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A Poignant Documentary About the Queen of Rom Coms

A love note on the occasion of Everything Is Copy, an HBO documentary about iconic writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron once wrote, “I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from.”  

This proved true for the entirety of her storied career, from her reportage and critically acclaimed essays to her screenplays and even her novel, Heartburn—about the demolition of her marriage to Carl Bernstein—because as Mike Nichols, who directed a film adaptation of the book, said, “In writing it funny, she won.”

Ephron observed the tenuous, electric and baffling matter of romance with a gimlet eye, creating crown jewels of romantic comedy with the likes of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. She excavated the unexpectedly warming stuff of life: honestly nice boyfriends with too many allergies, turtlenecks and bunchy wool socks; egg salad; truths about fake orgasms and sex fantasies of faceless men; the wry skepticism of youth softened by age; the charms of Meg Ryan with a cold. We lost much in losing her in 2012, but Ephron left us with a mantra that frames today’s tears in the frozen-food aisle as tomorrow’s masterpiece: “Everything is copy.”