It might seem a little unusual to eulogize a Hollywood filmmaker on a divorce and family law blog, but when that filmmaker is Nora Ephron, it makes sense.
Ephron, who died last Tuesday at 71, helped change the way our society views marriage, divorce and relationships. Through her essays, books and movies, many of which were probably quite popular here in Clark County, she prompted a new way of thinking that still exists in society today.
Ephron came to national prominence with the publication of her 1983 semi-autobiography, "Heartburn." The book, which chronicled her marriage to and divorce from Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, was a huge bestseller and was praised for its wit and wry observations. It also helped promote a cultural shift to seeing women as more independent and a view of marriage that, largely for the first time, recognized that not every marriage was a good one.
Ephron went on to write and/or direct some of Hollywood's biggest romantic comedies, including "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle." The fact that a divorcee could find charm and humor in romance even after her own marriage ended proved that divorce didn't have to be an experience that left you bitter and angry.
In short, Ephron's depictions of very modern marriages and divorces helped shape our current way of looking at these institutions. It is thanks in large part to her that we are more understanding and more open when we think about divorce, and most of us would agree that is a good thing.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Writer-filmmaker Nora Ephron dies at 71," June 27, 2012