Your Guide to Having a Nora Ephron Autumn
Chunky sweaters. Blazers. Books and coffee from a local café. Strolls through tree-lined parks tinged with red and orange. It’s her time. It’s Nora Ephron Autumn.
Otherwise known as Meg Ryan Fall, the first step to having a Nora Ephron Autumn is knowing the big three: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. The late Ephron—an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, playwright, journalist and author—worked on each romcom, all of which include swoon-worthy cityscapes, killer (and cozy) wardrobes and characters that will make you scream, “JUST KISS!” Oh, and they each star the aforementioned Meg Ryan.
Luckily for our patrons, we have Ephron’s entire “Big Three”—plus more!—in our collection. Head to our catalog to place them on hold. Here’s a quick overview of each:
When Harry Met Sally: What’s not to love? This film stars Billy Crystal opposite Ryan as Harry and Sally, two bickering longtime friends who might just become lasting lovers.
Set in 1980s New York City, When Harry Met Sally crackles with humor and is both cynical and earnest in its depiction of romance. Enigmatic, we know. It’s also the film that brought us the still of Crystal donning a cream, oversized sweater that’s so iconic that the internet still sings its praises decades later.
You’ve Got Mail: Released in 1998, this film is so of its time. You may just find yourself feeling nostalgic for the early days of the internet (even if you didn’t experience them fully yourself). An indie bookseller, Kathleen, meets Joe, the owner of a large book chain store, in an AOL chatroom. The hitch? They only know each other’s screen names. And have no idea they’re enemies; when Joe puts a store near Kathleen’s, her business takes a hit and closure looms. Bookish and delightful, you’ll want to be besties with Kathleen after watching (or rewatching) this.
Sleepless in Seattle: Like You’ve Got Mail, this 1993 film stars Ryan and Tom Hanks. But this romance takes place across the country instead of over email. Grieving widow Sam (Hanks) moves to Seattle with his son, Jonah. Sam reluctantly talks about his feelings on a radio show after Jonah calls in. That’s where Annie (Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, first hears his voice… and decides that they’re destined to meet.
Ephron’s films are filled with outfits perfect for an autumn stroll. Hallmarks include chunky sweaters (bonus points if it’s cable knit), layers, A-line skirts/dresses, simple turtlenecks, blazers and, of course, accessories. Think light academia, vintage ‘80s or ‘90s prep, etc. Raid your parent’s closet, head to the thrift store or re-examine your own wardrobe. There’s no need to buy new!
Even though Nora Ephron’s work mostly spanned the ’80s and ’90s, she would have loved the TikTok trend of romanticizing your life. After all, her leading characters do just that.
If you want to feel like a main character in an Ephron film, here’s what to do. Head to a local coffee shop, order a pastry and coffee then take a crisp stroll at the nearest park. The neighborhood surrounding the Newport Branch is perfect for walking.
Many of her characters are bookish, especially Kathleen, so hanging out at the library or your favorite indie bookseller is a must. Campbell County is home to several great indie booksellers, including Blue Marble Books, Roebling Point Books & Coffee and The Hidden Chapter Bookstore. And all of our branches are happy to serve your bookish needs.
Read a Nora Ephron Book
Our collection also includes several Ephron books, which are filled with the same warmth and witticisms of her films. Not sure where to start? Here are three suggestions:
Heartburn follows Rachel Samstat, a food writer who just discovers seven months into her pregnancy that her husband is having an affair. Learn about Rachel’s favorite recipes in between bites of her trying to win her husband back and loathing him. The novel was adapted into a feature film starring Meryl Streep in 1986.
If you want to read some of Ephron’s first writings, consider Wallflower at the Orgy, which covers her time as a reporter and finding her writing voice.
Ephron died in 2012 at age 71. Read her last interview, originally published in the Believer, via Nora Ephron: the last interview and other conversations. The collection offers insights and reflections from Ephron throughout her career, all the way up to the end.