EntertainmentCritics slam Meg Ryan's new film: Expected grand comeback disappoints with boredom

Critics slam Meg Ryan's new film: Expected grand comeback disappoints with boredom

"Meg Ryan in "What Happens Later""
"Meg Ryan in "What Happens Later""
Images source: © Press materials

8:01 PM EDT, November 4, 2023

Meg Ryan, the undisputed queen of romantic comedies, is beloved for roles in "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," and "When Harry Met Sally." Sadly, her return to the genre after a significant hiatus has panned out to be a less-than-ideal venture.

Having last played a lead role in a romantic comedy in 2009 "Serious Moonlight", Ryan later appeared in several movies and series and directed a war drama "Ithaca" in 2015. In early November, she made an anticipated return to American cinemas with a film showcasing her as an actress, director, and co-writer. Alas, the offering left fans, especially the ones who cherished her in romantic comedies, disenchanted.

"What Happens Later", starring Ryan and David Duchovny of "The X-Files" and "Californication" fame, was set to be the actress's grand comeback into the rom-com genre. The plot revolves around two ex-lovers spending a night at a regional airport trapped under thick snow. Characters Bill (David Duchovny) and Willa (Meg Ryan) try to decipher their convoluted past, reconsidering their life choices and speculating over the possibility of their reunion being something more than a mere coincidence.

Early overseas reviews of "What Happens Later" are mixed, with criticism far outweighing the praise. "Ryan's return to the romantic comedy genre underlines her unique prowess in this field, yet it leaves us wanting more. Sadly, it seems the answer to 'What Happens Later?' is, unsurprisingly: not a lot," noted one critic.

"'What Happens Later' startlingly lacks imagination. Perhaps heart too? Essentially, under its facade, it seems superficial and vacuous", argues another reviewer.

Critics primarily bemoan the film's dull nature and the overall lackluster spectacle. Some even question if Ryan's venture truly qualifies as a romantic comedy, asserting that it bears more resemblance to a dystopian thriller.

WHAT HAPPENS LATER | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street

Among viewer feedback, comments such as "The film drags more than it delights", "Meg Ryan's attempt at reviving the romantic comedy genre takes us to an unimaginatively dull place, a regional airport", and "Monotonous, grayscale shots of a man and woman at a gate, barely qualifies as entertainment" are common.

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