The Ephrons made that into an incident in a James Stewart film they wrote called “The Jackpot.” “My parents just took it and recycled it, just like that,” Nora says in the film.
All four Ephron daughters became writers, but Nora, named for the door-slamming heroine of Ibsen’s , most of all mined her own life and those around her for material.
She is best remembered as the writer and/or director of four of the most successful romantic comedies of all time: “When Harry Met Sally...” (1989), “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), “You’ve Got Mail” (1998), and “Julie and Julia" (2009).
Phoebe and Henry were not the kind of parents who came to their children’s school events or comforted them reassuringly.
Phoebe would respond to her daughters’ stories of heartbreak or disappointment by telling them it was all material for them to write about.
After college, Nora went to New York to work as a “mail girl” for magazine.
News magazines of that era did not allow women to write bylined articles; the most they could expect was to be researchers for the male journalists.Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much. Nora loved the control of being a director and paid attention to the smallest of details.For “Sleepless in Seattle,” she had a door flown across country so that the characters who had not yet met would be literally opening the same door, sending the audience a subliminal signal about their rightness for each other.The moment in "Everything is Copy" that best illuminates her significance as a filmmaker is when Streep recalls Nichols asking Nora to provide more perspective on the husband’s point of view.But Streep understood that “this is about the person who got hit by the bus.The glossy charm of those films, and, let’s face it, their marginalization as “chick flicks,” makes it easy to overlook just how smart they are.For decades, no other romantic comedies have come close in quality or influence, despite the best efforts of various adorkable Jessicas and Jennifers confronting cutely contrived misunderstandings with Judy Greer as the quirky best friend. They were New York City playwrights lured west to adapt established works like “Carousel” and “Daddy Long Legs” for Hollywood.“In writing it funny, she won,” says Nichols, who then directed the 1986 movie version, starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.Streep called the book Nora’s “central act of resilience.” “She wrote herself out of trouble,” says her agent, Bryan Lourd. Although she had never intended to become a screenwriter like her parents, she found that it provided more flexibility for a single mother than being a journalist.And that’s just the characters based on her life; her wit and insight are reflected in dozens of other characters she created as well.Nora’s writer mother Phoebe taught her that “everything is copy.” Even as she was dying, she ordered Nora to take notes.