What the Hell Happened to Meg Ryan?


Once upon a time, Meg Ryan sat at the top of the A-list.  Her nearest competitor was Julia Roberts.  She was America’s Sweetheart.  Now, she seems to be retired after years of direct-to-video schlock.  It’s time to ask that age-old question: What the hell happened?

ryan rich and famous

Ryan first appeared on the big screen with a small role opposite Candice Bergen in the drama Rich and Famous in 1981.

The film got mixed reviews and didn’t do much at the box office, but it gave Ryan her start.

Is it just me or does young Meg Ryan look a lot like Alicia Silverstone?

Ryan - As the World Turns

Ryan first gained attention on day time soaps.  From 1982-1984, she played Betsy Stewart on As the World Turns.

Apparently her story arc was a popular one.  When I searched for pictures from this time period, I found Ryan in another wedding picture with a different groom.  Could have been a different actor playing the same character.  Or maybe Ryan played twins.  I don’t get soaps.  Sorry.

I also found this old Burger King commercial starring Ryan from about the same time.  Ryan is so perky!  Makes me want to eat a Whopper.

 ryan amityville 3d

Most actresses have at least one horror movie on their resume.  In Ryan’s case, she paid her dues in Amyityville 3-D in 1983.

Ryan played a girl who was obsessed with the Amityville Horror house.  She and her friend, played by Lori Loughlin snuck into the house with a couple of boys and started playing with a Ouija board.  I’m sure that ended well for them.

Amityville 3-D rode the tail end of a very brief 3-D craze that started and ended in 1983.  Reviews were terrible and the movie flopped.

ryan - top gun

Ryan returned to the big screen with a small role in the 1986 smash, Top Gun.

Ryan played the wife of the doomed fighter pilot, Goose.  The minute she shows up on-screen looking all cute and with a kid in tow, you just know Anthony Edward’s Goose is cooked.  (I’m not proud of that joke.)

It was a small part, but Ryan was winning in it.  Everyone remembered the charismatic pixie girl from the few scenes she was in.

Next: Innerspace and The Presidio

Posted on June 12, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 453 Comments.

  1. Thank you Lebeau and RB. I’ll always cherish those kind words.


  2. yawn She has been happily leading a quiet life in NYC with her daughter and boyfriend for years now and obviously no longer has any interest in a big career anyway.


    • That’s why she’s been doing interviews and signed up to star in a TV show? Why she’s been trying unsuccessfully to launch a career as a director for the last decade and starring in direct-to-DVD movies? Oh right, apologists don’t concern themselves with reality.


  3. They Threw It Away – Self-Destruction and Acting Careers:

    Meg Ryan killed her All-American Sweetheart image when she fell in love with “bad boy” Russell Crowe and ended her marriage to Dennis Quaid. I remember a lot of people on the internet were pissed off and unforgiving towards her. That, plus her aggressive search for “edgier” roles, caused a career stumble from which she never recovered.

    by: Anonymous reply 407 01/19/2014 @ 03:37PM


    • Re: Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe:

      I never understood those who thought that Ryan and Crowe were anything other than a fling. I remember all the publicity at the time as there was a huge buzz about “Gladiator” and lots of pictures, etc. What I do recall is seeing photos of Dennis Quaid dancing on some table in some Spanish nightclub. Barely a day afterward, photos of Ryan and Crowe appeared. It seemed to me that it was Ryan sending a clear message to Quaid that she was with the new hot actor.

      As for Crowe, he had long been talking about having kids and was adamant about living in Australia. And the life he’s chosen to live since then follows that path. Given Ryan’s age and her life in Hollywood, would anyone really expect her to move to Australia?

      As for Ryan’s career, she was fast approaching the big 40 which is usually the death knell for a woman’s career in Hollywood. It’s not as if she had a very versatile career anyway (although I liked her in Courage Under Fire).

      A couple questions I have always wanted to have answers for. Since someone started a thread on this topic, perhaps someone here knows the answers.

      1. Is it true that Meg Ryan had a nasty reputation on films sets?
      2. I cannot recall ever seeing her do publicity for her romantic comedies. Isn’t that part of an actor’s job when you reach her level?

      3. Since that film that Crowe & Ryan did “Proof of Life” was started before Gladiator came out, Meg would have been the bigger star at that point. Is it true that she would have had the power to pick her co-star?

      4. Rumors circulated at the time that during the shooting of that film, Crowe was having a romance with an actress who had a small part in the film and that Ryan had the girl fired, making way for her. Anyone else here this?

      I wonder what happened to the love scene that was shot for Proof of Life. I recall when Taylor Hackford was asked if it would appear as an extra on the DVD, he said “No, it would not. Meg insisted.”

      And, yes, I know way, way too much about all this, but since this is old news, there might still be someone here who actually worked on that film.

      by: Anonymous reply 29 06/10/2010 @ 04:53PM

      While Quaid’s current marriage may be crumbling, they’ve called off the divorce… For now.

      You can blame Quaid for letting Ryan take all the heat in their divorce, but there’s a little karma there too. Ryan, who was always portrayed as America’s sweetheart, is (was?) a colossal bitch in real life. I think many were eager to see her reputation dragged through the mud after all the headaches she had caused in the past.

      by: Anonymous reply 48 05/14/2012 @ 07:05AM

      “She felt Meg was the one who really ended it because she was unwilling to give in to Crowe’s pressure to get more serious.”

      I always heard that it was the other way around; Ryan wanted a committed relationship and Crowe wasn’t ready for it. At any rate, they weren’t meant to last. It was just a fling, although Crowe said they “fell in love.” And it is true that Crowe’s home-base is Australia; he’s said publicly that he would never live in L.A., which is wear Ryan supposedly wanted to buy a “love nest.”

      The tabloids had a good time with their brief affair. There was photos of Ryan and Crowe together in some cafe or something, her hand on his leg, and articles that gushed about future babies and Academy Awards (for “Proof of Life!”) and the aforementioned “love nest” in L.A. She was still married to Quaid at the time, so she got lots of bad publicity and was no long “America’s Sweetheart” but a two-timing cheater. Her image was ruined.

      Ryan really is quite unrecognizable now, due to all the bad plastic surgery. She can never go back to playing the cute, girlish roles that were her forte, so her career is essentially in the toilet. Oh well. It happens.

      by: Anonymous reply 52 09/14/2012 @ 09:51AM


    • What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career:

      [Post New]04/24/2014 07:07 Subject: What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career [Up]

      Anonymous wrote:
      Anonymous wrote:

      Cheating on Dennis Quaid with Russell Crowe did her in. She’s been on the outs since then. The plastic surgery came after.


      +1. She was doing a movie with Russell Crowe about a kidnapping in Colombia. I think it’s supposed to be a good movie. Anyways, their affair damaged both of their careers, I think. But most of all, the affair completely took over the headlines and messed up all the chatter about the movie; I recall that people in the industry believed that the movie tanked because of this interference. So I think Hollywood was pretty pissed off at her; think about it, millions of dollars and so many people’s careers etc. screwed up thanks to them; perfectly good movie down the drain. So after that, I don’t think people wanted to work with her, and I think it hurt him badly too, but he had been in Gladiator and so that helped cushion him a bit. (or maybe typical Hollywood sexism cushioned him…anyways, it was bad all around).

      [Post New]04/24/2014 07:30 Subject: What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career [Up]

      She was never that great of an actress to begin with, and did a poor job at picking movies. When Harry Met Sally – great – but how many times can you play the same character? Especially knowing that at a certain point you’ll be too old to play her, but too typecast to do anything else?

      [Post New]04/24/2014 08:42 Subject: What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career [Up]

      Anonymous wrote:
      Anonymous wrote:
      Anonymous wrote:
      Anonymous wrote:
      Anonymous wrote:
      She was never that great of an actress to begin with, and did a poor job at picking movies. When Harry Met Sally – great – but how many times can you play the same character? Especially knowing that at a certain point you’ll be too old to play her, but too typecast to do anything else?

      Someone needs to give Jennifer Aniston this memo.

      Ha, so true.

      I’m not the biggest JA fan but really? Horrible bosses vs Good Girl vs Office Space?

      Those are all good, if not great, movies, but only her role in Good Girl played an important part in making the movie good. Anyone could have played that bit part in Office Space. It was the guys who made the movie (and the writing). I actually didn’t think she did a great job in Horrible Bosses (although I know I’m in the minority) but, to a lesser extent, it was still the guys who made that movie and any number of actresses could have played that part. Most of her other roles are the same thing over and over again (Along Came Polly, Just Go With It, Love Happens, etc.)

      Yes, lots of romantic comedies:
      When Harry Met Sally
      Joe vs. The Volcano
      Prelude to a Kiss
      Sleepless in Seattle
      French Kiss
      Addicted to Love
      You’ve Got Mail
      Kate & Leopold

      I will say she tried to branch out more than JA with movies like Courage Under Fire, When a Man Loves a Woman, Against the Ropes, Flesh and Bone, but America did not want to see her like that. They rejected her branching out of “America’s Sweetheart” whrereas I’d say we’re all ready for JA to try something new.

      04/25/2014 09:14 Subject: What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career [Up]

      Anonymous wrote:
      I loved her in French Kiss.

      Me too. Normally, her over-the-top cutesy crap annoys me, but in this one, she was more of a neurotic bitch dork, which rings truer.

      Too bad she seems to believe she has to try to be cutesy or “beautiful.” Middle-aged moppets are creepy. Just look at her casting in the remake of “The Women” to see how messed up Hollywood has things. (Not that “The Women” should ever have been remade.) But I’d put her in Rosalind Russell parts–lanky, good with physical comedy, brash, bitchy, and mouthy.


      • Where Did Meg Ryan Go?


        Meg Ryan was the darling of the movie industry back in the 1990’s. Her face and name generated millions of dollars and movies were almost always assured of being a success when Ryan had top billing. Even when her movie was not a smash, it would usually go on to generate huge profits when it went to VHS or DVD. Yep, Meg Ryan was the top A-list star and it seemed like her run of success would never come to an end.

        So, what happened to Meg Ryan? Where did she go? It seems like she just kind of fell off the face of the Earth. Where is she today. Will she ever make a successful return to her rightful place as America’s Sweetheart? Let’s examine her career, how it abruptly changed, and what she is doing today.

        Meg Ryan’s Glory Days

        Meg Ryan’s movies generated over a billion dollars from 1993 to 1998. It was not uncommon for her to command $15 million for a single picture. Ryan hit the movie industry’s radar screen when she played opposite Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally. Her fake orgasm scene is still one of the most memorable scenes of all times. Over the next 15 years, Meg Ryan took roles in mainly romantic comedies. The most famous movies she starred in were Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, Addicted to Love, City of Angels, You’ve Got Mail, and Kate and Leopold. Even the commercial disappointment Joe vs. the Volcano ended up generating a cult following and has become a financial success on DVD. Some people consider her the greatest female actress in romantic comedies. I think I will agree with them.

        Ryan’s Fall From Grace

        Ryan’s fall from the top was not sudden. Kate and Leopold, which was a 2003 film was, and still is, Ryan’s top grossing film of that decade.She had already had one movie, Hanging Up, that fell short of expectations and another, Proof of Life, has been pointed at by some as the beginning of the end for Ryan. Whether they are right or not, some people claim that the alleged affair she had with her co-star Russell Crowe is one of the reasons that her career began to crumble.

        After the 2003, Kate and Leopold, Ryan began stepping away from the romantic comedies that made her a household name. She took on In the Cut and appeared nude in a lengthy scene. This is another reason that some people claim led to her fall. They claim that Meg Ryan was the darling of the movie industry, but this movie made the people who loved and admired her very uncomfortable. Critics hated the movie and hated her next movie even more. It was a boxing movie called Against the Ropes. The movie made less than $6 million dollars. Ryan was no longer the draw she once was.

        Ryan took a three year break after the bomb Against the Ropes. She finally returned in the movie, In the Land of Women in 2007. The movie had a small budget. It made more money than it cost to make and Ryan, who played a mother facing breast cancer who connected with a younger neighbor, received generally good reviews. She followed that movie with The Deal, which was another bomb and was released straight to DVD. Ryan was off the radar of the elite in Hollywood. Her next film, My Mom’s New Boyfriend also went straight to DVD and it seemed like her career was over.

        Ryan took on a role in The Women in 2009. The movie was blasted by the critics but it did well at the box office. It is her second best grossing film of the 2000’s and did bring Ryan back to the public’s radar. Sadly, Ryan’s next film only generated $150,000 worldwide. She starred opposite Timothy Hutton in Serious Moonlight and received very mixed reviews.

        Where is Meg Ryan Today and Why Did She Fall So Far?

        Finally, Meg Ryan was cast in Lives of the Saints in 2010 and was supposed to make her feature film directing debut in a movie called Into the Beautiful. She has also been cast in Long Time Gone. Her fans hope she can return to the glory of yesteryear but that hope may be a bit hollow.

        Ryan and her husband, Dennis Quaid divorced in 2001 after her alleged affair with Russell Crowe back in 2000. Interestingly, Ryan announced in 2008 that Quaid had had multiple affairs during their marriage. Some people feel that Ryan’s revelation was her way of fighting back against those critics who claim that her affair with Crowe led to her fall.

        Other critics say that Meg Ryan’s plastic surgery was a failure and that was the main reason her career fell apart. People will always remember Ryan for being the girl next door, the sweet, pretty girl who anyone could approach. She lost that look after her plastic surgery. One critic claimed that the only role Ryan will be able to succeed at now is as The Joker. I find that to be cruel and distasteful, but I will agree that Ryan no longer looks like her former self and that will undoubtedly mean that she will never rise back to the levels she enjoyed in the 1990’s.


        • What the hell happened to Meg Ryan?


          She’s thrived over the years over being the cute single gal, which doesn’t work as well when you’re in your 40s. At this point she should be gracefully transitioning to the comedy mom/wife roles (like Bonnie Hunt in Cheaper By the Dozen) but she seems to desperately cling to her youth type romantic/sexy roles (In the Cut, drastic plastic surgery). If she keeps it up she’ll be trying to play romantic single gal after 50. It worked for Diane Keaton, but Something’s Gotta Give was about older romance… if Meg does it she’ll probably try to pass herself off as 34.

          She’s pulling the female equivalent of a ‘comb-over’.


        • 9 Celebs Who Looked Better Before Plastic Surgery:

          1. Meg Ryan

          For a good chunk of her career, Meg Ryan was gorgeous. She just had such a lovely face. Over the last decade though, she seems to have tried to preserve what was left of her youthful appearance with lip implants, fillers and Botox injections. It has not worked. In fact, it looks as though it has had the opposite effect. She now looks a lot older. We’re not sure what possessed her to do this or who was actually performing the plastic surgery on her face. Whoever did it did a budget job.

          We still can’t get over how pretty Ryan was earlier on in her career. She seemed to have it all – good looks and a prosperous career. Now, she is almost unrecognizable and her career is more or less nonexistent. She really needs to lay off the plastic surgery – it’s not helping at all.


  4. I think Meg Ryan received a bad deal when it comes to the public perception of her films that were non rom com. What, is she not allowed to have range or grow as a performer? Not only “In The Cut” or “Flesh and Bone”, but I think “Proof of Life” holds up (I don’t give a rat’s arse about scandals or any of the nonsense that doesn’t deal with the film in question).


    • I agree. Although in defense of the audiences who rejected these roles, Ryan never really made a stand-out drama. Maybe if she had done a Leaving Las Vegas, audiences would have accepted her attempts to grow.


      • Eillio Martin Imbasciati

        That’s true; most of the dramas she appeared in just missed. I still think that the majority of audiences preferred her in the plucky “America’s Sweetheart” roles, and had difficulty accepting her in any other capacity.


    • jeffthewildman

      Her best dramatic role is still Courage under Fire.


  5. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

    I have to agree, jeffthewildman. It demonstrates that Meg Ryan can do well with roles that have some teeth.


    • What I liked about Courage Under Fire is that it allowed Ryan to show some range. Her character changed depending on who was telling the story. My criticism of her performance, from memory, is that the changes could have been more subtle. If she was being presented as a coward, Ryan played it like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. If she was brave, she was Rambo. Maybe that’s how she was directed. But it would have made more sense to me for the characterization to have been more consistent and the changes more subtle. Each iteration seemed like a completely different person instead of the same person perceived differently by different people. That’s my memory of the movie anyway. Haven’t watched it in ages.


      • I see what you mean Lebeau; the story of “Courage Under Fire” was told in a black and white manner (a grey area would have been a better option, in my opinion).I kind of understand it (certain people like to gossip, or compete for the best possible story.


  6. Meg Ryan will play the narrator on “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff:

    She’ll be the female Bob Saget on “How I Met Your Dad,” playing the future Sally to Greta Gerwig’s present Sally.


    • Meg Ryan won’t get a Travolta comeback:

      The Travolta Comeback – it’s what every former A-lister pines for when their agent’s phone stops ringing.

      John Travolta himself has had at least two such comebacks, and Mickey Rourke may be in the middle of his first.

      But what are the chances that Meg Ryan … or any other 40-plus actress … can swing such a feat?

      It’s not pretty.

      Ryan is a good example of what happens to too many older actresses. Sure, you’ll always have the exceptions – Meryl Streep and Judi Dench come to mind. But only Streep remains red-hot, commercially speaking, at the ripe age of 59.

      Ryan, the ’90s rom-com princess, could command big paychecks. Romantic comedies are where actresses shine, both commercially and in the hearts and minds of movie goers.

      Just think back to Goldie Hawn and Doris Day before her.

      Today, Ryan is often seen in direct to video fare (“The Deal,” “My Mom’s New Boyfriend”). She still looks beautiful even if she may have dabbled in some plastic surgery. And her figure remains to die for.

      But she’d need Quentin Tarantino to stage an entire film around her to give her career that ol’ A-list juice.

      Then you have Rourke, an actor who seemingly spent the last decade burning every bridge in sight. And his face is a Jackson Pollock painting of age, boxing losses and who knows what.

      But he came this close to beating out Sean Penn for the Best Actor Oscar over the weekend and is in talks to star in “Iron Man 2.”

      He’ll be the toast of town again, at least for a while, and have a crack at some scripts he may have never seen as little as a year ago.

      As for Ryan, she’ll keep on working, like her female peers, but with the knowledge that her days on the A-list are likely over.


  7. meg ryan like kilmer and law never really made a list with exception of sleepless and Seattle ,youve got mail and top gun all her movies either flop or do decent business those 3 hits with hanks movies and cruises so she never really made a list


  8. a lot of the top actress cant carry a movie not alot of actress that can carry a movie cate blanchett julia roberts streep and bullock are the only ones that comes to mind oh and diane keaton i guess


  9. The bottom line is that audiences did not want to see Meg Ryan in hard hitting, dramatic roles. Yes, she was typecast as “America’s Sweetheart” and either didn’t want to be or actually wasn’t at all in real life.
    But ask her back in the early 80’s whether she would want the success that being America’s little Sweetheart or “the 1990’s Doris Day would mean to her?
    Why is it that actors dream of being on top and when they get there, they want to dismiss the reasons why they are>
    Meg Ryan apparently wanted to show she was a talented dramatic actress.
    So what, the problem was no one wanted her to be that. She had the success she wanted early but that was not enough.
    My advice to Meg Ryan and others who fortunate to get to the top and then want to show their range.. . .GO TO THE BROADWAY STAGE!!
    That is where you show true acting ability. Nightly, without 25 retakes.


    • Absolutely true. For a period of time, Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart. She was our darling! Nobody wanted to see her in serious dramatic roles. That’s the downside of being America’s Sweetheart. Fluff is the way to our heart, apparently.


      • I’m not a big rom com fan. I was interested in Ryan’s dramatic career. Unfortunately, she made a lot of dramas that didn’t interest me at all. She needed to pick better projects.


      • Re: Who is Blacklisted in Hollywood and why (bring the tea):

        Chick rivaled Julia Roberts for the title of the America’s Sweetheart in the 90s (I’d argue that she had a better track record during that time because she didn’t have a dry period during that entire decade, while Julia had a 4-year drought), yet you’d never know by the way that Hollywood froze her out after her “affair” with Russell Crowe went public. Though the bad plastic surgery was the final nail in that coffin, that scandal was what the industry latched on to as a reason to cast her aside like yesterday’s news (while Russell went on to win an Oscar and Dennis got to act like the cuckolded husband even though he cheated on her throughout their marriage).


        • http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/832224-Who-is-Blacklisted-in-Hollywood-and-why-(bring-the-tea)?p=20959571&viewfull=1#post20959571

          While I think the “affair” was the nail in the coffin, her career was heading downward beforehand. Her rom coms were getting smaller returns so she started doing dramas (The Doors, Proof of Life – which was the movie she did with Crowe and finally In the Cut – a sexual thriller that demolished her career). The “affair” was just an excuse for execs to quit taking her agent’s calls (cause everybody knew Dennis Quaid was cheating on her left and right).


          • http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/832224-Who-is-Blacklisted-in-Hollywood-and-why-(bring-the-tea)?p=20960275&viewfull=1#post20960275

            The Doors was released in 1991 – years before her decline and during her A-list heyday. The filming of Proof of Life is where that “affair” began, so the negative buzz coincided with its release and eventual flopping of the movie (which hurt her while her costar skated away scot-free).

            In the Cut was her last ditch effort to get the A-list she’d lost from the “affair” but it failed because:
            a. no one ever wanted to see her in any kind of femme fatale role
            b. folks were starting to notice the facial butchering that she’d done after that Proof of Life flop

            For the record, I’m not saying that she would’ve had a Sandra Bullock career (going stronger than ever into her 50s). She could’ve very well aged out of those roles as many of her ilk did, but the way that her downfall happened reeks of blacklisting to me.


    • I don’t begrudge Ryan trying to diversify her career. She had to know there was a ticking clock on her ability to reign as the queen of rom coms. There were already younger actresses coming up to compete for the crown. If she could branch out into dramatic roles, her movie career would have had more longevity. And who doesn’t want validation. She had dominated the box office. Of course winning an Oscar was the next challenge. I actually respect that more than someone like Adam Sandler who decides he is comfortable cranking out the same dumb movie every year for two decades because he knows it sells.


      • For myself, the only Adam Sandler film that I really enjoyed was “The Wedding Singer” (it had the 1980’s , and heart Oh, and that wanker Billy Idol. Just kidding: I love the vital Idol). Otherwise, he can take a hike (or take a drag, since I think he’s become one).


  10. Derailed Film Stars: Meg Ryan Messed-up:

    With her startling blue eyes, blonde ringlets and effervescent personality, Meg Ryan was the undisputed queen of romantic comedies throughout the 80s and 90s. Despite her bubbly persona, Ryan was also considered an A-list actress. That was until a personal scandal irreparably damaged her career and made her the frequent subject of “what ever happened to ….” types of Internet queries. With an impressive filmography, see how Ryan rose to stardom and recovered her career.

    Joe Versus the Volcano

    Three Meg Ryans are better than one in this romantic fantasy comedy starring the ultimate rom-com couple, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Coming off the success of When Harry Met Sally, Ryan really got to show off her range, playing three different sisters and three different versions of the ideal woman in Joe’s (Hanks) life. From tight-laced career woman, to screwball L.A heiress, and a more heightened version of her usual charming self. Tom Hanks’ mane of glory wasn’t the only thing of beauty on set; the whole film is a masterclass in production design. Despite being a first-time director, John Patrick Shanley knew how to infuse magic into his movies, after winning the Oscar for his very first screenplay, Moonstruck. With his theatrical background, Joe Versus the Volcano buzzes with snappy, stage-worthy dialogue and whimsical flair. It bombed at the box office, but was one of Ryan’s best performances.

    Musical Miscasting

    As much as Ryan shines in her element, she rarely strays from it, and with good reason. In a case of gross miscasting, Ryan’s girl-next-door persona fell short when it came to playing Pamela Courson — Jim Morrison’s longtime paramour and muse. All the 60s costuming in the world wasn’t going to turn Ryan into a rockstar girlfriend and free-spirited siren. But Ryan was hardly the weakest link in Oliver Stone’s overwrought biopic, The Doors (1991). While Val Kilmer went all-in to play the “Lizard King,” the whole film was a mess and an exercise in self-aggrandizement on Stone’s part.

    The Love Equation

    You’ve got to hand it to the writers to come-up with a very novel take on the life of brilliant theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, as he experiments with the human heart. Evoking the romantic screwball comedies of the 30s, I.Q manages to make everyone seem smarter than the predictable romantic mechanizations at play. The film features your typical meet-cute with a pixie-haired Ryan and an affable car mechanic, played by Tim Robbins. As a brilliant mathematician and the niece of a genius, Ryan’s stubbornness to immediately just fall for some guy is what made her the in-demand leading lady for most of the decade. The film is loaded with comedic talent, including Walter Matthau’s brilliant turn as Einstein, British comedian Stephen Fry and other veteran character actors, who makeup the Greek chorus that cheer on the young lovers.

    Proof of Life

    After riding high for over a decade as the reigning queen of rom-coms, Ryan’s personal and professional life would implode on the set of Taylor Hackford’s action thriller, Proof of Life. It didn’t help that Ryan played a married woman who’s swayed by Russell Crowe’s Aussie charms, when it was revealed the two co-stars were hooking up on set. When news of the purported coupling broke, Ryan’s picture perfect, ten-year marriage to Dennis Quaid fell apart. So did her image as America’s sweetheart, despite the fact that Quaid had previously been unfaithful and the marriage was all but over anyway.

    In The Cut

    After the whole Crowe debacle, Ryan retreated back to romantic comedies in an attempt to resuscitate her career, but it seemed audiences were not so quick to forgive. When Kate and Leopold flopped at the box office, she decided to change gears and opt for some edgier material with the ill-advised erotic thriller called In the Cut. Promotion of the film heavily relied upon Ryan’s nudity rather than her performance, and the movie suffered for it. It took guts for Ryan to play a sexually-starved forty-something at an age when most actresses are supposed to stick to mom roles, but Ryan never got the credit she deserved. The film was panned by critics and ignored by audiences, but with a trio of women behind the scenes (Jane Campion directed it, novelist Susanna Moore wrote the screenplay, and Nicole Kidman served as producer), it subverted the usual noir cliches and deserves a revisit.

    Meg Embraces her Comeback

    Despite her forced hiatus and string of straight-to-DVD movies and TV cameos, Ryan is primed to make a comeback, with two new promising projects in the pipeline. One has her joining Mad Men’s Sally Draper, Kiernan Shipka, in the indie high-school comedy, Fan Girl, about a 15-year-old girl who’s obsessed with making movies and the real-life alternative rock band All Time Low. On the other side of the coin, Ryan will be moving into the director’s seat and reuniting with her former co-star Tom Hanks in the WWII-era coming-of-age drama, Ithaca. Hanks will executive produce while Ryan will also star in the adaptation of William Saroyan’s classic 1943 novel The Human Comedy, along with Sam Shepard, Melanie Griffith and Jack Quaid.


  11. Happy 53rd birthday to Meg Ryan.


  12. LeBeau,

    I think that having over 400 comments for Meg Ryan makes a powerful statement. Somebody must be watching something….

    Happy birthday Meg.

    Brad Deal


  13. i think a mom role on a sitcom is good for her her movie star days are over i actualy thought maybe mother roles in superhero films i actually pictured her as aunt may in spiderman


  14. Meg is meg she is like feniks she lose energy but energy is come to meg she is star yes she is star beauty star in hollywood and sky she just shorting hair and meg is younger hair is energy of life i prying fo meg she is so sveet sou.. Lv you meg forever!!by!


  15. Beauty came from sou eyes is a window of sou meg heave so beauty window of the sou.. Good bless you


  16. she needs a sitcom role her movie career is done a mother in a family sitcom leabu she does have a tom hanks film coming out this year u think that could be her comeback


  17. Ryan in Top 10 Movie Stars Who Dropped Off the Map


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