To many out there, Carrie Fisher is, and always will be, Princess Leia Organa, member of the Rebellion and General in the Resistance. She’s Leia to me (and will be for all time), but that was not where I first met Carrie Fisher.
As a young girl, impressionable and naive, there were few bands that were “kid” appropriate for long drives across California, or through Illinois and the Midwest. But there was Paul Simon. It wasn’t just “Graceland” that defined the days in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the entire collective works. I was introduced to “Heart and Bones” about “one and one-half wandering Jews” and being curious, I learned that Carrie Fisher was the one-half Jew of the song.
From that point on, I have one thing in common with her. It was curious to me to know that a woman who was the child of celebrities found herself intertwined with other celebrities. And she sounded conflicted and determined in the song, even if I knew the relationship didn’t last.
But she was there and she inspired a heartfelt song.
A few years later, as a teen When Harry Met Sally entered my lexicon. It was grown-up (“I’ll have what she’s having” and that scene probably was my first introduction to the concept of an orgasm) and it was not just Harry and Sally that I fell in love with, but with Jess and Marie.
Marie is a supportive, strong friend, who manages to get her friend the best (and gets the best for herself too). Sure, Marie is complicated – no qualms about dating a married man – but she is the support for Sally in good times and bad.
Even if When Harry Met Sally is about Harry and Sally, Marie (and Fisher) steal the show in quiet ways.
Here – fighting over a wagon wheel coffee table – Marie is herself and still funny. (Others have already pointed out how good Marie’s lines are.)
This is the Carrie Fisher I want to remember. Strong, funny, complicated.
PS: While Carrie Fisher is symbolic for Hollywood, so too is her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds dying just a day and a half after her daughter is heartbreaking and I wish the Reynolds, Fisher and Lourd families well.