In I’ll Have What She’s Having, journalist Erin Carlson goes behind the scenes to tell the story of Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the rom-com through her trio of instant classics: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. But in the process, Ephron also remade herself – from a tough, suffer-no-fools Manhattan journalist to a fierce and unflinching Hollywood power player with the clout to get her movies greenlit … all while redefining romance for an entire generation. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip through Ephron’s New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron — who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it — ruled the roost.
If you consider Ephron a diehard romantic, you’d be mistaken: in fact, the woman pulling the heart-strings wasn’t always drinking the cherry-flavored Kool-Aid. So how did the writer-director regain faith in the L-word following one broken engagement and two failed marriages? What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted ingénue who was much more than an adorable face, not the first choice for the role of Sally? Why was Hanks so reluctant to take on the role of Sleepless protagonist Sam Baldwin? And more importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing in You’ve Got Mail … in a turtleneck?
An intimate portrait of one of America’s most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen. Booklist says Carlson “dispenses insider information that fans of the movies will find hard to resist … her breezy, frisky tone makes reading the book like sharing a gossipy lunch with an old friend. … As sweet and bubbly a treat as the movies it covers, this book does what it does impeccably, and readers will love it.”
“[Erin Carlson] offers a breezy, detailed rehearsal of three successful romantic comedies from the 1980s and ’90s…. A large bag of buttery popcorn that goes down oh so pleasantly.”―Kirkus Reviews
“Deeply reported and deeply felt, Carlson’s account of Nora Ephron’s unlikely rise to romantic comedy queen deftly exposes the messy, human reality lurking beneath those sparkling paeans to true love. Magically nostalgic, cynical, and smart all at once.”―Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of Seinfeldia and Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted
“In her love letter to the rom-coms of Nora Ephron, Erin Carlson brings us on a nostalgic, insightful, and joyous ride through the legendary writer/director’s most iconic works. Full of the whimsy, heartbreak, attention to detail, and romantic optimism that defined Ephron’s films, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a must-read for anyone who is a fan of the filmmaker’s genre-defining classics.”―Danny Strong, co-creator and executive producer of Empire
“Erin Carlson would make Nora Ephron proud with this deeply reported valentine to her work. Written with warmth, humor, and surprises, Carlson provides plenty of dishy insider scoop on the making of the renowned writer’s beloved films. This book is the perfect companion to your favorite movie. A delicious read that will have you laughing out loud.”―Jo Piazza, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Knockoff
“When the subject is Nora Ephron, culinary metaphors prove irresistible: Erin Carlson has cooked up a dish full of delicious insight into an icon who was both warm and snobbish, full of juicy tidbits about a feminist who preferred to hang out with the guys, a trenchant trailblazer with an old-fashioned belief in love. I’ll Have What She’s Having offers a satisfying portrait of a lady who wasn’t always ‘nice’ but who nevertheless created timeless moments to fill our hearts and give us hope―Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie and contributor to CBS Sunday Morning
“Erin Carlson has served up a lively, inside look at the making of Nora Ephron’s three famous rom-coms and how she broke into the male-dominated directing club. Anyone who loves Nora and her films will relish this book.”―Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt
“Read this book in an adorable bookshop and, who knows, maybe you’ll meet-cute with a handsome stranger reading the same book. Of course, if he’s reading a book about Nora Ephron rom-coms, he may be gay. Ugh, that is sooo your luck, Carol! Also, it’s raining now and you’re wearing suede.”―Meredith Scardino, writer forUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Colbert Report, this book blurb
“Carlson’s first book pays affectionate and clear-eyed tribute to the three most popular movies associated with screenwriter and director Nora Ephron. Going behind the scenes to explore the making of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail, she dispenses insider information that fans of the movies will find hard to resist … her breezy, frisky tone makes reading the book like sharing a gossipy lunch with an old friend. Although she keeps the focus on the three films, she also allows herself to go off on fascinating tangents about the lives and other movies of the director and her stars. As sweet and bubbly a treat as the movies it covers, this book does what it does impeccably, and readers will love it.”―Booklist