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I was sick for most of winter break and I spent my time watching a bunch of romantic comedies. Started with The Mindy Project and eventually moved into Nora Ephron’s movies (watched Sleepless in Seattle for the first time) and then into some Julia Robert’s movies (watched Erin Brockovich for the first time). A good time was had by all (me). Then, as I started running out of stuff to watch, I found this book.
The title I’ll Have What She’s Having is a reference to When Harry Met Sally. There’s a scene that Sally does a fake orgasm for Harry in a deli and an older woman (the director’s mother) says to the waiter she’ll have what she’s having. But I think Harry also says that exact line earlier in the movie too after Sally gives a long order when they’re on their original road trip to New York City. Anyway, turns out that that scene was actually Meg Ryan’s idea, which is cool. It’s unexpected and wild and, as Erin Carlson notes in the book, a move that Ephron liked because it unsettled men and women alike.
This book does a complete walk-through of Ephron’s professional life–that her parents were in film, that her ex-husband gave her a hard time about Heartburn, that she had to fire the original kid actor in Sleepless. It was cool to read all the details of her projects, with an emphasis on When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. Carlson does really intense journalistic work to figure out who did what and different opinions on things. Carlson actually started out doing these romcom tours in New York City. Like she was going to different sites that are in moves and had people coming to the city just for that. Now she’s a romcom historian. Nice.
Great book all around. Didn’t want to put it down.