As a leading female in her field of work, Nora Ephron made a huge impact on Hollywood. Creating memorable characters such as Harry and Sally, bringing a climatic kiss to an all-time high in Sleepless in Seattle, and making Bewitched fit with a modern audience, she created moments of heartwarming love, as well as adding her own unique humour that made even the most serious of people laugh.
Using her talent as a screenwriter in the late 1980s, Ephron was one of the few females to be successful in the competitive, male dominated business of Hollywood. Arguably her most famous work would be When Harry Met Sally, with a contemporary,‘out-there’ appeal the film holds towards sex and relationships, Ephron wrote a script that was not only appropriate, but incredibly relatable for audiences with the discussion sex as a casual and enjoyable act rather than something that should be taken seriously. Being written by a woman who had a wicked sense of humour meant films after this point were able to move into a way of telling a love story that didn’t follow the traditional path of a romantic comedy, but set up a new one. It could even be suggested the beloved Judd Apatow productions may never have come about if it weren’t for Ephron breaking the rules of a traditional romantic comedy.
This appeal of her work only carried on through the rest of her career. Using a modern twist to her tales, she included talks of single parents, meeting people through the Internet and even discussing blogging. Her films usually focused on a strong female lead who takes charge of her life and is successful, as well as being charismatic and charming. From what it is known of Ephron, it seems she embodies all these things, and by being such a talented woman she could transfer her successes into moving and very funny films.
She worked with some of Hollywood’s finest stars including Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. Steve Martin tweeted “She was the one you wanted to read, to listen to, to be in the company of. Nora Ephron. Incomparable wit; delightful friend. Sadness reigns.” along with Zooey Deschanel stating she was a “hero for all funny ladies”. Taking Steve Martin who starred in Mixed Nuts and reading his words shows what an incredible impression she made on people, and even taking those who hadn’t worked with her like Deschanel shows how inspirational she is for women. This all seems to proves she was one hell of a woman.
The stories she brought to cinema, the way she created the characters, and the way she worked with her talent brought together films which left audiences happy and fulfilled – a great achievement when you consider the divergent audiences within Hollywood. Ephron films will be greatly missed on the Hollywood scene and by fans all around the word, but her impact will never be forgotten.