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Nora Ephron Is Everywhere: The Writer/Director Has Been Cooking Up A Media Storm For ‘Julie and Julia’


Chances are, if you read any major newspaper or magazine these days, it has been impossible to avoid coverage devoted to screenwriter Nora Ephron and her new labor of love, Julie & Julia, which opens this Friday. The movie is part Julia Child biopic and part zany comedy about a blogger who’s inspired by Child.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Julie Powell, the Manhattan secretary whose blog is the basis for half the movie, talked about how the project had changed after Ephron came on board:

The guy who initially bought the rights was going to make this little tiny independent film, and I always thought that was really cool. And then Nora came on, and everything became different and bigger, and it just poofed into existence, this wonderful meringue of a thing.

Ephron certainly did amp up the picture and, with its impending release, the beloved 68-year-old screenwriter of such “classics” as Bewitched has inspired many of the major media outlets to outdo each other with pieces puffier than a pastry recipe in a Childs’ cook book.

She’s answered questions about food in Newsweek (Sample question: Do you watch a lot of cooking on TV?). She’s talked about her relationship with Wiseguys (the book that Goodfellas was based on) author Nicholas Pileggi for a New York Times piece on happy marriages (“I happen to love my marriage”).

And I even read an LA Times feature where she was summoned to cook apple strudel for the staff. The best part of the article is when they’re waiting for the strudel to finishing cooking and Ephron is asked whether her oven is working: “‘Is it my oven?’ Ephron says, indignantly. ‘No. It is not my oven'”.

Through it all, journalists have had fun coming up with clever puns, which they now seem to be running out of ideas for (see USA Today’s article “Nora Ephron cooks up a rich stew while filming Julie & Julia”). There’s even been coverage complaining about the excessive coverage.

All this attention may be going to Ephron’s head because, at the LA Premiere, she’s quoted as saying:

It’s always hard to combine two stories, but I was inspired by ‘The Godfather: Part II.’ I consider this film a ninth cousin to that movie.

Make that the adopted, mentally deficient ninth cousin.

So what does Powell think of Ephron’s meddling involvement in bringing the movie to the screen?

It is cute! It’s the cute Nora Ephron version. And she knew my apartment wasn’t pretty; she realized it had to be sort of grotty, but I think she had a hard time really making herself do it! But in real life, it was not quite so twinkly. It was pretty rough.

Since when are movies based on true stories anyway? Posted below is a video of Ephron talking about the joys of butter at the movie’s LA premiere, where she made her egregious Godfather comparison.

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