Homage to Nora

I spent last weekend weeping while watching Nora Ephron films starting with Heartburn, her movie based on her fateful marriage to the writer Carl Bernstein. My favorite part of course is when she slams him in the face with a pie – key lime to be precise.

I’m told in real life it was a bottle of wine but as long as he got clobbered, who cares what he got hit with. He made Nora cry, that’s all I care about.

Sleepless in Seattle has to be my favorite. It starts off sad but blooms at the end like most of her films. She was big on romance and happy endings enveloped in great music. I don’t know about you but I need that – the ‘hope’ side of things. To hear Jimmy Durante crooning, ‘Make Someone Happy’ put such a smile on my face.

My tears were for the films she will make no more.

On Sunday Camille and I watched Julie and Julia because she had never seen it. I warned her before hand that it was going to make her very, very hungry since it’s all about French food.

“Oh don’t be silly,” she said, “you know how I never eat.” Which is true but I knew somehow a movie about Julia Child and a woman who revered her by making every recipe in her famous cookbook (Mastering the Art of French Cooking) was going to change all that.

First a little cheese came out, not much but enough to make you run to the corner for a fresh baguette. Oh yes I did, I volunteered and was back in a flash.

While I was gone the wine was poured with a few dates and olives cutely arranged around the cheese plate. All this was inspired by the scene when Julia’s sister Dorothy comes to Paris for a visit. Julia, played to the hilt by Meryl Streep, feeds her spoonfuls of Brie that is so ripe you could smell it through the screen.   

When the Julie character (Amy Adams) made bruschetta in a frying pan with real butter Camille meekly turned to me and said, “You’re Italian, I bet you know how to make that.”

Before you could say, hit pause, I was in her mini kitchen sizzling up that baguette adding tomatoes, basil, garlic and Parmesan.  Yes, I had to make still another trip to the store since all Camille had in her fridge besides those olives and dates was Evian, vodka and film.

It gets heartier after that when I also brought back a free range chicken since I knew when Julia made one, so would we, of course I doubt if hers was free range. Ours was cooked already but it was still pretty amazing especially with those little potatoes baked in basil and parsley I bought to accessorize it. I figured that was it until Julie makes a Bavarian creme pie and as I told my hostess who was gaining weight right before my eyes, “It’s your turn to do a run.”

Figuring she’d come back with something modest, boy was I surprised.

“It was kinda like buying shoes,” Camille said, “when I can’t make up my mind I just take every pair.”

Of course unlike the three she’ll take back to Barneys, desserts are not returnable. There we were on her queen size bed surrounded by an explosion of sweets.  I suggested we each take a spoonful of everything then give the rest to the doormen.       A great idea that had the lifespan of lip gloss.

By the time both our heroines get what they want, Julia her book published, Julie a publisher for a book yet to be penned, Camille and I were in a deep, sated stupor.

Of course I’ve been on a carrot diet all week to make up for the binge but a girl’s gotta live it up once in a while doesn’t she?

Did I mention with all the interruptions the film took 6 hours to watch?

We had fun and I swear I could hear Nora giggling.  


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Cinema, food, friendship, Gratitude, humor, Love, New York City, travel, Women and men, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Homage to Nora

  1. Lisa says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has a hankering for food with films like that. Any time I watch Chocolat, I make sure I have something sweet with me or I’ll be craving chocolate for days.


  2. kerrycooks says:

    Fabulous post Susannah! I just love sleepless in seattle too (swoon for twenty something tom hanks!) and love that song, sigh.


  3. Rob says:

    I’m not supposed to eat cheese. It’s the only thing I miss from my former cholestrol rich diet. Your piece has my juices running and it’s two hours before I can escape work and endulge my cravings. Wicked Susannah!


    • Oh have a little cheese, it won’t kill you. Just don’t mainline it, that’s all. Life’s too short to never have a sliver of Brie. You can switch to carrot sticks immediately after.


      • Rob says:

        I risked some cheddar on my penne. Many thanks for leading me astray: it was worth it! There’s a pound of blue stilton that’s taunting me from the back of the fridge. I think its days are numbered.


      • Put Maeve in charge of the cheese. She can dole it out accordingly. Parmesan, you need a little, it’s good for you. Who said that? I’m not sure. Could have been Smudge.


  4. Alva Chinn says:

    Love this post….food is dancing around in my head. I must eat, now!!!


  5. Jed says:

    Wish someone made a film of the two of you watching, eating Nora.


  6. D. D. Syrdal says:

    What a perfect tribute, to join in on the fun! I don’t wonder it took 6 hours to get through the film with all that shopping in between.


  7. backonmyown says:

    I love this post. What fun you and your friend had. I have to admit I’m a little envious of you New Yorkers in one respect–your ability to step out for a Brie or a bottle of wine or a baguette. Here I would have to get in the car, drive to the store, wend my way through a huge grocery store, and then drive home. I like your way better.
    Oh, and I just bet Nora was guffawing at you two.


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