Whenever I think of transitions, I immediately think of Fall, that most wonderful of all seasons,--the time when the weather starts to cool off, pumpkins start popping up on the lawns of local churches, everyone gets caught up in college football and the stores deck out in Halloween gear (which we know will immediately come down November 1 to make way for Christmas).
But transitions also make me think of something else. Or rather, someone else. I think of Nora Ephron and how her films were such a visual tribute to the whole concept of transition, that flow from one state to another.
We all know that every good story is about change. You take a protagonist, give him/her a goal, toss a lot of conflict his/her way, and watch them struggle to overcome the conflict, which leads to the character's growth and an ultimate payoff. I can't think of anyone who did this better in the realm of women's films than Ms. Ephron.
Visually stunning and full of spot-on dialogue, I have to say I think the 1998 romantic comedy You've Got Mail is my favorite of her films. I could mute my tv and without hearing a word, I'd still get it. Not only do her characters transition, you see the city of New York transition through the seasons. Everything in the film is there to serve a purpose--to layer theme throughout.
Who can forget this Tom Hanks line from You've Got Mail?
"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."
Would I sound ridiculous if I told you that one line inspired me to be a writer? That one line, so perfect in it's simplicity has stayed with me for years. I want to write lines that stay with people for years. Don't you?
When I heard Nora Ephron had passed away, my first thought was a selfish one. Who's going to make the films I love so much now? Who's going to step up to the plate and deliver? I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting.
What are your favorite Nora films? Any great quotes you love? Here a few more of mine:
" I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." When Harry Met Sally
" Tell me what was so special about your wife?"
"Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic." Sleepless in Seattle
And probably my most favorite line of all: (and yes, it's from You've Got Mail)
"It wasn't... personal."
"What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?"
Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was released August, 2012 by Berkley, Penguin USA. For more information, please visit her website at www.mariageraci.com