The Underrated Brilliance of Nora Ephron’s Meta-Romantic Comedy ‘Sleepless in Seattle’

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It’s been over two decades since Nora Ephron made the move from screenwriter to film director, the third of her creative roles (she began her career as a journalist). After writing scripts for well-received films like Silkwood, Heartburn, and When Harry Met Sally…, she stepped behind the lens for her directorial debut, the little-seen and mostly forgotten This Is My Life. It was her second feature, however, that solidified her cinematic eye as well as her ear for sharp dialogue. Sleepless in Seattle, released in June 1993, proved to be Ephron’s biggest hit. It wasn’t just a commercial success, as she received an Academy Award nomination (shared with her co-writers, David S. Ward and Jeff Arch) for Best Original Screenplay. Two decades later, Sleepless in Seattle still stands as a cinematic achievement and perhaps the last great American romantic comedy.

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