I think it's safe to say that Meg Ryan is one of the undisputed queens of the romantic comedy genre. I mean, when talking about CLASSIC rom-coms, chances are you mention one that Meg starred in.
Meg earned her first Golden Globe nomination for her work in When Harry Met Sally... opposite Billy Crystal. Thus beginning her incredible partnership with the late writer and director Nora Ephron, who went on to work with Meg in Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and more.
In an interview with the New York Times in 2019, Meg discussed why romantic comedies became her strong suit and if the genre is undervalued by Hollywood today, saying, "I was very happy going to a set that was about: How do you find the funny thing? I like that again now, working on a romantic comedy."
"As soon as they make money, they have value. But I don’t think that because things are tragic they're deeper," she continued. "Think about Nora Ephron. Her observation about romantic comedies is that they were commenting on their time in an intelligent way, but with the intention to delight."
But, after a string of movies, especially in the 2000s, Meg largely stepped back from starring in films and turned to directing and producing projects. Her last role was in 2015 when she starred in and directed Ithaca, with her last rom-com being Serious Moonlight in 2009.
So, it's no surprise that people have been clamoring for her next project, with many turning to rewatch When Harry Met Sally... the minute fall comes around in celebration of "Meg Ryan fall" — I am one of those people.
And now, Meg is finally back with her newest rom-com titled What Happens Later, which she also directed and co-wrote.
Starring alongside David Duchovny, What Happens Later follows Willa (Ryan) who ends up snowed in at an airport alongside her ex-love Bill (Duchovny), who she hasn't seen in years.
As Willa and Bill unpack their mutual past and compare their current lives to the dreams they once shared together, they begin to wonder if their reunion is just a coincidence, or something much more enchanted.
The movie is about second chances, lost love, reuniting with someone who might've been "the one," and more, which are honestly the hallmark qualities of an incredible romantic comedy. I mean, we've got exes trapped at an airport together, people. ROM-COM GOLD.
Before we get into Meg talking about the movie and what fans are saying, you can watch the full trailer below:
Speaking about What Happens Later, Meg told Entertainment Weekly, "Sometimes there's a question of: Will they be together? Will they not be together? For that reason, [What Happens Later] sort of evolves the rom-com genre just a little bit. It's also about old people, and it's still romantic and sexy."
Also, she took inspiration from Nora, saying, "Nora Ephron used to say about rom-coms that they were really a secretly incredible delivery system to comment on the times, and we do that in this movie."
In terms of returning to acting as well, Meg Ryan told Carol Burnett in a conversation with Interview magazine, "Truly, the easiest part was acting in it. I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed. I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David."
She continued, saying, "A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that. I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth."
Just from the trailer alone, people cannot get enough of Meg's return to the genre she basically owns. Here are some of the best reactions:
The first day of Fall is when Meg Ryan announces a new romantic comedy.
— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) August 30, 2023
Did not fully grasp the enormity of the void left by not having Meg Ryan in new rom coms until we got this glimpse of Meg Ryan in a new rom com. Snowed in! At an airport! With an old flame! https://t.co/rpa1fGXZCc
— Ashley Spencer (@AshleySpencer) August 30, 2023
Ashley Spencer / Bleecker Street / Via youtu.be
Meg Ryan is coming to save Hollywood with her new romcom pic.twitter.com/axypVutayL
— asta (@lollasta) August 30, 2023
@lollasta / Bleecker Street / Via Twitter: @lollasta
— Just Amal (@bigmac_00) August 30, 2023
@bigmac_00 / Bleecker Street / Via youtu.be
Oh baby I am seaTED!!!! Romcoms are BACK baby! https://t.co/IqBW6XBM0K
— Meech (@MediumSizeMeech) August 30, 2023
@MediumSizeMeech / Bleecker Street / Via youtu.be
— Telly Savalas Truths™ (@TheDouggernaut) August 30, 2023
@TheDouggernaut / Bleecker Street / Via youtu.be