She Made Me Laugh: My Friend Nora Ephron
What an ironic title for this book! Please! Nora Ephron was a humorist. We know that from her screenplays, essays, and books. She may have had a jaundiced eye from being a Hollywood insider, but she also appeared to be a delightful and relatable person. This book disproves that. Ephron is characterized by the author, Richard Cohen, as a hard-line, always right, opinionated bully. This reader kept reading to find her humor, charisma, and intellect, but unfortunately it was lacking in this characterization of her. Cohen claims to have been one of her “best friends,” but I could not discern any warmth in his recounting of their relationship. Perhaps the journalist author is so accustomed to writing critical pieces on Spiro Agnew and Trump that he cannot suspend his journalistic critique even for his friends.
Since Ephron was a noted hostess who established a latter-day Algonquin round table, one would anticipate stories of scintillating dinner table conversation, but all we get is her pronouncements at the table and her rigid refereeing of parlor games. How did such a person draw notable personages, stars, and literati to her circle? This remains a puzzle given the evidence of Cohen’s book. I think Ephron deserves a second look.
|Simon & Schuster
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