The Nora Ephron Rankings

There are lots of classic movies that Ashley hasn’t seen yet. Mostly because, “I was born in 1984, Peter.”

What kind of person was born in 1984?? Sheeeesh.

So sometimes I Google “classic comedies” or some such dealie to come up with ideas for our movie nights. And there are many blog posts or articles offering ranked lists. Though the accuracy of these lists…

For example on a supposed “best comedies of all time,” some person ranked Caddyshack BEHIND Bridesmaids. Behind. For real. That’s like ranking a fine wine behind a Snapple bottle full of pee.

The other night, I Googled “best romantic comedies of all time” and found a blog post with a ranked list of 100. I scrolled. I nodded. I shook my head. I scratched my elbow, though that was largely unrelated. And then I realized something about this list:

It had You’ve Got Mail in the 80s, Sleepless in Seattle in the 60s and When Harry Met Sally at #2.

What kind of bizarro-assed list is that?

I don’t even know where to start with this.

Though maybe I should start with a disclaimer: I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail 7 or 8 times. I’ve seen Sleepless in Seattle 4 or 5 times. And I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally 1.5-2 times.

That being said, I think anyone who has seen these films can agree:

You’ve Got Mail > Sleepless in Seattle > When Harry Met Sally

Right? Right!

Despite the dated AOL log-in in You’ve Got Mail, I think the movie holds up well. Mainly because it has a magical quality. It reminds me of old time romantic comedies. It’s not vulgar. I don’t think anyone even swears in it. It’s lovely. And it has one of the best endings ever.

Sleepless in Seattle has some romantic magic to it, but I don’t think it is done quite as well. Who would fly across the country to meet someone based on a voice on the radio? Kinda forward, no? That is why it didn’t work out between me Ryan Seacrest.

As for the other one. I just didn’t buy Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as a couple. I bought even less the idea of Billy Crystal as some kind of ladies man.

I don’t want to think about Billy Crystal having s-e-x. Or Meg Ryan having sex. Or Tom Hanks having sex. (I assume the charming Colin Hanks is a result of a test tube situation or toilet seat accident.)

Any combination of the above is icky to me. It’s like thinking about your parents having sex. With a goat.

At no point during You’ve Got Mail did I think about them ever getting their respective or collective swerves on. Thankfully.

Same for Sleepless in Seattle. Though we can all agree that Hanks’ fro would have been helpful as a cushion against a wooden headboard.

I will admit that the “I’ll have what she’s having” line was well-crafted. And the “Can men and women be friends?” debate is mildly interesting. (I vote yes, because masturbatorial fantasies are completely acceptable, right?) But the rest of the movie just didn’t land for me.

I could go into muuuuch more detail about this, but, you know, I’ve already spent a half an hour of a Monday morning typing about Nora Ephron movies… I’ll keep it for replies to comments. I did an exhaustive survey to see how others felt about these Ephron rankings. (“Hey, Ashley. Agree with this?”) But I am curious as to how you wonderful folks would rank the movies.

Lemme know!

13 thoughts on “The Nora Ephron Rankings

  1. i think your rankings are pretty accurate! i was born in 84 and i have seen most classics and yet not a single scene in the following: austin powers, lord of the rings, star wars/trek, harry potter.

  2. Pleeeease tell me Ashley has seen these three movies! Classics! I LOVE Nora Ephron! I LOVE Tom Hanks! I LOVE Meg Ryan! I LOVE Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together! (I like Billy Crystal.)

    Now, my rankings: You’ve Got Mail>When Harry Met Sally>Sleepless in Seattle.

    I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally more times than the other two (Sleepless in Seattle only once or twice), so there’s that, but I agree with you, You’ve Got Mail is magical. And also it has bookstores and NYC, two of my favourite things.

    As far as Harry > Sleepless, maybe it’s because I find it more relatable than the latter. Doesn’t everyone have that one friend they argue with? Wonder about? Think “What if? Maybe…” But maybe it’s also because it was played so many times on TBS. I grew up with that show.

    And now I know what I’ll be watching for my next 3 movie nights.

    (On an unrelated note, what are your thoughts about the Brat Pack? The Breakfast Club? St. Elmo’s Fire?)

    • Hi! And, yup, Ashley has seen them. You’ve Got Mail is one of her favouritest of all time.

      Perhaps Harry is more relatable to women, as most guys would just make out with their friend and see what happens. :) I might actually need to watch Harry again.

      I love 16 Candles and Breakfast Club, but think St. Elmo’s Fire was kind of too… 80s self-endulgent for me.

  3. When Harry Met Sally > Sleepless in Seattle > You’ve Got Mail. But that’s only because You’ve Got Mail is a remake. I much prefer the original and would it put it ahead of all of them :-)

  4. Harry & Sally > You’ve Got Mail > Sleepless in Seattle. I actually really didn’t like Sleepless in Seattle all that much, and while I do enjoy You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favorite films. (Fun Fact: The “I’ll have what she’s having” line? Uttered by no one else but the director, Rob Reiner’s MOTHER! True Story. Watch the director’s commentary version.)


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