love daises.
Personally, I am an Annie. I have stalker tendencies and I tend to live in my day dreams rather than reality. I can also totally fall in love with someone simply by hearing their voice on the radio and would probably date a nerdy guy just so he would feel better and I would be adored... for a while, just like Annie. Amy, on the other hand, is a Kathleen. She is cheery and smart and upbeat and knows when to step out of her comfort zone.
Trust me, you will now want to watch "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail" to add to my descriptions, test my theory, and decide who you are too.
This whole post is part of why Nora Ephron was a genius and will be missed by me. Her work made a lasting impression in my life and I will always admire her literary and comedic talent.