Nora Ephron


American Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Journalist, Author and Blogger, 3-time Nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplays for films "Silkwood", "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"

Author Quotes

Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

First of all, whatever you do, work in a field that has something to do with writing or publishing. So you will be exposed to what people are writing about and how they are writing, and as important, so you will be exposed to people in the business who will get to know you and will call on you if they are looking for someone for a job.

American society has a remarkable ability to resist change, or to take whatever change has taken place and attempt to make it go away.

HARRY BURNS: You realize of course that we could never be friends. SALLY ALBRIGHT: Why not? HARRY BURNS: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. SALLY ALBRIGHT: That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved. HARRY BURNS: No you don't. SALLY ALBRIGHT: Yes I do. HARRY BURNS: No you don't. SALLY ALBRIGHT: Yes I do. HARRY BURNS: You only think you do. SALLY ALBRIGHT: You say I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge? HARRY BURNS: No, what I'm saying is they all WANT to have sex with you. SALLY ALBRIGHT: They do not. HARRY BURNS: Do too. SALLY ALBRIGHT: They do not. HARRY BURNS: Do too. SALLY ALBRIGHT: How do you know? HARRY BURNS: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her. SALLY ALBRIGHT: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive? HARRY BURNS: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too. SALLY ALBRIGHT: What if THEY don't want to have sex with YOU? HARRY BURNS: Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story. SALLY ALBRIGHT: Well, I guess we're not going to be friends then. HARRY BURNS: I guess not. SALLY ALBRIGHT: That's too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

As a longtime journalist, this one from Nora Ephron made me smile in recognition of its truth: Working as a journalist is exactly like being the wallflower at the orgy...everyone else is having a marvelous time, laughing merrily, eating, drinking, having sex in the back groom, and I am standing on the side taking notes.

HARRY: (Voice-over) The first time we met we hated each other. SALLY: (Voice-over) You didn?t hate me, I hated you. (beat) And the second time we met, you didn?t even remember me. HARRY (Voice-over) I did too, I remembered you. (a long beat) The third time we met, we became friends. SALLY:(Voice-over) We were friends for a long time. HARRY:(Voice-over) And then we weren?t. SALLY: (Voice-over) And then we fell in love. SALLY Three months later we got married. HARRY It only took three months. SALLY Twelve years and three months.

As far as the men who are running for president are concerned, they aren't even people I would date.

He loved Thelma, Jonathan said, he had never loved anyone but Thelma, he had loved Thelma for nineteen years and would always love her even though Thelma didn't give a rat's ass about him and never had.

As Harry puts it, men and women can never be friends because 'the sex part always gets in the way.

At one point I looked down and couldn't tell which fingers were his and which were mine. And I knew ... I knew we'd be together forever and that everything would be wonderful.

Believe me. If I look good, it's not an accident.

Beware of men who cry. It?s true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.

Destiny is something we've invented because we can't stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.

Don't underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is 'Don't take it personally,' but listen hard to what's going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally.

Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.

Enough about that. The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it's not.

We have lived through the era when happiness was a warm puppy, and the era when happiness was a dry martini, and now we have come to the era when happiness is "knowing what your uterus looks like.

It struck me that the movies had spent more than half a century saying, They lived happily ever after and the following quarter-century warning that they'll be lucky to make it through the weekend. Possibly now we are now entering a third era in which the movies will be sounding a note of cautious optimism: You know it just might work.

With any child entering adolescence, one hunts for signs of health, is desperate for the smallest indication that the child's problems will never be important enough for a television movie.

I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.

From the essay "Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again"

1. Journalists sometimes make things up.
2. Journalists sometimes get things wrong.
3. Almost all books that are published as memoirs were initially written as novels, and then the agent/editor said, This might work better as a memoir.
6. Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.

Whenever you give up an apartment in New York and move to another city, New York turns into the worst version of itself. Someone I know once wisely said that the expression "It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" is completely wrong where New York is concerned; the opposite is true. New York is a very livable city. But when you move away and become a vistor, the city seems to turn against you. It's much more expensive (because you need to eat all your meals out and pay for a place to sleep) and much more unfriendly. Things change in New York; things change all the time. You don't mind this when you live here; when you live here, it's part of the caffeinated romance to this city that never sleeps. But when you move away, your experience change as a betrayal. You walk up Third Avenue planning to buy a brownie at a bakery you've always been loyal to, and the bakery's gone. Your dry cleaner move to Florida; your dentist retires; the lady who made the pies on West Fourth Street vanishes; the maitre d' at P.J. Clarke's quits, and you realize you're going to have to start from scratch tipping your way into the heart of the cold, chic young woman now at the down. You've turned your back from only a moment, and suddenly everything's different. You were an insider, a native, a subway traveler, a purveyor of inside tips into the good stuff, and now you're just another frequent flyer, stuck in a taxi on Grand Central Parkway as you wing in and out of La Guardia. Meanwhile, you rad that Manhattan rents are going up, they're climbing higher, they're reached the stratosphere. It seems that the moment you left town, they put a wall around the place, and you will never manage to vault over it and get back into the city again.

You always think that a bolt of lightning is going to strike and your parents will magically change into the people you wish they were, or back into the people they used to be.

I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn't it? By handling the obligations of the search mechanism, you almost prove you can keep up....

You can't retrieve you life (unless you're on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).

I don't think any day is worth living without thinking about what you're going to eat next at all times.

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American Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Playwright, Journalist, Author and Blogger, 3-time Nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplays for films "Silkwood", "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"