Six degrees of separation + one bad idea
Considering that I've been officially diagnosed now with a Crazy (I mean, everyone has one, sure, but this one's mine and it's my first so I'm naturally a little defensive / protective / ashamed of it) and I've realized that this is going to be a hard year for my Crazy since thinking about the future is what tends to trigger it, and one's engagement year often entails thinking about just that -- with all of that in mind, what I really shouldn't be doing is reading Heartburn from start to finish.
Who knew I did so much of my living on the edge?
Part of the appeal of the book is that Ephron is a straightforward, drama queen type writer, not afraid to let herself look bad. That she's telling an engaging story, the break-up of her marriage to Carl Bernstein, doesn't hurt. Part of the appeal is that it's a roman a clef set in Washington, which means, for those of us who grew up in Washington, that it's fun to ponder who's who and what's what and I wonder which bench at Dupont Circle they were making out on.
But part of the appeal is also the funny coincidences. This book, which was made into a movie, started Ephron's film career (and gave Meg Ryan a reason to exist, for better or for worse). Meryl Streep plays Ephron and Jack Nicholson of all people plays "Mark," or Carl Bernstein, or, as I like to think of him, Dustin Hoffman. Coincidentally, Streep and Hoffman share the screen as a divorcing couple in Kramer Vs. Kramer, a movie that you really should see if you haven't. None of the issues it brings up are passe today. None! That's incredible!
To proceed: Ephron's writing (and, to a degree, her life) reminds me a lot of Carrie Fisher, who also grew up with literate, witty, alcoholic Hollywood types and eventually wrote romans a clef about the experience. Fisher herself co-starred in Ephron's brilliant When Harry Met Sally AND paralleled Ephron's trajectory when her most famous memoir-type book, Postcards from the Edge, was made into a movie. And who played the Fisher character? Who else? Meryl Streep.
I guess when they say she can do "accents," what they really mean is she can play all KINDS of real-life privileged LA women who get cheated on. Just kidding, Meryl! I love you!
To add redunancy to redundancy, both movies were directed by Mike Nichols. And I'm pretty sure the handsome, randy actor the Fisher character meets at the funeral is supposed to be based on Jack Nicholson. And I'm going to stop now, because I imagine you get the point.
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