She predicted that in death she’d miss waffles, the concept of waffles, a walk in the park, the concept of a walk in the park, fireworks, Paris, taking a bath and pie.
We’ll miss her.
We remember her for her wit and her smile, for creating heroines who walked like ducks on-screen and waddled cute into our hearts, and for proving that a woman’s voice can not only command a box office but also occupy prime cultural real estate.
(You can read about her own love for a particular piece of real estate here.)
I keep remembering what was, to me, the very best moment in Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep and Jane Lynch, as the gangly McWilliam sisters, reunite at a train station in Paris, both flush with the excitement of Child’s new life abroad and the disbelief of actually being together in such a wonderful, foreign place. Ephron holds the camera on their faces for a moment more than necessary and finds magic there. They are too tall, too toothy and awkward, yet you awww over their goosey, girly, middle-aged joy.
Ephron knew love and knew how to show it to us through the camera and her words.
This, from Ephron’s commencement speech at Wellesley in 1996, isn’t one of her funny moments. But it is one of her most inspiring:
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Because you don’t have the alibi my class had — this is one of the great achievements and mixed blessings you inherit: unlike us, you can’t say nobody told you there were other options. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. Twenty-five years from now, you won’t have as easy a time making excuses as my class did. You won’t be able to blame the deans, or the culture, or anyone else: you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Whoa.”
“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women. Thank you. Good luck. The first act of your life is over. Welcome to the best years of your lives”
Tell us, what are your favorite Ephron moments?