I’ll Have what She is Having

Nora Ephron is gone. If that doesn’t mean more to you than another vaguely famous name, then allow me to remind you that she was the woman who wrote what is possibly still the most famous orgasm scene in the history of film. Or any other medium, for that matter.

It was 1989 and there was Meg Ryan faking an orgasm, rather inspiringly I’d say, in front of Billy Crystal, the rest of the lunchers at Katz’s in NYC and, well, an entire generation. Meg traditionally got the credit for a job really well done, but it was the mature talent of Ephron that outed a normative but little acknowledged (at the time) aspect of female sexuality, in a mainstream production. Not to mention how it demonstrated what a really good orgasm looks like when a woman knows how to let go and get what she needs. “I’ll have what she’s having” said the older women at the next table. Indeed.

For that, we owe Nora Ephron indescribably. Her many other romantic comedies were nice but not quite as earth shattering. But her 2006 essay collection entitled I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman reminded us that she really was the master when it came to saying out loud about women – both eloquently and with rich humour – what we all know but just don’t manage to express.

Now raise those curtains for the moment that we can keep replaying, from When Harry Met Sally

Orgasm Scene from When Harry Met Sally



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