She was the eldest of four daughters, and grew up in Beverly Hills, California. Her sister Hallie Ephron is a journalist, book reviewer, and novelist who writes crime fiction. Her first marriage, to writer Dan Greenburg , ended in divorce after nine years. Ephron was inspired by this to write the novel Heartburn , [12] which was then made into a Mike Nichols film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. In the book, Ephron wrote of a husband named Mark, who was "capable of having sex with a Venetian blind.

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Writer and film-maker Nora Ephron. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian I have had a lot of flops. Flops stay with you in a way that hits never do. They torture you. You toss and turn. You recast. You recut. You restage. You run through the what-ifs and the if-onlys. You cast about for blame. In my opinion. You may have seen this movie.

You may even have loved it. What should I have said to the director? What should I have done in order to fight for the original draft of the script, the best draft, the one with the voiceover? What could I have done to prevent the director from inserting the fun-house sequence, or from cutting the flashbacks, which were really funny?

Or were they? I spent years wondering about all this. At a certain point, we got around to the flop. He must have brought it up; I never would have. But he assured me that nothing could have been done; the problem, he said, was the casting.

This calmed me down temporarily. Of course. What a relief. For quite a long time I comforted myself with that theory. There was nothing wrong with the cast; the problem was the script. So it was my fault after all. Heartburn flopped when it opened. A year later, Vincent Canby, the eminent movie critic for the New York Times, saw the movie for the first time and wrote an article calling it a small masterpiece.

You love the cast. You adore the crew. And everyone is having the most wonderful time. The first time this happened, I had no idea. The crew loved it. They were on the floor. And then we cut the movie and it tested poorly. That must mean something. And there are so many stories about movies that were fixed after they tested badly. There is anecdotal evidence. They fixed Fatal Attraction. Not that your movie is remotely like Fatal Attraction.

Still, it gives you hope. So you recut. And you reshoot. And it still tests poorly. You hope against hope. You hope the critics will like it. Perhaps that will help. You spend hours on the phone with the marketing people. You worry over the tracking figures. You get bad reviews and no one goes to see it.

You may never work again. No one calls. No one mentions it. But time passes. Life goes on. By the way, there are people who have positive things to say about flops. Failure, they say, is a growth experience; you learn from failure. My biggest flop was a play I wrote. It got what are known as mixed reviews — which is to say, it got some good reviews, but not in the New York Times.

It puttered along for a couple of months, and then it died. It was the best thing I ever wrote, so it was a particularly heartbreaking experience. If I think about it for more than a minute, I start to cry. Some plays flop but go on to have a life in stock and amateur productions, but not this one.

No one performs it anywhere, ever. What else can he say? And I will say: "Could you please do a revival of my play? I just want to say: chicken soup The other day I felt a cold coming on.

So I decided to have chicken soup to ward off the cold. Nevertheless, I got the cold. So is it possible that chicken soup gives you a cold? As my mother used to say, you can never have too much butter. Then you cook the steak in a very hot frying pan. Which brings me to the point of this: the eggwhite omelette.

I have friends who eat egg-white omelettes. In the first place, egg-white omelettes are tasteless. In the second place, the people who eat them think they are doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed. You make one by putting additional yolks in.

A really great omelette has two whole eggs and one extra yolk, and by the way, the same thing goes for scrambled eggs.


Nora Ephron: Flops, I've had a few

I know this because I wrote something about it at the time. I have proof. In my early days of forgetting things, words would slip away, and names. I did what you normally do when this happens: I scrolled through a mental dictionary, trying to figure out what letter the word began with, and how many syllables were involved.


I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections

By Janet Maslin Nov. That resemblance is helpful in some ways and alarming in others. Each of these books is pages long. One of her back-cover portraits was taken by someone named Elena, the other by someone named Ilona; either way, Ms.

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