Meg Ryan returns to her roots with the first romantic comedy in 20 years

When it comes to romantic comedies, there’s one undisputed truth: Absolutely no one does it better than Meg Ryan.

So, in short stories sure to elicit more genuine enjoyment than that iconic “When Harry Met Sally” scene, the actor revisits the genre that catapulted her to stardom in an upcoming feature called “What Happens Later.”

Ryan will direct and star alongside “X-Files” alum David Duchovny in the film, which is described as an “evolved and nostalgic” take on the romantic comedy, per Variety.

“What if, late in the snow, you come face to face with someone from long ago? Someone who once held your secrets, because once, long ago, that person held your heart,” reads the official logline for the film.

Serving up a classic rom-com setup, the story centers on former lovers Willa (Ryan) and Bill (Duchovny) who are accidentally reunited decades after their separation when they find themselves stranded in an airport overnight for a snow storm.

“Willa is still the strong-willed, independent spirit she once was, free from all ties, while the recently estranged Bill reevaluates his life and his relationship with his estranged wife and daughter,” the synopsis reads. “All they each want is to go home, but over the course of the night they find themselves reluctantly reunited at first, but forced to revisit their past, as well as what could have been and what who could well be again. But when the versions of their shared history don’t quite match, where do they go from there?”

Ryan shared the movie poster on Instagram on Tuesday, writing in the caption, “HERE WE GO.”

“What Happens Later” is based on the play “Shooting Star” by Steven Dietz, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ryan and Kirk Lynn. Production is set to begin in Bentonville, Arkansas, later this year, with the film set to hit theaters in 2023.

The film marks Ryan’s first starring role in a full-fledged romantic comedy since 2001’s “Kate and Leopold.” last years.

Speaking to The New York Times Magazine in 2019 about her decision to take a break from acting, Ryan said, “I was exhausted. I felt like I didn’t know enough about myself or the world anymore to reflect it as an actor. I felt isolated.

At the time, Ryan also mentioned that she was developing an unnamed rom-com, remarking that she brought a certain level of expertise to the table, given her roles in classics such as “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

“I know now that rom-coms are confections, but they have construction,” she told the outlet. “There is architecture. It’s not something I was aware of at the time.

After a few television appearances, Ryan finally returned to the big screen in 2015 for her directorial debut “Ithaca,” which also featured her son with Dennis Quaid, Jack, who went on to pursue his own acting career.


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