On Monday, the same day that a memorial service was held for the filmmaker Nora Ephron, newspapers carried obituaries of the actor Ernest Borgnine, whose most enduring credit was his Oscar-winning performance as a lonely Everyman in Paddy Chayefsky’s 1955 film “Marty.”
What binds these two very different people, with very different New Yorks reflected in their best-known works, is one of the most elusive quests in this difficult city. No, not the hunt for an affordable apartment. It is the search for love.
Speaking at the memorial service, in Alice Tully Hall, Meryl Streep said that “Nora’s movies were about love,” including “love of a city” — this city. That much is evident in movies like “When Harry Met Sally,” which Ms. Ephron wrote, and “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” which she both wrote and directed.
Love in these films is found in settings that form a rarefied world for most people. It blooms in an autumn stroll in Central Park, at dinner in a SoHo restaurant filled with writers, on a walk through Rockefeller Center at Christmastime, inside the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, atop an Empire State Building where guards magically let you up to the observation deck after hours and along an Upper West Side that resembles the Sixth Arrondissement in Paris.
Please read the rest of Mr. Haberman’s beautiful rememberance of Nora Ephron and Ernest Borgnine here. It’s worth your while.
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