venerdì, luglio 22, 2016

She Made me Laugh - My Friend Nora Ephron - by Richard Cohen

I couldn't be more happy when I received the notification from NetGalley that I could view, read and review She Made me Laugh - My Friend Nora Ephron - by Richard Cohen.
To me a dream.

I read it immediately!

The book published by Simon & Schuster tells the life-story of Nora Ephron my favorite director, and one of my constant inspirations.

I absolutely adore her wonderful and stunning love-stories. When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've got mail, fabulous, technically perfect.

I didn't know nothing of her 'till now. I just knew I love his movies.

I thought that thanks to this books I would have discover her private and public life. I haven't been deluded.

This book is beautiful, felt, written with the love of a sincere friend plenty of memories to share with his readers.

Richard Cohen one of his best friends, will tell you wonderful anecdotes that will permit you to discover the great writer, reporter, journalist, screenwriter and director with great intellectual honesty and thanks also to a friendship with her long more than 40 years.

What a screenwriter, Nora Ephron. I remember the first time I saw the poster of When Harry Met Sally in my city.
What a story When Harry Met Sally. I consider When Harry met Sally  a masterpiece of the genre like also Sleepless in Seattle and You've got Mail.
I watched You've got mail a lot of times in original!
Sharon a correspondent of mine sent me that.  I remember I cried like a kid when I received that VHS.


Her characters intelligent, in general the protagonists are journalists, now I understand the reason. Nora Ephron was also a reporter.
Men in her movies creative and smart ones. Not abstracts, but real, and with a very good sense of humor. Her love-stories cleaned, cerebral, intelligent, but tender as well.

The characters of  Annie, Sally, Kathleen in search for a relationship but at the same time independent and realized women.Perfect lines, times, soundtracks. Her love-stories are spectaculars.

This book by Richard Cohen She Made me Laugh has been a complete and stunning discovery. Most of the movies by Nora Ephron for example autobiographical...But we will see it later.

If you want to discover the story of the most known newspapers and magazines of the USA go for it.  There is the complete story. Or close to it.

The reporter, Richard Cohen a journalist of the "Washington Post" met the first time Ephron thanks to Carl Bernstein.

The name of this reporter pretty known don't you think so? He was one of "the two kids" as were considered Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward  at the Post during the years of the Watergate.Both very young, Bernstein and Woodward thanks to their  their investigative work, brought at the resignation of Richard Nixon and at the convictions of a lot of people close to the president.

Later Carl Bernstein married Nora Ephron.

Nora Ephron was born in a privileged environment and in a Jewish rich family. She was in the environment and surrounded by wonderful mind and friends, intellectuals, writers, reporters. She studied in the best schools of the USA like also all her friends. Her parents  were two playwrights and screenwriters.

Ephron had all the cards to become a very successful woman. Reading this book is like to read the story of an Olympus of wonderful, creative people.
A fairy-tales, because you will meet only very important and intelligent people of the media and movies and you will enter in a different dimension. But of course there was more than this in Nora Ephron.

There was talent and geniality.

That talent that just few people have the luck to possess. That talent able to make the difference, that talent that can't be found anywhere. That talent that is just in that person.

At 15 years Nora Ephron's mom and dad started to drink too much becoming addicted. It was a drama she wouldn't never forgot.


She started to work as a mail girl for Newsweek becoming a clipper pretty soon, and later she worked for the New York Post and many many other very prestigious newsmagazines and magazine (The New Yorker for example) including the Huffington Post in recent years. When Nora Ephron started the profession of journalist girls not taken in consideration for the work of reporters too seriously. Voracious readers she tried to read all the drafts of the books that would have been released soon.

Ephron wasn't interested to become just a housewife. She wanted to realize herself, working. She wrote, till at the end although she has always avoided to speak of her illness. Clearly a big torment to her.

Cohen talks largely of her illness, a leukemia, and the long Calvary, of the beloved writer and screenwriter.

She was scared Ephron of falling sick with a cancer, and this one was one of her biggest fears.

She was a strong lady. Someone who didn't like to hug people. She loved to demonstrate her friendship differently. She was a woman and deciding to be a reporter, a writer, a screenwriter, a  director, man's works she needed to be respected and so she couldn't be too soft, to me, but very strong and firm. Personal view.

When the wife of Martin Short died, she brought to the comedian wagons of food. At the end the actor told her that they were just him and his children and he had food. She replied him that he would have had much more food.

Nora Ephron loved round tables. There are no differences in round tables, no one is "the boss", no one is guiding the conversation. People, true, are more relaxed. Her dinners remembered because Ephron loved to ask to her guests some questions. She loved to stimulate their fantasy. In these special evenings invited actors, directors, reporters. She didn't eat a lot but her dinners sumptuous.

Strong character, famous for firing people during the first week of work during Sleepless in Seattle she also fired the first kid played the role of Joshua, the son of Sam.

Once Cohen said to VF USA that to him Nora Ephron could be a sort of dictator of Argentina the writer, screenwriter, reporter, pretty upset for it. She had a reserved character, in fact.

After the end of her marriage with Bernstein, and pregnant of Max their son, Nora Ephron back to New York City and other places as well. Soon she released Heartburn. She was becoming a great screenwriter.

The best gift donated her by life was Nick, the third husband (the first one Dan Greenburg.)

A wonderful couple, united, they lived for a long long time together, till the end of Nora Ephron.

And now the biggest discovery: the other face of Harry, the man inspired the character of Harry, in When Harry met Sally is Richard Cohen. There is, as said before in fact. a lot of Nora Ephron and her friends in her movies..

He was of inspiration because Nora Ephron and Richard Cohen for what told by the writer haven't never experienced any sexual intercourse.
Cohen adds that his writings, his conversations with Ephron, this asexual friendship were part of the movie and part of the soul of Harry, one of the funniest wonderful character ever portrayed on the big screen thanks to a brilliant Billy Crystal.

Although Nora Ephron had her own character, so a strong one, someone who wanted to run other people's lives, and someone who experienced everything in her life during the 1960s from marijuana to cocaine, passing through an abortion,- she was a feminist, surrounded by feminists - for sure on the big screen the love she wanted to donate to the viewers was a cleaned and intelligent one. A good love where the partner supportive but at the same time independent from the other one.

Her legacy is this one.

In the book many more facts, stories, like the trips in Italy and in other part of the world of  Cohen, his wife, Carl Bernstein and Ephron. Her illness, a big pain for all the people loved her.

You will find a lot of pages dedicated to Nora Ephron's illness. There is to say that the screenwriter experienced many departures during her life and all the times always respected her friends, spending time with them during these difficult times, interrupting movies for being present at the funerals of her friends.

Christmas is not so distant.

I would warmly suggest you this book also as a Christmas gift if you know someone who appreciated Nora Ephron's movies because trust me, it is funny, nice, entertaining and well, it will transport you in another dimension, with famous actors, and big reporters big magazines and newsmagazines. It will transport you in the sophisticated intellectual life of this woman with a great open mind.
It's a genuine book She Made Me Laugh, a good and tender memoir. At the end you can just appreciate the strength of  one of the most beloved icons of the American Cinema looked through the lenses of one of his best friends.

The real Harry! ;-)


Anna Maria Polidori

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