EntertainmentDid she run out of luck? The difficult fall of a legendary actress

Did she run out of luck? The difficult fall of a legendary actress

Meg Ryan - star of romantic comedies
Meg Ryan - star of romantic comedies
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8:41 AM EST, November 6, 2023

"Meg Ryan persists as a vibrant romantic comedy protagonist; however, her ventures into directing and script-writing have been less successful," comments a critic from "Decider". In the film "What Happens Later", Ryan, a prominent actress from the '80s and '90s, makes a comeback after a prolonged absence. Sadly, her return seems to have been met with lukewarm anticipation.

A few years back, Meg Ryan confessed to experiencing burnout in her acting career. The pressure and expectations of maintaining her on-screen persona – young, vibrant, and perpetually cheerful – had drained her. She found no pleasure in acting in Hollywood productions.

Realizing that each effort to shed her established image was met with harsh criticism, she opted to take a well-deserved break from acting. The first was a three-year hiatus beginning in 2004, triggered by the negative reception of the erotic drama "In the Cut". A few roles later, she decided she had had enough. In the past decade, her appearances have been sparse, including a series of episodes and the film "Ithaca" (2015), marking her directorial debut. It was an eight-year waiting period for her next film appearance.

WHAT HAPPENS LATER | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street

The film "What Happens Later" has received mixed, but generally positive reviews. "Ryan's return to the rom-com genre demonstrates her unique skills, however, it leaves us yearning for more. The answer to the question, 'What happens later?' turns out to be: not much" – remarks one critic.

On Rotten Tomatoes, "What Happens Later" gained a respectably neutral score of 54% from positive reviews. The consensus among critics is that Meg Ryan remains a pleasant romantic film lead, but her work as the film's scriptwriter and director is rated lower.

"In her attempt to resurrect the romantic comedy genre, Meg Ryan escorts us to the most unamusing and unromantic setting one could conceive, a regional airport. Dull, repetitive shots of a man and woman sitting at a gate become tedious. The film lacks the effervescence and lightweight charm that characterized Ryan's most successful works," lament the disappointed critics.

However, mixed reviews are not the biggest issue for Meg Ryan's latest project. "What Happens Later" struggled at the box office, pulling in a meager 1.6 million dollars in its opening weekend in the U.S. Regrettably, it appears the protagonist from classics like "When Harry Met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle", "City of Angels", and "You've Got Mail" was not eagerly awaited by audiences.

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