Ahh, the Romantic Comedy.
I feel like it’s a really under-appreciated genre. Men tend to hate it on sight, and I don’t really blame them. They’re all pretty formulaic, the dialogue usually leaves a lot to be desired, and they are completely devoid of any sort of reality. Despite those facts, speaking as a woman, I can watch one predictable, crappy chick flick after another from now to eternity and probably enjoy most of them. On the other hand, there aren’t that many that I can watch repeatedly. And those select repeaters are the ones that men should take a closer look at. Especially if it was written by Nora Ephron.
Men: When your girlfriend/wife/platonic-female-friend asks you to watch a Nora Ephron movie, just nod your head yes, and take my word for it that it will be much more enjoyable than your average chick-flick. It will be witty, fast-paced, endearing, and yes, slightly predictable, but the positives will outweigh the negatives if you give it a chance. I promise.
And cherish them, because there are no more in your future, as Nora Ephron lost a battle with leukemia yesterday. It was a sad moment for rom-com lovers around the world. But in the spirit of focusing on the positives over the negatives, she lived a long 71 years, and filled her life with writing projects of all sorts–scripts for the big and small screens, novels, essays, columns in magazines, newspapers and websites–you name a writing genre, she wrote it. She also filled the lives of women everywhere with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks again (I think she really liked Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks), Amy Adams and Meryl Streep–among many other less-obvious duos.
Broken-hearted girls everywhere will cry an extra tear into their pint of Ben & Jerry’s when they watch the Ephron classics. Though let’s face it, we all cry anyway when we watch Sleepless in Seattle. There’s just something about that movie, no matter our relationship status, that makes us wish that we could just meet a nice widower on the radio and have Rosie O’Donnell as our best friend, loyally stalking the station at random times during the night. We also cry during Billy Crystal’s big When Harry Met Sally New Year’s Eve climax speech, wondering why no guy has ever said something that eloquent (and yet extremely blunt) to us, and why NYE always sucks in real life. We become nostalgic for the dial-up noise and the creepy AOL man telling us that someone loves us when we watch You’ve Got Mail. I personally get a little mad at Tom Hanks for basically leading a double life for so long. But when that inevitable credit-inducing kiss comes along, I really don’t care anymore, because Meg Ryan is so happy. And if I didn’t already love Stanley Tucci enough, he and Meryl Streep just kill me with cuteness in Julie & Julia.
I could talk about these movies for awhile, but I won’t. There’s been enough dissection of their awesome qualities in every corner of the internet to keep you busy for three lifetimes. Here’s the bottom line: Nora Ephron was not just a romantic comedy genius, but a movie genius. She brought love and humor and wit into our lives, and I, for one, will be forever grateful.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to segue into her most famous (and everyone’s favorite) line, but I can’t think of a good one. So I’ll just say it in honor of Nora, because it’s so brilliant that it stands on its own:
I’ll have what she’s having.