By Leah Greenblatt
March 25, 2016 at 08:39 PM EDT
Wellesley College/HBO

“When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. But when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh — so you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke.”

That was the take Nora Ephron’s mother gave her on one of her favorite expressions, which also provides the title for this fond flaws-and-all look at the late writer, director, and legendary dinner guest.

Helmed by her eldest son, journalist Jacob Bernstein, and featuring a parade of friends and former collaborators including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Mike Nichols, Copy celebrates a brilliant storyteller and her lacerating wit — she once called someone she didn’t like “a chocolate-covered spider” — but also recalls a woman who could be bossy, presumptuous, and sometimes mean. To the end, though, she was adored.

“Making her laugh,” says ­Steven Spielberg, “was like winning an Oscar.”

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