Date Night at Movies in the Park

By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter

The late Nora Ephron is responsible for writing and/or directing many of the most significant romantic and comedic films of the 1980s and ’90s: “Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Mixed Nuts” and “Hanging Up,” to name a few.

Perhaps her best-known film is “You’ve Got Mail,” adapted by Ephron and her sister Delia—an equally notable filmmaker, author, playwright and novelist—from a play by Miklos Laszlo.

The film stars Palisadian Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, with Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey and Steve Zahn in supporting roles.

This delightful story follows two business rivals who loathe and detest one another in person, but fall in love over online communication. It’s witty and heartwarming, featuring characters that are remarkably well observed.

Many adults have seen this film at least once, and some even declare it a “classic.” But chances are, it’s been a while since your last viewing.

As luck would have it, “You’ve Got Mail” is screening at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Palisades Recreation Center (851 Alma Real Drive) for Movies in the Park, the summer tradition that Palisadians look forward to every year.

Alphabet Streets resident David Williams is in charge of this nonprofit organization, which provides free entertainment to the community every Saturday in August.

Most titles they choose to screen are for children and families, such as last week’s “The Lion King.” Williams picked “You’ve Got Mail” with the idea that couples could enjoy an evening of cinematic entertainment under the starry sky.

Of course, this particular film is also a critical entry in the Hollywood history books—Ephron was a prolific writer who received three Academy Award nominations during her tenure.

She began her career as a journalist in the 1960s and continued to publish numerous essays and feature articles throughout her life.

A little known fact is that Ephron came from a family of entertainers. Her mother Phoebe and father Henry were fellow screenwriters who received an Academy Award nomination for co-writing “Captain Newman, M.D.” in 1964.

Sisters Delia, Hallie and Amy, as well as Ephron’s children Jacob and Max, have all worked in the film industry in various capacities.

Ephron’s last film was “Julia & Julia” in 2009. She passed away in 2012, leaving behind a body of work that has yet to be rivaled.

Following “You’ve Got Mail,” the next screenings at Movies in the Park will be “Guardians of the Galaxy” on Aug. 18 and “Coco” on Aug. 25.