All Hail Nora Ephron, Mostly

In between gigs, I’ve been working through The Most of Nora Ephron, a posthumous collection of Ephron’s essays, scripts, blog posts, books. Mostly I love it. Even When Harry Met Sally is less cloying on the page, and her early work is so smart and acerbic that it makes me envious of a girl she left behind long before she died. Sure, her class biases are a bummer but in her writing (less in her films) she relishes so much–and with such a crisp specificity–that her pleasure is infectious. It hits me: Imagine what this woman would have accomplished had she lived to the age she’d assumed she would. (In early pieces she blithely refers to her 80s though she died at 71.) Once she’d achieved grand dame status, she’d likely have maintained her generosity of spirit while taking off the good girl gloves that never suited her anyway. Oh, how our spines would have straightened. The lesson is there for the taking: Let none of us assume we’ll achieve a ripe old age. Everything we do may duly suffer.

The Shadow of Your Smile

I appreciate the creative incubation tank proffered by winter, I really do, but now that it’s officially March I find myself eying the floral dresses in my closet with a longing I usually reserve for chocolate-lemon tarts, Helena Rubenstein’s jewels, and certain exes who just aren’t good for me. Yesterday it snowed yet again, and to console myself I bought some tulips buds; their nascence matched my mood. Today they popped: yellow blooms with slender red stripes, such a pretty surprise. I love them ardently, and, as I work at my desk, keep stealing glances of these proud little ambassadors of a spring that’s bound to arrive someday, regardless of the blizzard that threatens to arrive later this week.… Read More

The Natural Assets of ‘Mozart in the Jungle’

Ever since she warbled “You Belong to Me” in 1979′s “The Jerk,” I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Bernadette Peters. With her cupid bow mouth and Mae West-on-helium delivery, the star of screen and stage boosts everything in which she appears, even the cruddy 1989 Clint Eastwood vehicle “Pink Cadillac.” So it speaks volumes that the Tony-awarded singer plays one of the few non-musicians in “Mozart in the Jungle,” the Amazon original series about New York’s classical music scene. Just talking about it converts me into an overbearing mother: Dear, you’d look so nice if you stood up straight and brushed the hair out of your eyes.… Read More