News Column

Nora Ephron's Five Best Films

June 27, 2012

Randy Myers

Among Nora Ephron's best films is one that many critics consider one of the most influential romantic comedies of all time. The screenwriter and director, who died Tuesday in Manhattan at 71, penned the witty "When Harry Met Sally," among other heralded projects.

Here are some of Ephron's best works:

"When Harry Met Sally": The Billy Crystal-Meg Ryan comedy, directed by Rob Reiner, was not only flat-out hilarious but effortlessly struck the perfect pitch and tone throughout. And who can forget that classic scene in the deli in which Ryan proves she can simulate an orgasm, and that nearby customer's pithy reaction -- "I'll have what she's having." Unforgettable.

"Sleepless in Seattle": Ephron took a risk with this romantic drama, keeping her two lovebirds apart until the final moments. Not everyone thought the setup worked, but this ode to the classic "An Affair to Remember" was undeniably appealing and played on the inherent likability of its two leads, Ryan (again) and Tom Hanks. The duo reteamed for "You've Got Mail."

"Julie and Julia": Ephron's last film was one of her strongest, especially when Meryl Streep was on-screen as the legendary chef Julia Childs. Streep was so sensational in the Oscar-nominated part you almost forgot about Julie, a self-absorbed whiner rendered as palatable as possible by Amy Adams.

"Heartburn": Based on her troubled marriage to journalist Carl Bernstein, "Heartburn" threw ice water on the concept

of true love. The Streep and Jack Nicholson pairing, along with the film itself, divided critics.

"Silkwood": Ephron co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay to this blistering and provocative drama about a real-life nuclear plant worker who attempted to the blow the whistle about conditions where she works. Streep, Kurt Russell and Cher star.

Source: (c)2012 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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