Nora Ephron dead this week at the age of 71 after losing a battle with cancer. Certainly, there is nothing I can say that will illuminate anything personal about the type of person Nora Ephron was. I never met her.
On the surface, however, I can say that Nora Ephron was a great writer. She was a smart writer, and damn funny one as well. For me, as a man, a fact that makes me supremely qualified to make this next claim, Nora Ephron was one of the only people who knew how to write really great movies marketed toward woman.
The romantic comedy genre is filled with movies that do nothing more than demean the intelligence of their audience and portray woman as overly emotional, love robots. Nora Ephron’s movies, on the other hand, were filled with complex, brainy and hilarious leading lady characters. Nora Ephron proved many times over that when romantic comedies respect to their characters and their audience, they are truly some of the most memorable movie-going experiences.
At least, that’s what I think.
I’m not supposed to have these feelings. Guys aren’t supposed to like romantic comedies at all. The only time its acceptable for a guy to admit publically he likes a romantic comedy in our culture is if he’s getting laid because of it. “I saw Hitch starring Will Smith last night.” “Wait, you liked Hitch starring Will Smith? What’re you wearing a skirt and in your third trimester, you rom-com watching, flower smelling, penisless man.” “Hold on! I said I watched it, not that I liked it, but I did liked Hitch because I saw it with my girl and then she did things to my crotch region.” And then high-fives are shared.
I like romantic comedies though. I’m coming out. I saw Along Came Polly 10 times on TBS, before I saw The Godfather once. It’s a sad truth, and a great example of how much I really like romantic comedies because Along Came Polly is not a good movie. And The Godfather is the best movie. A person’s The Godfather to Along Came Polly viewing ratio should be two million to zero, not one to ten.
So, in honor of Nora Ephron and my closeted, yet not-so-closeted love of romantic comedies, here are my four favorite romantically funny movies.
5. Along Came Polly – As I mentioned before, I love this movie, and it really has nothing to do with the actual main plot. What I love is Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing a former child-star who is lying about being filmed for an E! True Hollywood story, and Alec Baldwin who steals scenes left and right as Ben Stiller’s boss. Also, this is the movie that taught me the word, “Sharting,” which is a fart that turns into a poop.
4. (500) Days of Summer – I actually hate this movie because it feels so real. It’s a terrible movie to watch if you’re anyone who has ever been in love or been loved or if your anyone who has any sort of emotion. I’ll stop writing about it because I’m sobbing thinking about Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s heartbreak.
2. When Harry Met Sally – It would be hard to honor Nora Ephron without including one of her movies, but this movie would be here regardless. The writing is so fast and so clever and so funny and it is given even more life by sensational performances from Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. When I saw this movie for the first time, I wanted to date Meg Ryan so badly. But then I realized, “Harry, that’s impossible. She’s way too old for you now.” Or is there another reason? Anyway, I settled for Billy Crystal. We’ve been together for five magical years.
1. Annie Hall – The little moments are hilarious and the big moments are devastating. This is the movie that made me want to write things. It’s a movie that gives me hope because watching Woody Allen with a beautiful woman reminds me that I’ve still got a chance.
(Photo: Entertainment Wise)