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What the Hell Happened to Meg Ryan?

Meg-Ryan1

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

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Posted on June 12, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 556 Comments.

  1. So sad to see a great fall so hard.

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  2. Your \’now\’ photo is in fact 8 years old. Made me not want to read the rest of your story, sorry.

    Meg Ryan has three movie projects lined up with her in it as an actress and one which she will direct. She leads a happy life with her boyfriend, two kids and who knows how many dozens of millions $$ in the bank.

    In other worrds: she\’s doing just fine. Not every actor wants to remain a superstar.

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    • Regarding the photo: I work with what I have available. I’m not exactly People magazine here. There’s a more recent and less flattering picture at the end of the article.

      Having projects lined up and seeing them completed are two different things. I actually mentioned Ryan’s intention to move behind the camera at the end of the article. And I do wish her well. As I said at the beginning, I’ve always been a fan.

      As to her money, her family and her bank account, I wish her nothing but the best. I hope she’s as happy as you make her out to be. It’s true, not ever actor wishes to remain a superstar. Michael Keaton, for example, seems to have decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. But with my limited info, I don’t get the impression that was exactly the case with Ryan. She’s still out there scrambling. She’s just not competing with Julia Roberts for roles any more.

      As for who cheated on whom, that wasn’t really the point of the article. I was primarily focused on what caused Meg Ryan’s career to cool off. And there’s no denying that Ryan’s affair with Russel Crowe hurt her career. I think I made it clear in the article that I don’t believe she was treated fairly by the media or the movie going public. But on the other hand, life’s not fair.

      The truth is, Ryan’s career was cooling anyway at the time of the scandal. She needed an Erin Brokovich role to help her transition from young starlet roles into more mature roles like Julia Roberts. Ryan tried, but she never picked the right project. Maybe without the scandal, more doors would have been open to Ryan and she’d have found the role that would have given her career a second life. But that didn’t happen.

      Hopefully, Meg Ryan will find a second chance behind the camera. As Sarah commented, it is sad to see the great ones fall.

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  3. PS, it was in fact Dennis Quaid who cheated on her for many years. But leave it up to the media to ignore that fact of coruse.

    Meg Ryan simply has a bad hand in picking movies. And she lives in a country with many double standards.

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    • Whatever Happened To: Meg Ryan?

      http://getafilm.blogspot.com/2008/08/whatever-happened-to-meg-ryan.html

      Let’s go back to my three initial inquiries.

      Age discrimination – If you ask me, she still has star looks at 46 years old (above in The Women), so aside from there being few parts written for 40-somethings, this doesn’t seem like it would be the major issue. It’s just that she’d have to fight Diane Lane over those few roles.

      Poor choice of roles – Certainly something to be said here. Following up You’ve Got Mail in 1998 with the sci-fi romantic comedy Kate and Leopold in 2001, she completely changed gears with Proof of Life (which was decent, mostly because of Russell Crowe), In The Cut (in which she appeared nude and simulated oral sex with Mark Ruffalo), and the aforementioned Against the Ropes (in which she played a female boxing promoter). Read through those again. Meg Ryan?

      I’m not advocating that actors do the same thing over and over again, but there has to be some understanding of risk, and it’s hard to argue that Ryan’s early 2000’s character choices did not do serious damage to her career. Blame can be placed at other weaknesses in those films, or poor execution overall, but it’s a moot point by now. If you’re going to branch out, you have to do it wisely.

      The death of the respectable romantic comedy – If we consider Notting Hill the last peak in romantic comedies (earlier eras belonging to Woody Allen), there haven’t been too many in the last decade to speak of. Every now and then one will come along, like 2 Days in Paris or Definitely, Maybe (which I include based on hearsay alone), but the genre hasn’t been very healthy since J-Lo and Jessica Alba received the baton from Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, or even Cameron Diaz.

      But if Ryan deliberately moved away from romantic comedies in the early 2000’s, the lull of romantic comedies shouldn’t have made a huge difference.

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    • Media did not ignore that. If he was in fact cheating he did not do it in a public way. She did. Being public with a relationship allows the media to say whatever they want. If you chose not to make it public, all the reporting has to preface their comments with “Allegedly”, “rumored to”, “reportedly” etc.

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  4. Is “Bella” a codename for Meg Ryan? Seems you’ve struck a nerve this time LeBeau! Having become a regular reader here at “le blog”, I can tell you, Bella, that LeBeau is kind-hearted and actually feels badly about these fallen stars. I’ve personally recommended a couple of these ex-stars/starlets to LeBeau to write about (Sean Young, for example), because he does it with superb grace. If I were to do it, it would be much more cruel and cutting ; ) Don’t attack the messenger please! The fact is, this particular column fascinates many people because there are times when we all wonder…What the Hell Happened To ___?! And of course we would wonder, as these people become a part of our lives. All a part of being famous you know. They can’t have it both ways.

    While I agree that Val Kilmer’s lifeforce is a downward suckling vortex, I think that the Batman Curse is being overlooked here ; ) I’m sorry, but I don’t think that Val is fully at fault.

    Age is a huge factor. Meg’s once cute, quirky little smile has mutated into a poor imitation of Jack Nicholson’s version of the Joker (no, Batman will just not go away).

    The bottom line? The scandal with Crowe ruined her career as LeBeau has stated. Everyone was shocked by this. Old people were shocked by this, and if old people notice, it’s gotta be bad! The specifics didn’t matter. Her career implosion had begun.

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    • Thanks for stepping up to my defense. I actually appreciate Bella’s passion. It’s always good to see that. To be such a dedicated Meg Ryan fan all these years later takes true dedication! And Bella raises some fair points. Meg Ryan did kind of get screwed over.

      I try to be as fair as possible with these write-ups. But also, I am having fun at the stars’ expense. Because, let’s face facts, they may not be on top of the world any more. But they can still take it. They’ve been through worse than being the subject of a snarky little blog post. And as I pointed out in this article, it’s always done with affection for the subject.

      That Batman curse is a killer! I am kind of bummed to see Chris O’Donnel working in TV these days or he’d be a subject for sure. Alicia Silverstone, however, is only a matter of time…

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    • Not true! People are unempressed for 10 minutes and all they want to see is a good movie. Really that is it. A good movie with actors that have great chemistry!

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      • Sure they do.
        But this is a case where a performer’s public personna was so strong that only certain types of movies were embraced when she was the star. The public scandal sheet stuff was timed terribly for her and went contrary to what was a very entrenched public perception of her and it shortened the top end of her career.
        If she hadn’t been the type of actress she is, maybe her troubles would’ve been different. She was spot on in the interview about the difference between an actor and a movie star. Most performers don’t get to choose which one they are, unfortunately.

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      • Hi Suzy.

        Thanks for reading. I always appreciate when a reader has enough passion about a subject to take the time to comment. And you commented three times! Good for you.

        Unfortunately, I’m having a tough time identifying your point because you are responding to scatter comments which are quite old. I’m not exactly sure what points you are objecting to.

        As such, I will respond in a very broad sense. First, let me state on the record that I am a Meg Ryan fan. In my youth, she was a cinematic crush. These days, not so much. But I still regard her hey day with nostalgia. And I have a great deal of respect for her unrealized potential. She had more range as an actress than she gets credit for.

        But the fact of the matter is that Ryan (like most any movie star) had a rise and a fall. The point of the article was to chronicle that. Not to judge, but to attempt to identify what lead to her success and the fall that followed. Like Daffy pointed out, Ryan had a lot of success in “movie star” roles which relied on her girl next door image. When public scandal killed that image, audiences rejected her in that role.

        I’m sure that is a simplification of the real story. But I think that is the high-level narrative of the rise and fall of Meg Ryan. Do you disagree?

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  5. It’s a pain …reading this article is killing me…

    I was, am, and forever will be a true blue fan of Meg.

    While I admit I DID NOT go to see In the Cut (2003), which was/ is a taboo to me and my friends. I guess I’ll never see this movie in my life.

    … I … anyway, wish her well… and just don’t act anymore…

    ps. would you talk about What the Hell Happened to Virginia Madsen ?

    (and… Cage ? … although we already knew… like I know everything you talk about Meg …)

    pps. yup…Kate Hudson IS destined to become the next Meg Ryan.

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  6. I love Meg, always have and always will. I happened to pop back here today to see if there were comments, and good lord! Thanks for the entertainment. I had no idea this was such a touchy subject. Although I get the most harsh criticism when I submit recipes so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It is amazing what fires people up.

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  7. andymovieman

    i think meg ryan is a very talented and beautiful actress. i think she should do another good film. she did a good job in when harry met sally, sleepless in seattle, hanging up, and addicted to love. she is more talented than julia roberts. i hope meg ryan does another good film.

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    • Danielle Charney

      She is a real talent. It is too bad. But it’s the age thing. What have you seen Roberts in lately either? She is getting up there too. Sad. Ryan is smart- maybe writing and directing will be something she will enjoy -out of the brutal spotlight of the Sunset Boulevard cruel hot lights- close up

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      • Hi Danielle.
        I think you’re right that Meg Ryan is smart enough to re-invent herself as a writer or director, the question is does she want to?

        The fact that she dropped out of a role in the film “Long Time Gone” would seem to indicate that she’s given up on her acting career and even though she’s signed up to direct her first film “Into The Beautiful”, we’ll have to wait and see if that project ever comes to fruition.

        Welcome to leBlog, I’ve enjoyed your comments and I hope you’ll become a regular contributor.

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        • Paul, I’m about 1/2 way through Flesh and Bone. Thanks for the recommendation! I can’t wait to finish it and write it up.

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      • Danielle Charney

        HI-
        It’s not letting me respond to your post – how odd-
        I have no idea what Meg or Jessica Lange, for instance
        want to do – so few parts for the older women -hate seeing them all go to Meryl Streep-would love to see more Helen Mirren and Lange- as for Meg-
        I hope she can enjoy just being smart and having had a great life -it’s harder to age than I ever thought it would be- I can only imagine how having earned your living with your looks and losing that power must feel like- interesting to see what happens- now if only these settings worked

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    • I’ve really enjoyed the comments on this article this week, especially Danielle’s, she’s obviously on the same wavelength as me when it comes to Meg Ryan.
      Lebeau you really made my day when I read that you’d started to watch Flesh And Bone. You’ll be one of a very small group of people I’ve come across who’ve actually watched that film and certainly the first to watch it on my recommendation.
      I’m going away for a few days tomorrow, but I’ll be looking forward to reading your thoughts on F&B when I get back.
      Have a great week everyone!

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      • I just posted my review. I have to admit, I’m very torn on the movie. I hope I don’t come across overly harsh in my review. I definitely think it is a movie more people should see for themselves. Both Quaid and Ryan are great in it. It reminded me why I was a Meg Ryan fan to begin with. Thanks for your recommendation! Now I need to check out Addicted to Love.

        Have a great trip. Look forward to hearing from you when you get back!

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      • Danielle Charney

        Hey Paul,
        Thanks for the compliment- I think age is a freight train that almost everyone underestimates- star or not- I like seeing how Charlize Theron has never counted on it to be her only meal ticket- she went right for the big stuff- not that Meg did shlock- I haven’t been able to post and I have no idea why so I am going to put all my comments that were previously responded to by you and Lbeau here- as for my feeling about Streep- yes I agree she is certainly a great actress- to call her the ‘greatest ever’ I think is “PR Machine” stuff – and I do think her ego is massive- of course you do need that to survive- but I do not like her in comedy at all – I don’t think she is that good in it- much prefer her in drama- and I do get tired of seeing all roles going to her and Diane Keaton ( whose affectations in comedy ) have always bothered me- when other actresses sit around getting not much of a shot- I also do think it’s much easier to play a real life character- especially if you already look like them- you have a map – and your talent can tailor to it- to create the character from nothing is much harder to me at least- it’s also unfair of me to judge Streep and Keaton in comedies of later because of the slick shlock upper crust roasted french chicken obsessed Nancy Myers who I cannot stand- next to her- Nora Ephron is Shakespeare- so I know it’s not popular to dare criticize the great Streep or Keaton but there it is- I do love Streep’s dramatic work – no question – especially a small little known film “Before and After” with Liam Neeson- to me her gift is drama- not comedy- I also know for a fact from make up connections in the business that are way up there that Streep goes on and on about being against plastic surgery and has had almost everything done including constant fillers- I don’t care- and I would love to know the name of her surgeon- but why lie? to be superior? why not be honest about it?

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  8. I adore Joe Vs. The Volcano! I remember going to see that at the theater when I was a kid. I think that Meg has it in her to make a great comeback. I actually really like most every movie she has been in. I guess I am a loyalist. I like an actor or actress and I stick with them. City of Angels is my all time favorite for her though. She and Cage had great chemistry and the whole “what is it all about” and “what would you do for real love” themes of the movie were really profound to me at the time that the movie came out. It takes me to a place of nostalgia and longing for lost innocence of youth. I hope that she does make her way back to the top even if it is unlikely.

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    • Anyone who appreciates Joe vs. the Volcano is always welcome at Le Blog. We are a rare breed! I really need to go back and watch again to see if I enjoy it as much today as I did in my college years.

      I think Meg Ryan has potential to come back some day and do some character bits. Think Carrie Fisher kind of parts. And maybe, like Fisher, you can start up a career behind the camera. That is clearly her intent.

      I do feel like to some extent, Meg Ryan got a bad deal from American audiences. But I also think since her screen persona was based on her “sweetheart” image and her youthful good looks, her career cooling was almost inevitable.

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  9. I hope you don’t mind me commenting on your post almost two months after the event, I only happened across it today but as a die hard Meg Ryan fan it was a pleasure to read such a well written and researched article on my favourite actress.
    I agree with you that the cooling off of Meg’s career was inevitable, mainly because most of her fan base would only watch her in certain romantic comedy roles and didn’t like or ignored the other work she did. Flesh And Bone is my favourite of all her films but I’ve struggled to find anyone who has even seen it and the same applies to Prelude To A Kiss and Joe Versus The Volcano which is a criminally overlooked gem.
    The criticism and double standards that were applied to Meg over the split from Quaid and her role in In The Cut must have hurt too and I’ve always thought it was very unfair that she gave the performance of her life in a very difficult role in In The Cut and received nothing but ridicule.
    I don’t think we’ll see Meg work as a full time actress any more, although she will be popping up in a couple of cameo roles in the near future and she’s got her directorial début to look forward to, but to be honest it wouldn’t bother me if she didn’t act again.
    The films she’s done already are more than enough and it’s always a joy to share my memories of Meg’s heyday with like minded people. Thanks again for a wonderful post Lebeau and I’ll look forward to reading your posts in the future.
    Take it easy.

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    • These comments sections are on-going conversations. And I plan to go back and update some of these articles as new info comes in. So, they are living works. Welcome to the party!

      You’re right on the money with Meg’s career. No surprise since you are clearly a fan. I have to admit, I lost track of Meg’s career after Proof of Life and never got around to seeing In the Cut. But I do recall she was ridiculed for it. No doubt she got some bad press that was unfair. And most of her fanbase wouldn’t embrace her when she moved outside of her traditinal romantic comedy roles.

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    • Danielle Charney

      I love Meg is dramatic roles- she is such a smart actress and so good in them- would love to have seen her in Good as it Gets- or Somethings Gotta Give or It’s Complicated- all gone to actresses ( older ) that i don’t think are nearly as good as Meg at comedy – or Lange either

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  10. I never liked Meg Ryan as an actress, and I absolutely have a visceral dislike for romantic comedies that borders on hatred. All who follow films understand the double-standards in male/female career longevity and eventually Ryan would’ve found herself unemployed, with or without the Crowe fiasco. Just as other romantic comedies-only actresses such as Kate Hudson and Jennifer Anniston will.
    But WOW!!!! Better to age gracefully rather than look like the troll that Ryan now looks like.

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    • I will give Ryan credit for trying to break out of the romantic comedy mold. Around the time of When a Man Loves a Woman, I really thought she was going to do it. But audiences never really accepted her except when she was being adorable.

      I definitely agree her career had an expiration date on it. Audiences don’t want to see older women in romantic comedies. And since she couldn’t cross over, she was doomed no matter what. The main impact I see of the Crowe debacle is that it sped up the ticking clock. Audiences turned on her big time. Any chances she had to cross over to other types of roles disappeared after she stopped being America’s Sweetheart and became seen as a home wrecker (true or not).

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      • Danielle Charney

        There appears (gasp in a way ) a new and revived market for Boomer romance- “It’s Complicated”- “Something’s Gotta Give”- it seems that only three women have survived into the Granny Rom – Com Genre- Sarandon, Streep and Keaton. If I am required to watch a naked Evan Handler on Californication – then we can survive watching some aging women in these roles. Evidently, there is a call for these sorts of movies -and perhaps people with a bit more depth than Nancy Myers will start doing them. Interesting to watch.

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        • Nancy Myers. Sigh.

          Streep’s career is simply amazing. I am in awe of her. Is there nothing this woman can’t do? I fully intend to write about her some day. He late career surge fascinates me.

          Glenn Close has said that actresses 40 and over find refuge on TV these days. I can’t argue with her. That’s where the best roles for women (especially mature women) seem to be. Case in point: Did you ever think people would be buzzing about Jessica Lange again pre-American Horror Story?

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      • Danielle Charney

        Lange sure was great in Grey Gardens- while I found Drew hard to take – ( but I always have found her hard to take- always the same ) – TV is the new career for older women however- their is now a need for good scripts for older people buzzing around the Biz- so hopefully we will see them- Boomers are a big audience and they want real stuff it seems- hope to see many fine older actresses get a shot- and I wouldn’t mention a limited talent, plain looking mass marketed Jennifer A in the same breadth for acting as Meg- Jennifer cannot act a bit IMO but lucky for her was married to Brad or I think she would have disappeared long ago

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  11. How come no mention of her turn as a tawdry, sex pal in the film adaptation of Hurly Burly, alongside Kevin Spacey and Sean Penn. Certainly an attempt to recreate her image, alongside to bona fide hollywood heavyweights that went terribly awry.

    P.S. I understand this well after this article was posted, but I just thought it warranted a mention.

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  12. I love meg ryan
    will be two films
    Lives of the Saints
    Long Time Gone
    Will also director of the movie “Into The Beautiful”

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  13. Joe versus the Volcano is one of the most underrated comedies of the last 30 years.

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    • It really is. It does not deserve the ridicule many (including Hanks) heaped on it.

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      • The scenes with Joe’s boss (“I know he can get the job, but can he DO the job?!?”), Lloyd Bridges, and the luggage salesman are themselves worth watching it for.

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        • Could not agree more. I used to quote Dan Hedaya’s “I know he can get the job” monologue. But most people had no idea what I was doing and looked at me like I was crazy. Can I just say that Hedaya’s delivery in that scene is nothing less than brilliant?

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  14. LeBeau, not sure if I’ve already suggested him (he probably doesn’t qualify), but I think it’s time to find out What the Hell Happened to Christian Slater.

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    • I think he fits the criteria just enough. I’ll have to add him to the list.

      I’m about 2/3 done with my latest magnum opus. It’s slow going partially because it’s a long one. But also, this is just a time of year when I don’t have as much time to write. My work picks up for end-of-year through tax season really. Add in the holidays, and I get kind of swamped. But fear not, it is slowly progressing.

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  15. I just discovered your blog. . . and I was around Hollywood and saw first hand what you talk about, You are right on in your observations of what you point out.

    In closing, you are a very talented writer. Thank you for such an enjoyable read (you made me LOL several times with your wit :). You are right on in your observations of what you point out. Do you write about other things as well?

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    • Quit! You’re making me blush! I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles.

      It’s kind of a hodge podge around here. Most of what I write about relates to movies or TV. But I’m also interested/obsessed with theme parks. So, you’ll see a lot of that too. Then there are odds and ends usually involving pictures of my kids.

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  16. That last pic looks EXACTLY like Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman………
    Meg – I would NEVER have thought she’d have left herself in that shape post op.
    I’d freakin’ MURDER that butcher plastic surgeon.
    One movie I LOVED that you didn’t seem to was French Kiss….
    Kline was AWESOME, so was Ryan – and the ending was superb! 😉
    As to one person’s last response re: not every actress wants to remain a superstar, I agree.
    And it’s a good dam thing she doesn’t ……
    I really enjoyed this read, LeBeau – even now! Thx.
    Cheers!

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    • Glad you enjoyed the article.

      I have a rolling list of movies I plan to revisit someday and French Kiss is on it. Thanks to my pal Paul over at the Meg Ryan/Michelle Pfeiffer blog, I’ve got a pretty big backlog of Meg Ryan movies to get through. At his recommendation, Flesh and Bone is high on my list (and waiting on my DVR).

      I’m also a big Kevin Kline fan. Expect to see a Kline article later or sooner. (Probably later at the rate I’m going). I remember thinking that Kline was great in French Kiss. But much like I Love You to Death, his funny accent just couldn’t save the movie. However, I haven’t watched the film since it was released in theaters. So maybe with lowered expectations and a historical perspective, I will enjoy it more on second viewing.

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

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  17. ken fuller marchpane books london

    Ha really enjoyed your article, so much more powerful & condemnatory when it comes from a position of love. Or one time love. Suppose it won’t matter much to Americans but she destroyed any goodwill British people had toward with just a single appearance on UK TVs Parkinson Show.

    seems to be a strange negative symbiosis of irked interviewer with over sensitive interviewee. Guess Parky didn’t want to do the bullshit and fawn over the big US celeb.
    Will read the rest of your articles, they’re super.

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    • Glad you enjoyed the article!

      When I was researching, I actually watched the Parkinson interview. It was painful! I really couldn’t decide who I felt more sorry for. As you indicated, they both seemed to rub each other the wrong way. I can understand why Ryan was defensive. At that point in her career, she was on the ropes. But I can see why her attitude would be abrasive as well.

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      • After watching this segment, I can’t believe more people aren’t calling Parkinson an ass.

        And I’m not a Meg Ryan fan. LOL

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      • His questions were all reasonable, but if you know that your subject is uncomfortable with interviews why go out of your way to accent that? You should either have a more chummy conversation about it or just not book the interview.
        What she should have shared is that most of us dislike parts of our jobs, but put up with those things so we can do the parts we love.

        I do, don’t you?

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    • You know what? That really is stupid. Just who is it that says that?? It certainly is NOT the fans!!!

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  18. The only paragraph that actually explains her demise is the last paragraph, she got old, plain and simple. If she was still young and cute she could make enough crappy movies to to fill an entire video store and it would not matter, eventually one would be another French Kiss or Inner Space and she would be back on top. Once a female star gets old, unless she is one of the very very few who manage to age well enough to maintain some sex appeal into their 40’s and 50’s, they are going to drop of the map. The most an aging female star can hope for is to play peripheral mother and grandmother roles. It’s sad but true.

    It is not entirely unfair though, male actors have their own challenges to overcome. A sexy female A-lister could make 10 direct to video pieces of shit, but as long as she still looks sexy, the roles will just keep on coming. A male actor however has to produce hits fairly consistently. If he has a string of duds, regardless of how good he looks, his career is OVER. And not just over, but Emilio Estevez over. Women still have it worse, but that at least adds some balance. A woman has an easier time time staying on the A-list than a man, but a man has a longer shelf life.

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    • Emilio Estevez over. Good one.

      Obviously, age can be a career killer in Hollywood. Especially for actresses. And it played a big part in Ryan’s career ending when it did. However, I think in Meg Ryan’s case. you are over simplifying. True, Ryan was no longer in the prime of her rom com years. But she still had a few good years left had she not gone from America’s Sweetheart to “the bitch who dumped Dennis Quaid” in the court of public opinion.

      I will give Ryan credit. She struggled her entire career to try and break away from rom coms. (I’m halfway through Flesh and Bone. I hope to finish watching it tonight after the kids go to bed). But ultimately, her fans would never accept her in movies that departed from the formula that made her a star. So when the backlash hit, she had nothing to fall back on.

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      • That’s true, but I think it is more coincidence than anything. She was at a low point, which she would have rebounded from had age not struck. She can’t make a comeback if she is not offered roles, and if you are old and female, you won’t be offered any.

        On a side note, I do feel bad for her getting the blame in the divorce fiasco. Quaid was quite an unfaithful party boy for many years word has it. She must have been raging pretty hard to have been getting cheated on for all those years, then the one time she steps out she gets labelled a whore and a slut. Unfortunately she took her frustrations out on her own face, now the only role she could get is doubling for Mickey Rourke.

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        • Ryan’s career followed a pattern. Big rom com, something edgier, fall back to rom com. Those romantic comedies were her bread and butter. They allowed her to go out and do other things. But when audiences rejected her as the girl next store, that was the nail in the coffin of her career. I think if Ryan hadn’t gotten so much bad (and unfairly so) press over the affair with Russel Crowe, audiences would have accepted her in romantic comedy roles for a few more years.

          The question in my mind is, if Ryan had a few more years to continue alternating between rom coms and more dramatic roles, would audiences have ever come to accept her as anything other than the girl next store. Obviously, we’ll never know. But my cynical answer is, I don’t think so. Ryan attempted to break away from romantic comedies for over a decade and was never able to do so. I don’t think the extra few years would have ultimately made a difference.

          What it might have done is allowed her to transition to a behind the scenes role. But even then, I really doubt it. Even as powerful as Ryan was at the time, relatively few actresses have made the transition to director/producer compared to the number of men who have been allowed to do so.

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  19. Danielle Charney

    I have just found your blog and have spent the last hour reading each one of the posts- it’s a great concept, factual, fair and extremely well written with empathy, brutal truth and humor. Not easy. I would love to see you turn your talent into another sector that I love to call the “Lucky Hall of Fame” – or “How Did This Happen”- lending an understand as to why so many that seem so unworthy are so popular. Not told from a nasty place so much as one to stop the “I have no idea why that person is a star”- I do -it’s all very explainable. Not likable perhaps but understandable. Anyway- thought it might make for a good addition to your clever and well done concept. Thanks for the read.

    Like

    • Thanks for dropping in and commenting. Glad you’ve enjoyed the series so far. Thanks for the kind words. Too kind, really. But I’ll take it.

      I have considered writing articles like what you have described and I probably will someday. Fact of the matter is, it’s easier to identify someone who hit the top and walked away than someone who became more successful than they deserve to be. It’s so subjective!

      Also, Hollywood has a way of weeding these people out before they get too far. For example, look at Megan Fox. She was a pretty face. But somehow it looked like she might reach the top of the A-list. Then, he post-Transformers movies all crashed and burned and she is all but washed up.

      It is in the back of my mind though. Some day, I’ll have to take a crack at it.

      Like

  20. Danielle Charney

    Le Beau-
    I cannot figure out how to click on your comments to my posts – there is no REPLY option on your posts or mine- so I am frustrated-
    I am ecstatic to see Lange doing anything – love her-now there is a woman who hasn’t lied about plastic surgery – along with Mirren-
    as for Streep – I have hugely mixed feelings- having always been a huge fan-I find myself not so much of late- not even sure why except that giant domineering egos have always bothered me- there is a greed to her and an arrogance that is turning me off- it’s also much easier to do real people than fictional ones- I am not saying she isn’t brilliant- of course she is although I’ve never liked her in comedy very much- drama yes-

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    • Sometimes the comments section can be frustrating. I have had times where it behaved very strangely and then just corrected itself. When I look at the comments, mine looks different from yours as admin of the site. So maybe another reader can offer some advice on replying if this doesn’t work. I believe that if you hover your cursor over the bar next to my avatar (the guy in the mask screaming – it makes more sense at the other site I write for) you should see the “reply” button there. Hope that helps!

      I have to admit, I haven’t read a lot of interviews with Streep that suggest an ego. Although, how could she not have one? Generally, she acts kinds of ditzy in a lot of interviews I have seen. Though I understand she’s actually quite intellegent. Honestly, if she has a raging ego it really wouldn’t bother me. She’s the most accomplished American actress (arguably) of all times.

      I have seen relatively few of Streep’s recent movies. So, I can’t exactly call myself a fan. But I am in awe of what she has accomplished with regards to her career. She came out of the gate as a dramatic powerhouse. She spent much of the 90’s trying to reinvent herself as a box office draw. I remember movies like The River Wild, She-Devil and Death Becomes Her. Frankly, I never thought she would succeed in her efforts.

      And for a while, it seemed I was right. Without the prestige pictures, Streep’s career seemed adrift. I really thought she was past her prime. But then she pulled off a late career resurgence that is unique in Hollywood – especially for an actress. She totally reinvented herself as a comedic actress. And one who could sing to boot. Now, Streep is a legit box office draw. And one who can still claim awards as well. Incredible.

      I can see why some might have a bit of a backlash against her for winning another Oscar for a less-than-deserving movie. But I can’t help but be eternally impressed by the overall arch of Streep’s career.

      Like

    • Danielle, not sure if this helps, but try replying to the top comment in the string. Not to the first overall comment to the article or to the comment you are responding directly to. It will look for all the world like your comment will end up placed right below that top comment, but it won’t. It will appear at the bottom of the string, below the most recent comment, usually the one you are responding to. Hope that works.

      I’m not sure what you mean about Streep’s arrogance. I felt like she was flustered and a bit embarrassed when she won the Oscar this year.

      I disagree with your statement about it being easier to play real people than fictional folks. A fictional role brings with it no expectations beyond the script in hand about how a character should look, sound, or behave, while all of these things are loaded with expectations when an actor plays a person who we all think we know.

      While an ‘imitation’ might be easy enough for some, a fully realized dramatic performance goes far beyond what the Dana Carveys of the world do (and I do often love what they do, it’s just a very different thing). An actor playing a real life figure has some very difficult choices to make. If he tries to do a full imitation, he risks losing the spontaneity, spark, and realism which are the hallmark of good acting.

      On the other hand, if he does only a light imitation and focuses instead on trying to get the ‘spirit’ of the person right, some people will line up to criticize the perfromance as innacurate.

      A performance as a fictional character is far less restrictive and allows an actor to bring those things to the part which seem most appropriate, interesting, and natural to him.

      Really happy to have you here, and hope you’ll continnue to read, enjoy, and comment.

      Like

  21. Amanda Williams

    I LOVE Joe vs the Volcano, and was JUST telling someone about it this morning..I think it’s hilarious!

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  22. I find it interesting that Ryan can end her reign as a beloved star by having consensual sex with Russell Crowe, while Roman Polanski can rape a girl and go on to win an Oscar & retain the list of famous fans who want to work with him (including Natalie Portman).

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    • There is definitely a double standard. No argument, men and women are treated differently in Hollywood.

      But the Ryan/Polanski comparisson hinges on something else, I think. I have frequently said, Hollywood will forgive anything if you keep making money. Polanski has shown that he can do that. And if not money, he brings prestige that sometimes translates into money. I would have to think working with him is a bit like getting in bed with the devil. But I’m sure most people can rationalize that away.

      On the other hand, Ryan’s sin wasn’t the affair with Russell Crowe. It was that she stopped being a bankable star. It wasn’t Hollywood turning their backs on Meg Ryan. It was her fans that judged her.

      And even then, I don’t think the fans were reacting entirely to Ryan’s public infidelity. Part of the problem was that Ryan had made a bunch of cookie cutter romantic comedies. They were the source of her power. She could turn out a mediocre rom com and it would be a hit by virtue of her girl-next-store charisma. When that illusion was shattered, all that was left was Kate and Leopold.

      I find the circumstances of Ryan’s fall from grace to be complex and fascinating. I do feel like she got a raw deal. But I also feel like she contributed to it with some of her career choices. Had she been a man, I have little doubt her career would have been largely unimpacted.

      And now I’m rambling…

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      • Was Meg REALLY judged so badly for her involvement with Russell Crowe? I think the public would have preferred to see her him than some B-list actor like Quaid who played the daddy in “The Parent Trap.” Meg’s fans didn’t turn their back on her….Proof of Life tanked because it was a lame movie, and Meg never had success in that genre anyway. As I said in another comment, Kate & Leopold did better than French Kiss, IQ and Addicted to Love—and THOSE movies didn’t hurt her career at all.

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      • Should have proof-read my previous comment. What I meant was, how can you say Kate & Leopold was a bomb if it made more money (domestically) than French Kiss which you consider a hit?

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        • It’s true that the domestic box office for Kate and Leopold was bigger than for French Kiss. But that’s only a small piece of the picture.

          For one thing, you have to adjust for inflation and the increased price of movie tickets (which rose faster than inflation from 1995-2001). For another, you have to include world-wide box office. French Kiss was a bit soft in the US. But it was a hit overseas. French Kiss grossed over 100 mil worldwide. Six years later, Kate and Leopold grosses 76 mil worldwide.

          Both movies made money. But that is rarely the issue when Hollywood labels something as a “hit” or a “bomb”. It’s a matter of expectations. French Kiss opened at number 1 during a crowded summer movie season. Kate and Leopold opened at an embarassing 7th place. It trailed Vanilla Sky which had opened two weeks earlier and was itself considered a bomb.

          Kate and Leopold was an embarassing failure for Ryan. Right or wrong, she took the majority of the blame. Jackman was still not established. This was Ryan’s genre and everyone was expecting her to carry the movie. I think an opening in the top 5 would have been seen as a base hit. But 7th place was completely unacceptable.

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  23. Hey, I’ve rambled a time or two myself.
    Thanks for your replies.
    Here is a blog of mine which looks at movies I felt were overlooked or just not as embraced as they could be.
    http://greatlittle-knownmovies.blogspot.com/
    Let me know what you think.

    Like

  24. she dump a hunk and bagged a bigger hunk and when you have it all you go no where to go but down. She a great actress and I see anything she did.. I think he pist some people off who had a picture deal with her and she was blackballed.
    Jenifer Aniston too over in her shoes….she never had a sit as big as Ryan were.

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  25. Danielle Charney

    @Mary- I am confused- all Meg did was age and have some bad surgery- she did have a rep for being difficult but many smart women do – I doubt Nora Ephron thought she was- I watched Jane Campion’s “In the Cut” the other night for the third time- what a good film- she was great- so was everything else about the film- it’s tough to change your image from good girl to real drama and I think she tried – as for Aniston – she can’t act to save anyone’s life- she is a card carrying member of the Lucky Hall of Fame and a true testament to what the talent of the Hollywood machine can do – PR, make up etc- had she not married Pitt she would have been forgotten about ages ago – she has none of Ryan’s talent- it actually pains me to watch Aniston try to act- putting her in a sentence with Ryan is a real insult to Ryan

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    • daffystardust

      I actually feel kind of bad for Aniston. Is she limited in what she can do? Definitely. She is a comedic actress with little to no ability for character work. We’re unlikely to see her do the dramas which Ryan pulled off pretty well (even if they weren’t very successful). But to say that “all” she could do was what she did in “Friends” is still to say that she’s pretty darn talented. Not many actresses as beautiful as Aniston have her comedy chops. The problem she has run into vs what Ryan faced is that she became America’s sweetheart while playing a single role. A role which was written specifically to take advantage of what she could do. Ryan did so in a series of roles in films. Rachel Greene is still so associated with Aniston that I can practically see her hesitation on screen at times when she senses that she is veering into ‘Rachel territory’ and she gets a little squirmy. I have to admit that I have trouble thinking of her as a different character when the person she is playing is not expressly unlike Rachel. My hope for her is that what she did in “Horrible Bosses” can show a way towards extricating herself from Rachel. That was a part in which I felt like she was just Jennifer Aniston playing a role and not struggling to figure out how the audience is going differentiate the part from Rachel. A little age might actually be a blessing in disguise for Aniston with the right breaks.

      Like

    • She was earning 15 million a picture and when her fling with Crowe happen I think it caused her box office to fall. Had she stayed with Crowe I think her career would of stayed on track.

      Studios don’t like to build up stars and have them screw up.

      But when that ended and her ex played the poor abused husband.. I think a lot of the media went after her or…she had a picture deal and cost someone money. These studios sign up some of these stars and have to pay out weather they bring in the box office or not. I think she was blackballed. She is talanted and she had her own uniqueness about her.

      I like her movies and I think she still got a following.

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      • I think Meg Ryan of the 80s and 90s still has fans. But I don’t think very many people are interested in modern day Meg Ryan. Ryan’s appeal was that she was athe cute girl next door (with a sexy undertone). Modern Meg Ryan doesn’t have that. She’s middle-aged and suffers from too much plastic surgery. Her girl next door days are in the rearview mirror. I would love to see her reinvent herself in some way, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

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        • They said that about Fonda,streep,and any actress in her 50,s.
          Christy alley. Still cracks me up in anything does. Fat actress was great also look at weeds lots of great 80,s actors.
          they said travolta was done until pulp fiction.
          Betty white laughing. All the was to the bank and bullock is Ryan’s age.

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        • Anything is possible. I certainly don’t mean to imply that no actress over 30 can have a career. It just hasn’t worked out for Ryan due to a variety of reasons.

          Sandra Bullock had a similar career to Ryan’s. She was also the girl next door. But she has managed to maintain that image over the years. Ryan trashed that image in the tabloids. But the tabliod stories about Bullock have only made people rally around her that much more. Also, Bullock has had more success outside of romantic comedies. Ryan made some valiant efforts in drama, but was never fully embraced.

          Ryan could have a late career resurgence. But if I’m laying odds, I’m betting against it.

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        • There is a lot of discrimination in Hollywood and we not talking race but religion.
          Meg a Wasp! If she weren’t she would not be treated this way.

          When a actress is demanding 15 because she can, sometime they blackball them because they can.. I don’t know this to be case but surely what Meg did wasn’t any worse than what Pitt Jolie did or a slew of others.

          I think the way she ended her relationship so publicly and with no concern about Dennis Quaid career.. If you remember this far back.. When Liz Taylor dumped Eddie Fischer to Richard Burton. Fischer was pretty much done.

          Maybe because Dennis Quaid was beloved by Hollywood there was a backlash at her. He kind of elevated her

          career when they first started dating. He was the bigger star. I think in Hollywood where its all about image, real or fake it important to handle these things where one does come off looking like a loser. Big stars don’t get dumped for bigger stars.

          I guess this but she didn’t go from a few bad picture.. when was the last Jolie picture good? You hit and miss.

          I think Dennis might of been behind or his whacko brother trashing her in the media.. The picture they released of her were dilibertly bad. .I seen photo shop picture of her with her face distorted..

          It reminds me of the smearing of Mel Gibson.. the same people who distribute films and contol hollywood also own most of the major networks and magizine. Summer Redstone is a huge player.

          Aslo their was her mothers husband who was a tabloid jourlist.

          Quaid made some references about her mother about revealing private stuff about them and their famous friends. Maybe Meg became a liablity

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        • I’ll just say I don’t buy into conspiracies. I don’t buy for one second that Meg Ryan (or Mel Gibson) were black-balled. I have said before that I don’t think Meg Ryan got a fair shake. But it was audiences that gave her a raw deal, not Hollywood. They continued to employ her.

          The problem was her box office performance. She had always gotten by alternating between hit rom coms and more dramatic roles. Audiences never really embraced her in the dramatic roles. So when they stopped going to her rom coms, that was it for Meg Ryan.

          Also, as others have pointed out, Ryan appears to have gotten sick of the whole rat race and walked away. If she had stayed in the game and kept plugging away, I have no doubt her career would have recovered. Not to the a-list maybe. But she could have kept working. In that respect, she had a lot in common with Michael Keaton or Michelle Pfeiffer.

          But no, I don’t think anyone was actively working to destroy Meg Ryan. Not even the Quaids.

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        • Danielle Charney

          All true Lebeau- but to me it’s sad that the ‘star” passes as talent and or beauty when it’s neither- it takes what should go to those who truly deserve it- – the illusion to me is not so much Aniston herself but the huge machine behind her- Pitt and hair- that is it– people compare her to Debbie Reynolds- what a shame – Debbie has huge real talent – as for Hollywood not liking to build Stars up to fall and then rebuild them – it depends on who it is- they certainly put a fortune into Robert Downey Jr ( to me a genius ) and even Charlie Sheen- a few women have gotten breaks too – harder for women but none the same – I think it was Meg’s bad surgery that did her in – she was great in In the Cut- what a good movie – brilliantly done- leave it to a woman ( Jane Campion ) to know how to do a really great sex scene- also – with Aniston ( sorry for the jump) she has worked really hard to keep herself in the news- ( what an ego ) HUGE

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        • I lost respect for Aniston when Chelsy Handler referred to Jolie as a slut and on and on.
          Aniston should of gave him the baby he wanted. But to have your friends to trash someone after they have 6 kids together. Its over Aniston he ain’t coming back and if he is, he bring a litter with him.
          Just tried of her cashing in on her ex’s and Jolie fame.. Jolie has taken the high road. Brad just didn’t meet Jolie if he was happy and run off. He met someone like him who loved kids and wanted a big family. Aniston picked her career over a family.

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        • Danielle Charney

          @Mary-
          Couples end for many reasons- Pitt was bored to death with his life and made that very clear- they simply grew apart- in direction and paths in life- JA having a baby wouldn’t have saved their marriage- it was dead long before he met Jolie- I think they make a great couple doing important work – not too many Hollywood relationships survive the pressures- no one is to blame- as for ethnicity- the only one I see getting short shrift are dark skinned black women and jews who need to be disguised and not obviously “jewish” in look- it’s been a Wasp look for women and men – unless it’s a few character parts for a long time

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        • I agree for sure that Ryan’s surgery is the last nail in the coffin. It pretty much kills her chances of reinventing herself on screen. If she had aged gracefully, she could be going for roles like Jessica Lange on American Horror Story. But in her current condition, she doesn’t look young enough for the roles she was known for but doesn’t look right for the kind of roles she should be doing at this point in her career.

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        • Danielle Charney

          as for Ephron- I basically agree – it’s her essays and more personal political work I liked more but her rom coms were certainly better than most of the genre- as for Meg and her ability to return being impossible because of her surgery- i think of the gorgeous Barbara Hershey- now a freak from bad surgery and wonder – who reversed that crazy Cat Woman’s surgery? That doctor is a genius- maybe they can both go to him – Joselyn Wildenstein I think is her name- for a long time i wanted something done to me and visited every surgeon from New York to LA – and looked through their “Before and After” shots- I found only two that had an aesthetic that was acceptable to me – but decided not to do it- why they ( Hershey and Ryan ) didn’t do this I don’t know- surgeons are vital – the women out there with great work done we don’t notice or think had work done- they just look good- in this area -the world of surgeons – genius is vital – and it’s no different than anything else- two shooters and eight looters-

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        • i saw Barbara Hersey in person two years ago she was really young looking for her age and looked great. These picture are just bad lighting and or taken after she just got her botox that isn’t what it looks like a few weeks later.

          I do I stop the emails. I unchecked but their flooding my incoming box

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      • I’d bet against her having a career resurgence too, mainly because Meg herself doesn’t seem to have any interest in making movies any more.
        She finally sold her Bel Air mansion last week which cut the last of her ties to Hollywood, her film career and her years with Quaid, and she seems more than happy to be living away from the glare of the media spotlight, and who can blame her!

        One final Meg Ryan related note, her long-time collaborator and friend Norah Ephron passed away this week and Meg paid her the following tribute.

        “Nora was an era. We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created a simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.”
        — Meg Ryan

        Rest In Peace Norah.

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        • I haven’t been a fan of most of Nora Ephron’s work. But I definitely respect that she was a successful female director in a time when those weren’t just rare. They were unheard of. I don’t know if I will ever watch another Nora Ephron movie in my life. But I sure am glad for the impact she has had on Hollywood.

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      • I’m probably in the minority here, but I liked Meg best in the late 90s and 00s. City of Angels, You’ve Got Mail, Hanging Up, Kate & Leopold—-that’s the Meg I was a fan of. In her earlier films she was just outright annoying and not interesting at all. She was most interesting, to me, towards the latter half of her Hollywood heyday.

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        • I am in the opposite camp. I had a pretty massive crush on her after Innerspace up through about Joe Vs. the Volcano. My interest started waning around Sleepless in Seattle. I’m embarassed to admit I enjoyed City of Angels, but that was it for Meg and me. That was the last Meg Ryan movie I saw in the theaters.

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        • Actually, that last bit isn’t true. I did see Proof of Life in theaters.

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  26. Danielle Charney

    Feel sorry for her? I don’t -she has a half a billion dollars and the life of Riley for having almost zero talent ( the one note samba of comedy- no chops at all really – same stuff over and over and her dramatic work is a joke) I also find her not at all beautiful- she is the product of great make up and hair people and very photogenic- she is plain – and incredibly egotistical, driven and lucky- she cannot act to save her life and has had more than enough chances to prove herself- there are really great talents out there who get none of her chances- like Tea Leoni and Catherine Keener and several others with real talent and interesting faces that can do comedy with range – and serious drama– Aniston is a joke in all areas- she should thank Pitt and her hair and her one look regurgitated that has kept her in the business-=

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    • I think you’re being a little hard on Aniston. I’ll grant you that she is nowhere near in the same league as Tea Leoni or Catherine Keener. But few actresses are. Anniston’s a different animal. Compare her to other romatic comediennes and I think she comes off fairly well. I think she has more going for her than Katherine Hiegel for example. Most of her movies are formula romantic comedies. But she brings a lightness to the screen that a lot of her contemporaries lack. While she hasn’t tried to stretch her range as much as Meg Ryan did, she has done pretty well in movies like The Good Girl. And you could see how much fun she was having being bad in Horrible Bosses. Let’s see Kate Hudson do that!

      Aniston is unlikely to ever be seen as one of our best actresses. But as movie stars go, she ranks pretty well. Looking at box office, she’s one of the most bankable stars out there in a rom/com. Not quite Ryan in her hetday. But probably as close as we have right now.

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    • Hey, I like both Leoni and Keener, but what are we doing comparing them with Aniston? Neither one has ever had the box office pull that Aniston enjoyed for a while. Keener is a completely different kind of actress. She went from playing sultry and immoral to being noticably middle-aged pretty quickly. I always like her work, but I would be very surprised if she and Aniston were ever up for the same role. Leoni is very talented and pretty versatile and was gorgeous for a while, but she just never exuded much onscreen charm. She was always playing characters which audiences had trouble sympathizing with. Leoni had a chance as a sitcom lead, but she and her show did not appeal to the public. She is probably a lovely gal, but at a certain point, you have to assume that she is being cast the way she is because that’s how she comes off onscreen. It is not unusual for actors to be very unlike their onscreen personas. Henry Fonda had one of the most trusted and admired visages in all of America, but was privately known for being cold and difficult.

      As for Aniston being plain, well I can only respond as a male who was about her age when she first broke in as Rachel on “Friends.” Rachel on those first few years?…Hubba freaking Hubba.

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      • I can immediately identify a first season rerun of “Friends” now when I see one, simply by how cute Aniston looked compared to later seasons. I’m sure it has something to do with the original “Rachel” hairstyle, but it was also the way they dressed her for the coffeehouse scenes (Mmmm, short skirts, the little apron, and the dark nylons, remember?).

        I’ve noticed the same thing about Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory”, where her smile, hairstyle, and thinner look in the first season of that show really catch my eye now.

        As for Meg Ryan, had a big crush on her during my 20’s, and really wish she would have skipped the surgeries and let herself age gracefully.

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  27. Danielle Charney

    I don’t think it’s possible to be hard enough on her- I think she has almost no talent or looks- and has had too many chance that should have gone to other actresses- which to me is what is sad- she was wooden and terrible in the Good Girl and Derailed- she has her limited Rachel Greene act- and that is all she ever does- so I see it the opposite of how you do – the problem with Leoni is she is too good and over the head of the public – she doesn’t play into it the way Diaz or Barrymore or others do – she is a real actress- the mainstream likes what they think is accessible and Aniston is certainly that – mass appeal to people who have no idea what talent or real looks are- like the popularity of a Taylor Swift for instance- who cannot sing or write but has certain ‘look’- for the record- I had a business that many celebs came to in West Hollywood– Jennifer and Courtney Cox came in more than a few times- you would not recognize them in public- Cox looks like an anorexic meth head- and Jen is so plain and a stick – that you only notice something because of the hair- however- she is incredibly nice- and many celebs aren’t -in fact many are just really shy- she was warm and genuine and it made me wish she did have talent- I am sure she knows she is just really lucky and driven – she has always been driven- as far as box office goes- I don’t go by that – only by talent and looks to me are another ball game- we disagree – that is horse racing – so be it- she is one of the luckiest girls on earth to have what she has with her given abilities – very sad to me

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    • I see what you are saying. And to a large degree, I agree with you. But, I do think that what Anniston has is a gift if not a talent.

      I tend to classify movie actors as one of two things. There are movie stars and there are actors. A few rare exceptions (Denzel Washington comes to mind) blur the line. Move stars get by mostly on their charisma and screen chemistry. Audiences flock to see them over and over again often in the same type of role. Tom Cruise is my perfect example of this (especially in the 80s). A movie star will try to stretch and may turn in some good performances (usually coaxed out of them with the help of a great director). But they are first and foremost movie stars. That charisma is rare. You can’t learn it. It’s a gift. And studios value it over talent.

      Then there are “actors” for lack of a better term. Keener and Leoni fit more into this category (although Leoni flirted with movie stardom for a time). Usually, they take smaller more interesting parts. Either supporting roles in big movies or leads in arty films. These actors have a talent. And that’s rare too. But I think there are a lot more talented actors out there then there are actors with the gift to be mega-watt movie stars. Plus, the demand for movie stars is higher.

      If you are a studio and you are putting together a 100-million-dollar summer movie and you have a choice between casting a movie star and an actor, the safe bet is to cast the movie star. That is less and less true these days, but it’s more true for rom coms that Anniston specializes in than high concept super hero movies that sell themselves.

      As for her looks, I have never seen her in person. I don’t doubt what you say is true. Daffy and I only have the illusion to go by. But the illusion is what sells tickets. And the illusion is good.

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  28. Danielle Charney

    by the way- it’s not so much Aniston herself that I am being hard on – but more so what she represents about the business and it’s function and reward and inequities –

    Like

  29. Danielle Charney

    As for Ephron – her movies weren’t my favorite but I respect their talent and professionalism- they weren’t ‘airhead’ rom coms- they had more to them- what i love about Ephron was her original career as a tough and serious journalist who took on feminist issues and let no one off the hook- she took that to the screen and tried to explain the fight and the differences and the complexities of humans and women and I think she succeeded- her nearest competitor Nancy ( french roast chicken obsessed) Meyers to me- its a joke compared to how well Ephron did it- plus she was so positive about the darkest things -aging, betrayal etc and that alone is a huge gift to us all- what a life

    Like

    • You’re right. Ephron’s movies weren’t “air head” rom coms. To me, they were always a little over stuffed. (I am generalizing obviously.) She crammed too many issues in. Her movies were generally a little longer than they should have been. It would upset the momentum and create an uneven tone. I don’t think any of her movies were bad per se (not that I have seen them all). In fact, I enjoyed every one of them I have seen to some extent. But I didn’t think any of them were especially good either. Still, I am thankful for her overall influence on the movie industry. She opened doors.

      Like

  30. regardless how old that photo is, truth of the matter is that she looks like shit now and that plastic surgery was a real bad decision. Do you think that she actually looks better today than she did when she looked hideous in that old photo? ha

    Like

    • Danielle Charney

      Doug- her mistake was the wrong surgeon – had she picked a real genius – she would look “less tired” and we would barely notice it- the difference is huge- I am always amazed by what passes as ‘good aesthetics’ in that area- I see the women in WF- now with their surgeries recent of a few years old – they look terrible – I know the ones I am not noticing went to the better surgeons-

      Like

      • Before I started writing these articles, I was completely oblivious to how prevelant plastic surgery was in Hollywood. It’s not something that interests me. I have always been surprised by the fascination surrounding it.

        After doing research on several actresses (and actors for that matter) I have seen both sides of it. Most actresses start with a nip here and a tuck there. And usually, those early surgeries do enhance their Hollywood glamour in subtle (and not so subtle) ways. But if they keep at it, the results are usually unfortunate. It seems like a lot of them do become “addicted”.

        Like

      • My favorite plastic surgery story is Griffith getting her boobs done during Christmas break while filimg Bonfire of the Vanities. Her chest is noticably different sizes in different scenes. And she didn’t even tell anyone she was doing it. Classic.

        Like

    • The Five Least Sexiest Celebrity Female Lips:
      http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/the-least-sexiest-lips.php

      4. Meg Ryan: She just used to be so insanely cute, you know? And had she allowed age to do its work, naturally, she’d still be insanely cute, just five years older. This? Well, she’d make a great backup singer for Hootie.

      Like

    • Shocking Celebrity Plastic Surgery Disasters:
      http://www.hollyscoop.com/galleries/shocking-celebrity-plastic-surgery-disasters/819431

      Ohh the sad saga of Meg Ryan’s face. She was so adorable and then she went and got some of the world’s first collagen lip injections and coined the term “duck lips.”

      Like

      • 10 Celebrities Who Should Have Never Attempted Plastic Surgery:
        http://surgery.answers.com/cosmetic-surgery/10-celebrities-who-should-have-never-attempted-plastic-surgery

        Meg Ryan

        Since the beginning of her career, Meg Ryan has been touted as the girl next door. However, even the girl next door could not overcome the pressures to stay forever young. Ryan received Botox shots, attempting to make her lips appear more kissable. Instead, she somewhat resembled the joker from Batman cartoons. Unfortunately, Meg Ryan did not stop there. When comparing before and after pictures from several years ago, it appears that Meg Ryan may have had cheek implants or another plastic surgery procedure that added volume to her cheeks. Ryan had the potential to age beautifully, but the desire to remain young destroyed her looks and deadened her career.

        Like

  31. I do agree that after her affair with Russell Crowe, her reputation as the “cute girl next door” type vanished. It didn’t help her screen presence with the horrible plastic surgery job; she did not need to have her lips done or have cheek implants inserted. She looked fine as she was! But as most actresses listed here in the “What the Hell Happened to” section, they have grown older and Hollywood is not kind to over-the-hill actresses.

    Like

    • It’s true. In fact, Hollywood isn’t kind to actresses in general. Age and gender were definitely large contributors in Meg Ryan’s decline. However, a lot of actresses her age are finding work these days on TV. (See Sigourney Weaver on the fun summer show, Political Animals.) I think this is where the surgery comes in. If Ryan had aged naturally, she would probably be getting some juicy TV roles these days.

      Like

      • Meg Ryan and Sigourney Weaver the same age? Sigourney Weaver was born in the 40s while Meg was born in the 60s. To me, Sigourney seems old enough to be Meg’s mother.

        Meg’s peers were Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. Only difference is that Bullock and Roberts could both carry hit movies and Meg never did — After her breakthrough in WHMS, she was in a downward spiral of flops befoer her career was rescued by Tom Hanks who was responsible for the huge box office of Sleepless in Seattle. Then Meg had a string of so-so movies, the biggest of which was City of Angels with bankable leading man Nicolas Cage, before she had her 3rd and final major hit with You’ve Got Mail which again Tom Hanks took credit for. Julia and Sandra had several hits in which they were the sole draw without any bankable costars (i.e. While You Were Sleeping and Miss Congeniality for Sandra; Sleeping with the Enemy and Erin Brockovich for Julia).

        I like Meg but her career demise all comes down to her making stupid choices. I don’t consider the Russell Crowe “affair” damagine to her. After that she did Kate & Leopold which, while not a blockbuster, did better than any of her solo star turns from the 90s. The ridiculous plastic surgery and 4 year hiatus is what killed her career.

        Like

        • You make a lot of good points. But I do think you are under-estimating the impact of the Russell Crowe scandal. After that, fans turned on her in a truly ugly way. I was shocked how they cheered when it was later reported (inaccurately) that Crowe dumped her.

          Plastic surgery or no, audiences were rooting for Ryan to fail at that point. They were not going to accept her as the girl next door in a romantic comedy. I’m not sure if even Tom Hanks could have helped her at that point. And without that, he career was over.

          To a certain extent, I think she was okay with leaving romantic comedies behind and trying out more edgy movies like In The Cut. Unfortunately, none of those worked either. But if you are interested in Ryan’s career, definitely check out In the Cut. It’s a fascinating look at what might have been. It’s kind of like Ryan’s, The Beaver. An I’ve got nothing left to lose gambit that doesn’t pay off.

          The plastic surgery definitely prevented a comeback once America was ready to forgive her. But it didn’t happen until after her career was already essentially over.

          Like

        • Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?

          http://forums.previously.tv/topic/7750-future-of-movie-stars-who-will-shine-who-will-fade-away/page-4#entry152505

          I always thought that part of why Sandra Bullock is still doing so well is that she hasn’t jacked up her face with bad plastic surgery. I’m sure she’s had some work done, but she’s still recognizable. The other thing is that her fame came later- she was 30 when Speed came around, and her trademark wasn’t on playing the young, fresh-faced college-aged girl like it was for Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts. Her parts were always just a little bit older than that- she was never quite the ingénue the way Meg and Julia were. She’s not competing with a 20-year old girl version of herself in the minds of movie-goers.

          She also rode out her fallow period between 2003 to 2008 (when not much was going on besides a turn in Crash) pretty well.

          Like

  32. Danielle Charney

    I will bet my life that Weaver and Streep, Keaton etc have had some nip/tucks and fillers etc.- no one ages naturally past a certain level without some neck skin, puffy jowls, extra eye lid skin etc- especially very white skinned people- the difference is they had GOOD work from a great surgeon- so you can’t tell- my make up artist friends in the biz agree- and they really know -why anyone should be afraid to admit it- or to insist they defy time and are natural is sad to me – so competitive-

    Like

  33. that meg ryan/ parky interview is legendary
    he still gets asked about it
    i love the part were it gets awkward
    (the whole thing)

    Like

    • I’m sure he does. I hear about it quite frequently from readers in the UK. It’s funny, because over here in the states, most of us have never heard of Parky or this train wreck of an interview. But it really is something to see.

      Like

    • 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Celebrity Interviews:
      http://whatculture.com/tv/10-most-cringe-worthy-celebrity-interviews.php/10

      This is it. The big one. The 2003 interview with Michael Parkinson that dumped a shedload of negative publicity on Meg Ryan, though it causes both of them come off terribly, making for quite possibly the most cringe-worthy moment in interview history.

      It doesn’t exactly begin well, with Ryan providing brief answers to Parkinson’s questions about her aversion to fame, while Parkinson comes across as outmoded and overly old-fashioned.

      The audience awkwardly laughs their way through several moments, and are stone-dead silent through others. It reaches its punishing apex when Parkinson asks what he should do now, and she says, “Just wrap it up”.

      The two continued to revile each other after the interview, with Ryan suggesting that Parkinson was rude and acting like a “disapproving father”. Can’t argue with that, but Ryan did herself no favours, and amusingly, what has she even done since?

      Like

  34. Reading through the comments on your revamped article I noticed that it’s over a year since I first dropped by leBlog, time certainly flies.

    I couldn’t help smiling at your mention of my “passionate review of Flesh and Bone”, although I’m a little worried that I’ve set myself up for another fall by praising Addicted to Love so effusively.
    I’m sure you’ll make your own mind up!

    Like

    • It sure does! A year? Wow.

      The Meg Ryan movies have been flying fast at my house recently. I finally got around to watching In the Cut. Wow, that was really something. I can’t really say that I liked the movie. But it definitely shows what Ryan was capable of. I had no idea.

      Addicted to Love is next on the list. I actually DVR’d it last night. Next time I stay up later than the kids, I will finally get to see it.

      I’m keeping my expectations in check. Realistically, I don’t expect to enjoy it as much as you do. I’m just not as big of a fan of Ryan or rom coms. But I am looking forward to checking it out all the same.

      Since discovering your site, I have experienced several Ryan movies that were dismissed by audiences and critics alike. And they are not without their merits. Movies like In the Cut and Flesh and Bone definitely hint at the career Ryan might have had if she could have broken out of her type casting.

      Like

  35. Danielle Charney

    I am sure someone mentioned it – but she diverted from Rom Com to do When A Man Loves A Woman- thought she was damn good in it too and could have so easily gone over the top- and It’s not a favorite subject matter of mine as I have little empathy for addicts having been ripped off by way too many-

    Like

    • Ryan had a pattern of switching back and forth between dramatic fare and rom coms. She had the clout to do pretty much whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, audiences rarely turned up for the dramas.

      I remember seeing When a Man Loves a Woman and enjoying it for the performances. Garcia and Ryan were great. But the movie was kind of Lifetime Movie of the Week. I can’t imagine I would ever sit through it again.

      Like

      • Danielle Charney

        The script and direction were a bit LMOTW- agree but they were great in it – true- oddly – i watched “Heartburn” last night- even though it was Mike NIchols, Epron script – Jack N plus a cast of great supporting actors- Catherine O’Hara, Stockard Channing among a few, it was awful, really awful- Meryl Streep was awful in it- whining and boring- again-I was reminded of how much I don’t like her in comedy- never have- but Meg could do either-

        Like

        • I know I have seen Heartburn. But I only vaguely remember it.

          I have a hard time picturing Ryan and Nicholson as a couple. But I agree, Ryan could nail comedy. She made it look effortless.

          Like

        • Danielle Charney

          No I couldn’t have seen Ryan in that role either – but ‘effortless’ is the word for her in comedy- I think Jamie Lee Curtis was good in light comedy as well but awful in drama- even one line of it- but Streep was awful- whining her way all the way through it- some of that was direction no doubt- I still cannot stand her in comedy- and I only like Keaton in her early works – mainly with Allen-or in drama but not comedy- too affected and same body inflections substituting for acting- as I have only liked Farrow- the Allen’s hands too – I thought she was horrible in everything else- interesting- give me Tea Leoni for comedy- have you seen ‘You Kill Me’ with Ben Kingsley? just great I thought

          Like

        • Jamie Lee Curtis owns light comedy. A Fish Called Wanda is one of my all-time favorites. And she was a great scream queen. I can’t think of a stand-out dramatic performance.

          I can’t remember Heartburn well enough to say. But I think Streep has a deft comedic touch today.

          I think Diane Keaton suffers from a lot of bad material. But I agree that she has a lot of affectations.

          Mia Farrow continued to work after Woody Allen? 😉

          I have not seen You Kill Me, but I remember hearing good things about it. And I love Tea Leoni. I’m adding it to my list.

          Like

        • Danielle Charney

          I loved JLC in ‘Wanda’ and ‘Trading Places’ too but can’t think of one line in one drama where you couldn’t see the mind working hard behind the eyes- she didn’t get her Dad’s acting chops at all and she admits it- please see “You Kill Me” – that to me is a brilliant movie and they are great in it- I can’t think of anything Farrow did after the Allen movies, I was referring to her work before them- can’t remember the exact timeline other than I thought she was terrible in Rosemary’s Baby and awful beyond words and miscast as Daisy in Gatsby- which didn’t work at all to me as a film despite Redford who to me, can do no wrong.

          Like

        • Danielle Charney

          Oddly – another Nichol’s movie that didn’t work at all for me -as Heartburn didn’t was “Postcards from the Edge” again Streep badly miscast to me and terrible – should have been the Mother not the Carrie role- and I love Carrie Fisher but hated the movie- and I love Nichols- Streep was so new then really – just after Sophie’s Choice that she was so great in – that I think everyone thought she could do anything-

          Like

        • Streep’s career absolutely fascinates me. In the late 80s, she enteres a transitional phase when she was really trying to reinvent herself as a box office draw. She struggled with comedy. And she even tried her hand at action with The River Wild. It was a really awkward decade or so. But eventually, she came out on the other side as a legit box office draw in comedy and drama. It’s really quite remarkable.

          Like

      • I thought Streep was hysterical in “Doubt,” but maybe that’s just because she reminded me so much of my sourpuss Mother-in-law. What she does really well is play characters who are delightful and can make you laugh (like in “Julie & Julia”). That is different from actually playing comedy, which she is not particularly strong in (like “Postcards From the Edge”).

        BTW, I just got cast in a new show, this time playing a real life character. I’ll be Swifty Lazar in a production of “Frost/Nixon,” so I’ll get a chance to judge personally whether playing a fictional or a real life figure is more difficult. Swifty requires a bald head, big glasses, and a Brooklyn dialect, choices I might not have made if I was playing just any old Hollywood agent instead of one of the most famous Hollywood agents of all time.

        We’ll see…

        Like

  36. It’s not an issue of age. Kim Basinger is 8 years older than Meg and continued to get flattering, major roles in her 40s (L.A. Confidential) and even 50s (Cellular, The Door in the Floor).

    Meg made the same mistake that Demi Moore did. She took a long hiatus from acting when her career was already in jeopardy. That’s a big no-no. She could have still had a great career if she cared more.

    Like

    • Sid- it’s always an age issue for women – very few survive and there are fewer and fewer roles- Kim B took a long hiatus herself and didn’t have bad plastic surgery- and still – that is what -2 films in how many years? Not much for the aging ladies around

      Like

      • Also, Kim Basinger’s big comeback role was a supporting role, not a lead. It was practically an extended cameo in a movie no one expected to be as big as it was. To a very large degree, Kim Basinger got lucky with LA Confidential.

        Like

        • So was Door in the Floor- the two leads were the men-anyone who doesn’t think age affects women the most is not one and doesn’t know any.

          Like

        • The more of these articles I write, the more I realize how much harder actresses have it. Sean Connery can make action movies into his 70s and have leading ladies young enough to be his granddaughters and nobody bats an eye. But an actress hits 35 and she’s stuck playing moms. (Sally Field played both Robin Williams’ and Tom Hanks’ mothers despite being roughly the same age. And Glenn Close played Mel Gibson’s mom. Just a few examples off the top of my head.)

          Even at their prime, actresses have fewer good roles to compete over. Most of the time, they are stuck playing the girl friend over and over. And they are typecast much more easily. Actresses are frequently pigeon-holed as “scream queens”, “girls next door” or “femmes fatal”. Once they get labeled, audiences won’t accept them as anything else.

          Ryan was the ultimate “girl next door”. But age and scandal killed that.

          Like

        • Danielle Charney

          Lebeau,
          I could not agree more- ( which is not to say I could agree less 😉
          we have talked before of the few surviving women -there are a few – Dench,Mirren, Keaton,Streep, a bit of Sarandon- I can’t really think of too many others except on TV as mothers and grandmothers- age effects all women- real life women the same way- all of a sudden, you are not looked at except with pity or suspicion, you are not welcome or included- you are no longer a desired lover or friend- etc- and it coincides with finally being at an age where you have more to offer with a streamlined approach and less fanfare than ever- I also hold the suits responsible for the current trend of crap big movies – and hope the new demand for boomer real life Tragi- Coms takes off – creating more roles for older women- a lot of real talent out there- not just the big names either- if it wasn’t for cable shows- so few older women would be working at all- and most older women working have had surgery- and in the real world of life and business – so please -all you who think age is not a freight train- think again

          Like

      • I’m not saying that age isn’t an issue for actresses in general, but for Meg I don’t think that was the case.

        Technically speaking, Meg was at the peak of her career in the early 2000s — that’s when she was getting her biggest paychecks.

        The botched plastic surgery was a major factor. The two photos in the side-by-side comparison at the top of the page were taken only 1 (one!) year apart! Meg was about 41 in the left picture and she looked amazing. I don’t understand why she messed up her face like that with fat injections. What an idiotic thing that was for her to do.

        I would have liked to see Meg have a career like Goldie Hawn’s. Goldie remained a top star until her retirement a decade ago when she was in her late 50s. Long careers like that are rare but some actresses are capable of having them if they play the game correctly. Jane Fonda is another example—she was a major movie star for 30 years (1960 to 1990).

        One thing I’ve noticed with actresses who have long careers (Jane, Goldie, Kim) is that, right from the beginning, they were careful about the roles they chose—they knew how they wanted to be perceived. This included not playing mother roles when they didn’t need to (something Meg did do, I can recall at least a couple movies from the 90’s where she played moms—seems harmless, but think about it — if an actress plays a mom in her early 30s, then the public is probably not going to accept them playing sexual, free spirited characters in their 40s).

        Like

    • Sid – I agree. Meg lost herself in all the hype, along the way, so many of them do. Also, prideful self centeredness is a concern – but it wasn’t for the likes of Bettie Davis, Kate Hepburn, and Jessica Tandy. These ladies loved to ACT – not just look good on the big screen.

      Like

      • Danielle Charney

        Very different times Lasgr- completely different industry

        Like

        • Different times. But also, you really don’t think Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn were as proud as Meg Ryan? I really don’t believe that we have fewer talented actresses today than we did during the Golden Age of Hollywood. They are just presented differently. Back then, images were carefully crafted by the studios. Today, we see our celebs warts and all in horrible detail.

          I don’t doubt that Meg Ryan likely had a big head at the peak of her stardom. Who wouldn’t?

          Like

  37. I see what you’re saying but weren’t Hepburn & Davis known for their attitudes as well as their talent?

    Like

    • Danielle Charney

      Jake- I know a lot about the history of this period but I am deferring to Lebeau to respond- they were different in their big heads- not Hepburn who I cannot stand but certainly Davis who fought the really good fight

      Like

    • Danielle Charney

      Lebeau,
      I FB’d you and shared it and will send this link to a friend who really knows about film history of women and many men way more than I do – I am trying to get him to contribute- so I will leave this to him unless he decline- he would be a great addition to this blog

      Like

      • I just spotted you on FB which was a pleasant surprise.

        I hope your friend decides to come join us. All our welcome. I would be happy to set up access to post articles rather than just contributing in the comments section if that’s something he would be interested in. That offer is open to you as well.

        Just let me know.

        Like

      • Danielle Charney

        it isn’t giving me a REPLY button on your post- I sent him the post on Ryan with a note to his wall- I hope he responds- he is funny and informed- let’s see what he does-

        Like

      • You guys are tempting me to set up a new Facebook account, which is something I thought I’d never do!!

        I’ve really enjoyed your comments on this article today.
        Thanks lebeau and Danielle:)

        Like

      • Danielle Charney

        He may not be on until later- my idea here is to get those who really know something and send them the invite to join in- Paul S- FB is what we do with it- I’ve gotten very annoyed with it and un-friended half the people I knew- and taken a long hiatus from it- but it’s really just an interesting format to exchange information and meet people we would never meet before- so I hope you do it- and no, I don’t own stock in it 🙂

        Like

        • On FB stock – lucky you!

          I’m always happy to have new voices join in. Your contributions are invaluable and I am sure any friends of yours would be as well.

          The interactions are really what keep me in this. It would be so dull if I was talking to myself.

          Like

      • Danielle Charney

        I do not own FB stock – no – I hope Mitchell is in the right mood when he gets it- he is the mother
        lode of historical information about women in films- and film – I will prod him later- and Lebeau- on the subject of ‘talking to yourself’- that is when looney is good- you can be so many people- ::) see you later

        Like

  38. Danielle Charney

    Thank you – and different in that story and character was more prominent to a degree- writing was better- say what you will but the Wilder-Diamond, Mankiewicz crowd- Sturges were a lot better writers than the comedy ones now IMHO with some exceptions- it was before special effects and huge actions movies- before just business men ran the industry- I watched from the inside- that turn- we do have great talent today – in all areas, but not the marketing machine behind the smaller films-they find their own audience die- I am not into the bigger films- I will watch a Bond film – but they are different- Ridley Scott I will try – Michael Bay- never or even Nolan- but that is the big audience- they need huge names and star power to hold the screen against the special effects- others melt away- and HD has made it really tough for so many- those close ups- please Mr. Demille- not so close anymore- real talent -yes – it’s always around- the support and stage for it? not so much now- people like David Strathairn and Kathy Bates- I love ‘actors’- stars- not so much – while they are great, many of them, they are always themselves- and I include Nicholson ( who I love ) and Streep in that category. Last night I watched Julie and Julia ( for the fifth time – boring night here), I am sorry – she is ‘deer in the headlights self-conscience to me” – she lost me long ago- around Before and After time- which I loved her in- her great rep is carrying her now IMHO- the last three things she has done- I thought she was terrible- way over the top- as for age however- she has certainly survived-

    Like

    • I just can’t agree with you about Streep. I find her to be fully engaged with her acting partners and her activities in her recent work. Her nuance, naturalism, and charm while playing a role like the one in “Julie & Julia” is an inspiration. Contrast that role with what she did in “Doubt,” and you have the sort of range that any actor would be proud of.

      I am typically an admirer of the work done by supporting actors (usually one myself) and most often love seeing old men on film, but Streep really does it for me most of the time.

      While I can’t begrudge you your own observations (Bruce Willis and Richard Gere have both had long bouts with camera-awareness), as a professionally trained actor, my eyes don’t see Streep’s performances as self-conscious.

      Like

  39. Just wanted to tell you I love Joe vs the Volcano too!!!

    Like

  40. I know that lots of people want to see Meg,Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts and many others in more movies! The Producers & Direcctors and the media play up WAY TOO MUCH NEGATIVE and I really like Meg Ryan. I loved her HONEST interview. SHE HAS MORE INTEGRITY THAN any of you that think putting someone down is grand. I compare PUTDOWNS TO BULLYING.

    Like

  41. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

    Like

    • Not really. Truth is, I didn’t set out to get listed anywhere. It just kind of happened. At a very basic level, here is what worked for me. 1. Find a topic that is of interest to yourself and the general public. 2. Include pictures. Seriously. 3. Quality matters. 4. Engage readers.

      No guarantees. But that formula has allowed us to build up a pretty strong following here.

      Like

  42. No matter what has happened to Meg Ryan, I still love to see her in the romantic comedies and I have to admit that I watch “You’ve Got Mail” at least once a year. Maybe that is showing my age a little, but everyone needs a little romance once and a while.

    Like

    • I actually enjoy Meg’s older films more with every year that passes, although I must admit I’ve never managed to watch more than a few minutes of You’ve Got Mail.

      Like

      • I totally agree with Paul. You’ve Got Mail, French Kiss, City of Angels and Kate & Leopold are just a few of my favorite romantic comedies in which Meg starred. I would enjoy seeing her in films where she is not the sole star and how she interacts with other actors/actresses of her caliber.

        Like

        • Kate and Leopold has been sitting on my DVR for months now. I keep meaning to watch it to see if it is as bad as its reputation. So far, none of the later day Ryan movies have been as bad as reviews would indicate. And yet, I still haven’t been able to motivate myself to watch this one.

          Like

        • If you like Liev Schreiber, you’ll like Kate & Leopold. Schreiber kinda steals the movie from everyone. But Hugh Jackman and Breckin Meyer are also great in their roles. The story centers around time travel. I liked it, despite the reviews.

          Like

      • Wow! That says something coming from a fan like you.

        I sat through YGM once. I got some free movies with my first DVD player and that was one of them. They were all crappy. I think I watched each one once with the exception of Stepmom which I never bothered to watch.

        Like

  43. Well City of Angels wasn’t really a comedy but it was romantic.

    Like

  44. This is the post that brought me here 😀 When I was a child I remember I had a huge crush on both Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts. Then Roberts continued her success while Ryan’s suddenly disappeared.
    Apart from the “Proof of Life” scandal I think that Ryan failed to have her own “Erin Brokovich”. Roberts in her “golden age” was somewhat obsessed with winning an Oscar, the lone thing she missed, she looked for a role that could lead her to achieve that feat and found it. In the same time “Erin Brokovich” helped her to get out from the “America’s Sweetheart” label. Ryan probabily tried to follow Roberts step with “Against The Ropes”. Jackie Kallen was probabily intended to be her own “Erin Brokovich” but something failed and then her carreer blew up.
    She can’t come back to the A-List probabily but I hope she can find some roles on TV, who is currently becoming the “safe heaven” for ex divas (Geena Davis; Sharon Stone; Maggie Smith; Glenn Close; Whoopi Goldberg; Laura Dern etc. etc.)

    Like

    • I give Ryan credit for trying. She was attempting to mix in edgier independent movies with her mainstream rom coms all along. But audiences didn’t even notice most of these films. She needed a Steven Soderbergh. Ryan worked with very few top notch directors during her career.

      Like

      • Different Roles Aren’t Always Better: 15 Failed Attempts To Overcome Typecasting:
        http://styleblazer.com/113595/different-roles-arent-always-better-15-failed-attempts-to-overcome-typecasting/9/

        Meg Ryan attempted to shirk her clean cut image with In The Cut, a thriller that cast the actress as a high school teacher who explores her kinkier side with a man who might be a serial killer. The financial and critical failure of the highly sexual, foul mouthed and violent film marked the decline of Ryan as a Hollywood superstar.

        Like

        • Danielle Charney

          I am a big Rosie fan and since I cannot access your link about the 15 stars- ( it won’t come up ) – I will keep trying- I do want to say two things – one– The Women was Diane English’s fault all the way – she blew it – not even the talent in that movie could save that script and the pace of the direction- and that Tim Robbins sure was good in Bull Durham and great in The Player- one of my all time favorite movies- now to try to access your link Terence- arrrgh- dying to read it

          Like

  45. Much of Meg Ryan’s appeal was based on her ‘cuteness’ (she could be considered the “Doris Day of the ’90s”) and she ruined all that with the extensive plastic surgery (pretty much making her look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker) she had a few years ago. It’s kind of like how Jennifer Grey ruined her career (after arguably being on the brink of superstardom w/ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Dirty Dancing”) by getting a nose procedure.

    It’s unfortunate that the general public didn’t want to give Meg much of a chance to do other things besides romantic comedies (her “girl-next-door”, lovable all-American woman image was kind of a blessing and a curse). As she got older, you can argue that she risked becoming somewhat of a caricature (as LeBeau noted, in her later roles, it seemed like Meg became even more shill in her performances) . Maybe Meg made the mistake of taking too long to do more dramatic roles (or if not that, she really didn’t know how to diversify her roles) after pretty much playing the same time of character again and again.

    I don’t think that it’s fair to give Meg that much grief over the thing between her and Russell Crowe because we don’t really know for sure what actually happened towards the end of her marriage to Dennis Quaid. Is it in part because Russell Crowe has a bit of a “bad boy” image?

    Also, was the whole Michael Parkinson interview that damaging to her career in the long wrong (maybe it made people think that she wasn’t really the nice girl she often portrayed in the movies)? I doubt that most causal filmgoers were even aware of what happened in the UK (was it a big deal in the tabloids at the time).

    Like

    • I agree with you on pretty much all points.

      1. Ryan sure was a cutie. I know that’s why I liked her.
      2. That plastic surgery was the last nail in the coffin. But her career was already dead and buried by then.
      3. Personally, I couldn’t care less about Ryan’s private life. But at the time, a lot of people sure did! You ask me, Ryan got a raw deal in that respect.
      4. The Parky interview wasn’t a big deal to American audiences. But apparently it’s legendary in Europe. Do I think it impacted her career? Not much. She was pretty much done by then anyway.

      Like

    • 12 Great Actors Who Seem Like They Might Be Terrible People:
      http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/great-actors-terrible-people/9/

      8) Russell Crowe

      Russell Crowe is one dude whose acting style is as weird and sometimes off-putting as is his public persona, and yet it’s incredibly effective when used smartly, usually when paired with a skilled director. His most famous off-screen moment occurred in 2005 when he was arrested in New York City and charged with second-degree assault for an altercation with a hotel concierge over placing a phone call. He threw the phone at him, as an adult does when things don’t work for them, right? He has been a part of other incidents as well, giving him the reputation of having a pretty nasty temper, even for an Australian.

      This makes it all the more puzzling just how restrained Crowe is as an actor. Many people criticize him for being too understated in his performances. His most recent efforts in Les Misérables were the subject of plenty of mockery, particularly for his singing, but the more I think about his take on Javert, I think he may have got it right, even if it may not have fit perfectly with the tone of the other players.

      It’s easy to forget how many terrific performances we’ve seen from him too, but since 1999 there’s been The Insider, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander, Cinderella Man, American Gangster, The Next Three Days, and he’s set to star in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. I also like that he takes risks in projects like The Man with the Iron Fists. It’s pretty impressive—almost enough to make you forget what he’s like as a person. Almost.

      Like

  46. I think Meg Ryan has been the recipient of unfair treatment and I wish she did not resort to surgery which her gorgeous face did not need. In terms of her career….from an outsider’s point of view..early on, Meg’s talent seemed overhyped to me, it seemed more about cuteness/perkiness than anything else… however all that turned around 180 degrees with “When Harry Met Sally” one of the absolutely great rom/coms that you always return to, along with “You’ve Got Mail.” Movies like that earned her a female following instead of just drooling, besotted men. I think it was the female fans who turned on her after the Russell Crowe fiasco, and that was horribly unfair. He comes across like an arrogant jerk who used her when he was bored and then they had to spin it so he was the dumpee, so audiences wouldn’t turn on him for doing what he did to America’s sweetheart. Again, completely unfair to Meg Ryan. It can’t have been much fun being married to Dennis Quaid. I love him as an actor but I wouldn’t want to be married to him; his unfaithfulness is not exactly a well kept secret. And none of that would affect her career, had she not ruined her elegant bone structure. I hope she can find a better surgeon and then get out there and reinvent her career, if she wants to. Maybe she doesn’t want to.

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  47. Also, forgot to mention. I thought she was beyond excellent in “Serious Moonlight.” Not a fan of that weirdly dark genre, but she made it watchable, up until the (ambiguous) end.

    Like

    • I didn’t mind Pixie-cut Meg (Tinker Meg?). But I’ll agree that she looked her best with her golden curls.

      I actually think your observation is newish which is pretty remarkable considering it is the 164th comment on the thread. Before I wrote the article, I had the same opinion. But it turns out she was making an effort to change her image all along. It was just easy to miss because those independent dramas were completely over-shadowed by her mainstream rom-coms.

      She did The Doors in 1991 before Sleepless and Seattle crowned her the undisputed Queen of Rom Coms. Flesh and Bone came out the same years as Sleepless. She followed it up with When a Man Loves a Woman. And from that point on alternated between rom com and drama pretty consistently.

      So, it’s not so much that she waited too long. It’s that for whatever reason, she was unsuccessful.

      Like

  48. 25 A-List Hollywood Actors Who Fell the F Off:
    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/02/25-a-list-hollywood-actors-who-fell-the-f-off/meg-ryan

    Meg Ryan
    Best Known For: When Harry Met Sally (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
    Most Recent Project: Serious Moonlight (2009)

    When Harry Met Sally and its famous Katz’s Deli orgasm announced Meg Ryan as America’s sweetheart, catapulting her to superstardom. Though she sought roles that would challenge America’s perception of her as a rom-com mainstay, her boy-meets-girl genre pictures dominated the decade. A series of critical missteps, including a brief dalliance with Russell Crowe and whatever you want to call In the Cut culminated in her taking a three-year hiatus from acting. Her return to the silver screen has been marked by a low profile, as she’s focused on passion projects and indie films.

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    • I would disagree that Ryan is better known for You’ve Got Mail. I would wager that most people have forgotten YGM. Even the title is dated. It made more money than WHMS, but it came out almost a decade later. Adjusted for inflation, I’m pretty sure WHMS was the bigger hit.

      Box office aside, WHMS is much more culturally significant. When you think of Ryan, the first image most people have of her is the deli scene in WHMS. Sleepless is likely a distant second. I’m not sure YGM is even in the running despit having made a lot of money.

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    • WHMS was Ryan at the beginning of her reign as Queen of the rom com and YGM is Ryan at the end. I figure when Ryan dies, the “In Memorium” clip will show the deli scene from When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and maybe Top Gun if there is time. Those are her most iconic roles.

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  49. Since Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer have been covered in the WTHHT series after appearing in “Top Gun”, would Kelly McGillis make for another good WTHHT subject? I mean, she had her “peak” if you will during a good portion of the ’80s w/ “Witness”, “Top Gun”, and “The Accused”. She just like Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer, unfortunately didn’t age too well. I mean, at this rate, Kelly McGillis could pass off as her “Top Gun” leading man, Tom Cruise’s mother.

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    • The only reason I haven’t written up Kelly McGillis yet is lack of interest. Even at her peak, I don’t think most people knew her name. She was never A-list. Having said that, I am sure I will get to her eventually. “Witness”, “Top Gun” and “The Accused” is too good of a run to ignore.

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      • This is true. Although I generally steer clear of an actor’s personal life except to the degree that it impact their career. I don’t want to write a biography so much as a career retrospective/analysis. I’m especially hesitant to address tragedy given the tone of the articles. For example, Val Kilmer lost a child. But that’s too heavy for the kind of articles I write.

        I did see Made in Heaven, btw. We watched it in a creative writing class in high school!

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  50. I haven’t covered her direct-to-video movies extensively. But I have gone back and watched just about all of her theatrical releases. Still haven’t sat through Kate and Leopold yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.

    Glad you like the article!

    Like

    • William H. Macy apparently has a pretty lousy track record as a writer/director.

      It’s been a long time, but I recall being pretty bored by IQ.

      Like

    • lol – I love strong opinions. I really don’t have a strong opinion of Robbins one way or another.

      IQ and Speechless both came out the same summer and were both pretty lackluster. I always wondered if perhaps one of the two films might have been salvaged if they swapped stars. Put Ryan opposite Keaton in Speechless and Davis opposite Robbins in IQ or vice versa.

      I think you still end up with at least one crappy rom com. But maybe the chemistry is right in the other one. Sadly, I have thought about this more than is probably healthy.

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  51. I’m not one for hyperbole, but ever hag IN or in any way involved with “The Women” deserves to be Queen Brunehaut-ed immediately to a rabid grizzly.

    And I watched only 1/3 of it.

    Meg’s 3 best films were “Flesh & Bone,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “Prelude to a Kiss”; whereas,
    “The Women” was akin to watching female hamadryas baboons in oestrus displaying their swellings. Not for the squeamish!

    Like

  52. Danielle Charney

    Babette- hahahah- thank you so much for that – so true- I just watched the so called – “terrible cringe worthy interview” with Meg and I think she was fine- and nice- the fact that the public made her a star- that is what happens- many who get grabbed for this can actually act and are smart- but they get slotted by it- Nicholson, Clooney to name a few- I thought he was a bit of a bore- the questions not that interesting- but I found her to be quite decent- anyone making some uproar here about her after that interview is really bored and has way too much time on their hands- she is a smart girl- he might have asked her more in depth questions instead of those of an awe-struck teenager- that said- last night I watched Serious Moonlight- with Meg and Timothy Hutton – 2009- plenty went wrong with that movie- but she looked fantastic- too bad that script was not redone by someone- it was out of control- and at first I thought it had possibilities – you just cannot keep someone duct taped to a toilet for almost a whole comedy movie unless you are the Faraly Brothers- Le Beau- what did you think of it? I’ve missed it in the comments if you have discussed it- forgive me- thanks-

    Like

    • It’s still unwatched on my DVR. I have been researching my next subject and haven’t had a chance to catch up with it. It will probably have to wait until spring or summer when my schedule calms down a little.

      Like

      • Don’t waste your time. It was unwatchable, and I don’t say that often. I have always wanted to like Tim Huttons movies, but beyond Ordinary People, I can’t say I ever liked anything he had a lead in (I liked French Kiss, but he was a supporting and not the lead.) He would make a good WTHHT entry.

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  53. This sounds like a WTHHT for Meg’s “Sleepless in Seattle” co-star Rosie O’Donnell:
    http://splitsider.com/2013/03/the-unfair-reputation-of-rosie-odonnell/

    Like

  54. Danielle Charney

    Since I am a computer imbecile, please forgive my inability to reply correctly- Kelly McG did a film in the late 80’s I think- an Elmore Leonard book – Cat Chaser -directed by Abel Ferrara – I loved it- I think I am the only person who saw it- always liked her- felt somehow in “her skin” when she was on the screen- and having been a huge Leonard fan to me it was a treat- the producer- who I worked with cast her with AF- said he was so sorry he had and that he felt she was so miscast that she ruined the film- anyone else ever see it? thoughts? opinions? musings?

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  55. Reconsidering Dennis Quaid:
    http://frettsonfilm.com/2012/01/06/reconsidering-dennis-quaid/

    Why doesn’t Dennis Quaid have Jeff Bridges’ career? Think about it: They’re both better-looking younger brothers from acting families and gifted musicians who broke out in ’70s coming-of-age films. In Quaid’s case, it was Breaking Away; for Bridges, it was The Last Picture Show, opposite Dennis’ sibling Randy Quaid.

    But while Bridges has matured into an Oscar-winning box-office force (True Grit, Tron: Legacy), Quaid has been relegated to low-rent teensploitation fare like the ill-conceived Footloose reboot and Beneath the Darkness, the horror flick currently getting a quiet burial in theaters and on VOD.

    What went wrong? Quaid never connected with that one gigantic blockbuster that could’ve cemented his star status—even hits like Something to Talk About and The Parent Trap succeeded in spite, not because of him. He also couldn’t seem to decide whether he wanted to be a leading man, turning on the charisma as a sexy Cajun detective in The Big Easy, or a character actor, burrowing inside himself as Julianne Moore’s closeted gay husband in Far From Heaven.

    Yet he gave compelling performances in these films and more, as everybody from rock-and-roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! to astronaut Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff. Still, he didn’t have the right stuff to become a movie megastar, as his turbulent personal life—including a messy divorce from Innerspace costar Meg Ryan—overshadowed his professional accomplishments.

    He also fell victim to typecasting, getting pigeonholed as jocks (Everybody’s All-American, Any Given Sunday, The Rookie) and authority figures (the President in American Dreamz, a General in G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, Bill Clinton in HBO’s The Special Relationship). Beneath the Darkness finds him stuck in both modes, as an ex-high-school football star who’s become a pillar of his community—and a murder suspect in the eyes of some local teens.

    So what can Quaid do to dig himself out of this rut? Rip a few pages out of the Jeff Bridges playbook and flaunt his musical skills (he hasn’t sung one of his own tunes on film since The Big Easy), saddle up for a Western (he scored a bull’s-eye as a shockingly gaunt Doc Holliday in Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp) and rejuvenate an ’80s sci-fi near-miss. Innerspace 2, anyone?

    Like

    • He could almost be a future subject for this series, couldn’t he? Sadly, Dennis will never seek my opinion, but I think he should continue to seek out interesting roles such as the writer he portrayed in “The Words.” (one of those movies where I think the critics just don’t get it).

      Like

      • Dennis Quaid’s day is coming. His career doesn’t have the dramatic rise and fall of Ryan’s. He is one of those actors who worked consistently for a long time without ever reaching the A-list.

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      • Danielle Charney

        I could not disagree more with Terence about Bridges – who is to me one of the greatest actors ever and in everything he does- and a real actor- not a star- his body of work and range is staggering and he has never relied on “cute little boy grins” as does Quaid- who I like but to me? A major lightweight that should not be spoken in the same sentence as Bridges- much less compared to him – Bridges is in the stratosphere of talent-we are lucky to have him give us what he has

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      • daffystardust

        Quaid after the opening night of “Great Ball of Fire”:
        “Oh! Jerry LEE Lewis!”

        Like

    • 8 Talented Actors Who Just Made Five Awful Movies In A Row:
      http://whatculture.com/film/8-talented-actors-who-just-made-five-awful-movies-in-a-row.php/6

      4. Dennis Quaid

      The Five Awful Movies: Beneath The Darkness, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, The Words, Playing For Keeps, At Any Price

      No, c’mon – surely the brilliant Dennis Quaid has been in something good lately? Sorry to burst your bubble, faithful Quaid-fan, but Mr. Quaid also happens to be a “five movie offender.” Quaid is something like the actor equivalent of a prostitute nowadays, in the sense that I’m always glad to see him, but afterwards the experience feels empty and unsatisfying, ’cause it’s prostitution. Not that I’d know, of course. I read about it in a book.

      What I’m trying to say in amongst that incredibly ill-judged comparison, is that even though Dennis Quaid might be good in his recent slew of bad movies (At Any Price springs to mind), the fact is that they’re still bad movies and he’s just wasted in them. There’s also the little matter of Dennis Quaid – alongside fellow “five movie offender” Gerard Butler – choosing to star in [expletive] Playing For Keeps. Totally unforgivable move, Den.

      Like

  56. I simply don’t think Meg Ryan had much range. She was quite poor, in my opinion, in Courage Under Fire, I remember watching it and thinking her voice was not believable, nor her attempts to seem tough. At no time did I buy her as a soldier. She looked the entire time like a little girl playing dress up. Her limit was being very cute in romantic comedies, and obviously that has a sell by date. I think her career did quite well considering. Kate and Leopold was quite good, and the reason she was good in it was that she was doing what she could do – pretty/cute romantic lead. I wish her well, and remember her fondly, she was adorable at her best, but I think she reason she has pretty much disappeared has everything to do with her own limited acting talent. And, of course, the awful plastic surgery pretty much nailed the coffin lid shut.

    You’ve got to wonder what on earth makes women do this to themselves? I completely understand the desire to look as young as they can – but do they not get that once they venture into implant, botox and duck lips territory they simply look weird?

    Like

    • I have the same reaction every time I see these surgery pictures. I am sure getting old in Hollywood is a scary concept. But if you go overboard, you end up looking unnatural.

      I used to think Ryan had no range. Made fun of her for years for being nothing but a girl next door. After watching more of her dramatic films, I think she had more range than she gets credit for. I can see your point about Courage Under Fire. But she did naked vulnerability very well in movies like In the Cut and Flesh and Bone. Those movies didn’t make a mark, so her performances are kind of wasted opportunities. After watching them, I do think she was capable of more. Audiences just weren’t interested.

      Like

    • What has happened to Meg Ryan’s face? Fresh-faced actress, 51, reveals tighter visage and plumper lips:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2345198/What-happened-Meg-Ryans-face-Fresh-faced-actress-51-reveals-tighter-visage-plumper-lips.html

      She has long had a seemingly pumped-up, joker-style smile.

      But Meg Ryan’s lips looked particularly plumper as she appeared on the red carpet on Thursday.

      It was hard not to notice the the actress’s pout as the famous blonde attended the 59th Taormina Film Festival 2013, in Sicily, Italy.

      The Sleepless In Seattle star drew even more attention to the shape of her mouth by wearing several layers of thick lip gloss on her lips.

      Meg’s visage also looked remarkably line free for her 51 years.

      The When Harry Met Sally favorite’s appearance has often come under the microscope.

      In the past America’s former sweetheart has been unfavorably compared with Britain’s own hall of fame inductee, Men Behaving Badly actress Leslie Ash.

      Both women sport blonde hair-dos and an unflattering pumped-up, joker smile – thought to be the result of an allergic reaction to collagen implants.

      For her appearance at the Italian film festival, Meg was dressed in a simple long sleeve black top and a flared mid length skirt.

      She paired the attire with some simple black platform and accessorized with a wristwatch.

      At the Italian Film Festival, Meg is set to hold an onstage master class about her acting career.

      However, there may not be much recent material to work with as Meg has recently had somewhat of a lull in her career.

      Outside of appearances on the Lisa Kudrow web series Web Therapy, the rom-com sweetheart of the 80’s and 90’s hasn’t been performing in much of anything.

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    • This is just an opinion, not based on any knowledge, I suspect some people actually look take well to plastic surgery, and others don’t. It is only the crashes that we notice and the others we may remark … “they look good for their age!” I wonder if this is true whether the person is 18 or 50. Just an opinion.

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  57. I agree with all the comments about unnecessary and addictive plastic surgeries. In addition to everything else that has been said, and I don’t like to dwell on this aspect, but there might be times where someone has to get surgery to correct something that has happened to them. I would like to believe that it never happens, but sadly, you can’t rule it out. Violence happens all the time.

    Like

    • While it wasn’t domestic violence, Mark Hamill basically had his face reconstructed between Star Wars films after a car accident. I hadn’t thought about domestic violence but it’s possible. Especially with say Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith.

      Like

      • Danielle Charney

        I agree- many of the best surgeons only work on serious stuff like Hamill or reconstructive surgery- many of the ones doing cosmetic are hacks- it’s very lucrative and women ( and men ) want to look better- but few are artists- for instance- look at Sharon Stone- while she looks good- she looks like a different person- when you have the money that people like Barbara Hershey or Meg have- you’d think they would get a good surgeon- one with aesthetics that do natural looking work- as for Don J- I think he looks awful after it- as for Melanie, I have always loved her face- but she has gone nuts with it- tried to un-do it for a long time- doesn’t seem to have affected her love life eh? I can look at anyone from blocks away and tell whether they have had a nose job- or a cheek job- but anyone hurt in an accident or real stuff- sure – it’s a great thing to do – look at the woman whose face was ripped off by the Chimp – or the person whose face was eaten off by some bug in South America- that is all the good of it- DV people definitely – one person whose had great surgery is Susan Sarandon- very natural- she finally did her neck- you can do your eyes- and your neck – the really hard stuff is the face – brow and nose- that’s where the rubber often doesn’t meet the road- I keep wishing I could do a few things but when I could I didn’t – too afraid of it- wont’ even get botox- I see the women in WFoods- the surgery is five- ten years old – they look awful and worse is the look in their eyes- can’t out run it – but for actresses and others- why not?

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        • Agree to disagree. While the work on Demi was good in the sense you described, it is far from natural in appearance. So much stretched and pulled tautness. To me effect is more scary than natural aging. Besides, cheek implants often bear no resemblance to actual cheekbones, especially when you can clearly see them.

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        • Danielle Charney

          White skin -light as a rule does not age well and no fat in your face is also aging- fillers can help but they make you look weird- I think Sarandon was and still is a beauty and so was Demi- while her surgery is decent – I think she looks tight and overdone- another beauty -Stone to me just looks like another person- all three of these women could not be more different in looks- I will take Sarandon’s face over any of them – far more interesting to look at to me than either of the other two – but that is what makes horse racing- I find Demi so freaky now i can’t look at her- also way too thin and I no longer recognize Sharon but Sarandon- there is still that fabulous face- deep set eyes and far more sexy to me than either of those women at present-

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  58. Susan Sarandon looks great. She’s my hero for a whole lot of reasons. Meg Ryan had the most fabulous bone structure seen on the big screen, outside of Grace Kelly. Barbara Hershey showed up in Black Swan looking positively disfigured, adding to the long list of reasons why I hated the movie. I will avoid this digression other than to say that Lebeau had a very insightful comment about how BS is in some ways a blank canvas to which everyone brings their emotional baggage. Going back to plastic surgery, a very good novel about everything in these comments is “Flavor of the Month” by Olivia Goldsmith, who died prematurely after complications from plastic surgery. It’s odd that this novel didn’t get made into a movie, being even better than “First Wives’ Club” which did.

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  59. The most recent project I saw Susan Sarandon was 2012’s “Robot and Frank” and I did think she looked fabulous. In fact her features are more classically beautiful than were Meg’s in her heyday. As noted above, she is older, and she has had some work done, but whatever it was, it’s subtle and looks totally natural. Rightly or wrongly, meaning, I don’t really know what I’m talking about but it’s just my opinion, I believe that one of the reasons Sarandon continues to work is because (in addition to just being an incredibly talented and intelligent actress) she did not attempt to hang on to a youthful image when it was time to move on, and thus did not destroy her face. And she does work steadily, every year she has TV projects along with mainstream box office and independent films.

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    • Danielle Charney

      I agree – while i think Meg was always ‘cute’ and very pretty- Sarandon to me was far more interesting and far better looking – and, still is- I think Meg chose the wrong surgeon- it’s also a lot harder to do facial surgery on lighter skinned people- so the doc’s I have talked to tell me- but again- it’s down to the surgeon- and Sarandon was just trying to get rid of the neck – look less tired- and she did- others are trying to look too young- always a mistake with C/S- it’s too obvious- Sarandon to me is three times the actress and human Meg or many others will ever be- she looked really sexy and great in the Big C– would like the name of her surgeon lol

      Like

    • Very interesting discussion. I am far from an expert on plastic surgery. I have largely ignore the topic up until writing these articles. One of the things I find interesting is how prevelant it is among men. And yet, it rarely gets discussed. Ever actress I write about in their 50s (if not their 40s) has tons of plastic surgery stories out there. But clearly a lot of these men have had work done too.

      As for Sarandon, I have long been a fan. Terrific actress.

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      • Danielle Charney

        Men- yes- much harder to do the eyes well it seems- not sure why- I will ask my surgeon friend- I think of the men who have done it – all good looking too- Don Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Jenner- can’t think of any others- ( only one cup of coffee so far so my head isn’t functioning yet) – it might be again- bad surgeons who take too much off or pull too hard- but it seems to make them look like freaks- I look at actors like Jamey Sheridan who I love who has not had surgery and to me he looks great- older but sexy as hell- and others- like David Strathairn and others- all aging well- the specific face and how far you can go is always the issue with P/S- often- the doctors push it – sometimes due to their own crap aesthetics and sometimes the patients wants it- an aside- I saw Lauren Hutton in WFoods- she bumped into me and at first I had that feeling- that I knew this person but not from where- then I looked again- she looked 80 –not good- as they say in these heavily photoshopped and touched up pics- so never underestimate that stuff- they do it to everyone- it’s always a bit of a shock to see them in person – I dealt with celebs a lot- often you’d walk right past them in real life- totally ordinary in person- the camera just loves who it loves- can you think of more men Lebeau?

        Like

        • The one who always comes to mind for me is Sylvester Stallone. There is no way that guy hasn’t been under the knife.

          Recently, I saw Tom Cruise promoting Oblivion. I have to think he’s had plastic surgery. The guy hasn’t aged in years.

          Of course there are all the nightmares out there. Kenny Rogers should get his money back plus damages in addition to some of the people you mentioned.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Yes- forgot about poor Kenny- and definitely Stallone- terrible work- I recently saw a doc of the “making of” Cruises last film- I thought he looked a lot older- like as in ‘old’ looking- lots of men do get botox and fillers- that can be a strange look too- oddly – so many women I’ve seen and heard that to me look like total freaks- think they look great- so go figure- one of the saddest of all trends ( besides giant boobs and lips and a-hole bleaching ) are Asians trying to rid themselves of their eye shape and make their noses less wide- both tough things to do – to me they look like total freaks when they do it- not western or eastern but something from outer space- some alien planet- and maybe, just maybe ( thank you god for Louis CK) – Cruise is so “clear’ he is ageless 🙂 lol

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        • Look at Stallone jawline in Rocky and then look at it mid 90’s- say Cliffhanger- no way that wasn’t cut.

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        • Stallone is the Michael Jackson of action stars.

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  60. Here’s the thing about Meg Ryan, what I think could help with a career resurgence. She can play comedy, and not every actress can. It’s just that she can’t do it as the young cutie anymore. Remember the movie “Failure to Launch” where Kathy Bates appeared as the mother of Matthew McConaghey? THAT sort of role. Meg has just enough comic flair and sense of timing to take on the “next generation” comic roles. Comedic acting is endlessly fascinating to me. There’s that undefinable mix of not only timing and delivery of lines, it’s the way they connect to an audience. I once read something to the effect that a director can’t direct someone to be funny. It’s like they are born with it.

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    • Danielle Charney

      As they say there are only three roles for women- Ingenue, DA and Driving Miss Daisy- she is a smart girl- bet she does something behind the scenes if at all- maybe she is just having a good time and Lebeau- yes- she did look like Alicia Silverstone in Rich and Famous- I like her with her real darker hair more than as a light blonde- I don’t think it’s that she is too vain to play a mother- I think most wouldn’t cast her as one- but – who knows

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      • Danielle Charney

        I think Olivia G used it in First Wives Club but it’s not her line – someone else said it long before but I cannot think of who- an actress- maybe Lebeau will know- I don’t remember Goldie Hawn having any heavy weight career – or one to strive for- she was the classic dingbat ditz- and good at it- but worked rather sporadically – she also had bad plastic surgery – her lips were huge at one point- Meg had the much smarter and more diverse roles – things just come to an end for actors- tough business-

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        • Danielle Charney

          sorry don’t agree but whatever- don’t care to argue it –

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        • I’m coming up empty-handed on the quote.

          I have said before that Hawn’s career mystified me for years. She made the same movie over and over again. Her movies usually weren’t very well reviewed and my perception was that they bombed at the box office. Turns out, she had a lot of modest hits and relatively few box office failures. Plus a few solid hits sprinkled about.

          Ryan definitely stretched herself more than Hawn. But audiences never took to her dramatic roles. Hawn is an Oscar winner. Ryan never got the same level of awards recognition.

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        • daffystardust

          Hawn’s Oscar win is widely considered to be one of the bigger mysteries in Academy history. Well…at least they didn’t give it to Dyan Cannon.

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        • The Oscar win isn’t all that mystifying to me. Hawn was a bright, young starlet who gave a winning comedic performance. It’s like Mira Sorvino or Marisa Tomei. The Academy has a history of rewarding Best Supporting Actress to a fresh face they expect big things from in the future.

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        • I wasn’t sure if Goldie Hawn’s duck lips weren’t done expressly for the movie First Wives’ Club, since the whole subject of addictive surgery, was parodied by her role as the aging actress.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Maybe the lips were exaggerated for that movie- yes- but Hawn has had a ton of P/S and good surgery- also- those pics of her are heavily touched as they do with all pics- they all look so much worse in person than they do in real life- many young ones too- too skinny or something weird- again- the camera loves who it loves- I hand it to Hawn and Jamie Lee for bowing out gracefully instead of letting the industry humiliate them- they were all women, despite their talent that got far due to their sex appeal- it’s almost better to be less cute or hot- like Keener or Najimy or others – recently saw Najimy in the Big C- she is actually looking pretty these days- so odd what happens- she may have had some nip/tucks but it worked- darker skinned people do much better with surgery – god – with all this talk – now I want an eye job and a neck lift- and I was fine before LOL

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        • I think you’re on to something saying that being too cute can turn out to be a curse for some. Totally the case for Meg Ryan. Kathy Najimy and Catherine Keener have both been around for years but they’ll never be a WTHH subject…..because they never were or will be A list even though their filmographies are chock full. They are established recognizable actresses yet when I see their names on something I have to think for a minute, “Who?” Maybe that’s a good place to be in…. they continue working steadily and always seem to have current projects.

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        • I’m not sure we should be comparing Ryan with Najimy and Keener. They are on different planets. Ryan was an A-list romantic lead. Najimy and Keener are supporting actresses. Those are practically different jobs although some actors move among them.

          I do think Ryan was trapped by her looks and her personae. She was the cute girl next door no matter how she tried to mix things up. Audiences didn’t accept her if she got too dirty, depressing or tough. They wanted her sunny and cute. She could be desirable, but not overtly sexy.

          Beauty a double-edged sword. It propels actresses to stardom, but locks them into certain kinds of roles. That’s why actresses are so keen to wear prosthetics and look less glamorous in dramatic roles. It frees them from the curse of being the pretty girl next door and done right usually wins awards and critical praise.

          Ryan never seriously went the unglamorous route. Even in In the Cut, there’s no mistaking her for anyone else. Would something like Monster or The Hours have helped? Could she have pulled it off? Dunno. Probably couldn’t have hurt.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Ryan got down in When a Man Loves a Woman with Andy Garcia or whatever it was- she wasn’t too cute in that- but no Charlize Theron- Meg wanted the big roles I think and cute has an expiration date- for kittens or Shirley Temple- I think she did try- maybe she simply lacked dramatic chops – I know she is smart but as we know that isn’t always enough to cut serious stuff- I remember thinking when I watched In the Cut- that she was walking through it – as for Mel- the man is seriously talented – comedy or drama and a real business man so right and left brain working- he is just nuts- but to deny his talent is pointless- he is gifted-

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      • I have to think that she could work more if she really wanted to. Not starring roles in mainstream releases, but surely she could get hired for something. Clearly, she doesn’t have to work. Hopefully she’s enjoying this stage of her life.

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      • I think the Crowe scandal killed any chances of that. Ryan was hated on a level few stars ever have been. Hawn was beloved for her entire career.

        The plastic surgery is certainly an obstacle for Ryan today. But even without it, she’s not in the same position Hawn was. Hawn was Hollywood royalty. Ryan is disgraced and largely forgotton.

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        • It was ridiculous. The backlash was so intense at the time it was really insane. I have no idea why people felt so betrayed. People reacted like Ryan cheated on America.

          These days, I don’t think she is still branded. She’s just forgotten. Or a joke because of the plastic surgery. Career-wise, that’s worse.

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    • It seems like so far, Ryan would rather play lead roles in direct-to-video rom coms than more age-appropriate supporting roles in theatrical releases. But I agree she has a light comic touch that could work in a variety of roles if she ever decided to persue them.

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      • Danielle Charney

        I think part of all of it was Ryan was known to be ‘difficult” to work with and indeed I know some nice decent people who worked on some films she was in- not Nora’s- but said she was in fact that- a term I am always wary of regarding women- but Hawn was known to be fun and easy- her work on TV seemed to make her more widely known and her Oscar was a travesty- while I like Hawn- she certainly never did the body of work Ryan did- I liked Ryan in her dramatic roles- too bad they didn’t click- also – Quaid was a known alcoholic – I have learned relationships are a two way street- to condemn her for her affair with Crowe is double-standard personified- I say Bravo to her for it- I know of few women that would turn that down- while Ryan may be disgraced now- her body of work- even with the light weight stuff and spotty films still is ten times that of Hawn- I really doubt that too many would see Ryan as Matthew McC’s mother- not believable- Kathy Bates is a whole other presence- any director seeing Bates as that would never see the frame and face of Ryan as that I bet- but still- Crowe aside- I think it’s the bad surgery that tanked her and Hershey and Stone- Ryan has plenty of dough- she can do as she wishes- for the record- I loved her work in “In the Cut” – while Hawn may be royalty and a fine actress and person- she never stretched or became a player in the sense that Ryan did – at least to me and to put Hawn in a league with Streep is a joke- few are or ever will be-

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        • Danielle Charney

          I like Hawn as a person and how she has lived her life- but to me her body of work is not impressive or even memorable- she was the first really visible blonde ditz to make it big in the public eye- she never stretched her talent and I do think she was smart–I always like it when comedy actors do drama as Meg did and as Keaton has- but she is no heavy weight and her reign has more to do with her position and the times than her work- you are obsessed with her which is tedious to me seeing as her body of work is unimpressive and limited- many other really good comic actors have done far more- people become stars because the public likes them- not necessarily due to their work- many really talented people never get the shot that others do just because the public doesn’t take to them- for whatever reason- Hawn had huge warmth- and talent but nothing I would put up there with anyone who worked their butts off- the oscar was a joke for a ton of reasons -just as watching Modern Family sweep things to me is- total obvious cliche- and so stupid to me- all of it- but the public loves it- I like the edgier things and there is another actress who to me deserves not one bit of fame – I think she is awful- not even sure she is a she- the horrendous Sophia Vergara- who imitates and sees herself as Lucille Ball ( not on Lucy’s worst day does she come near it ) and whose mouth is always in the “let me blow you” position- the public makes and breaks stars as does the very huge effective and damaging PR star machine- Hawn clicked- and her relationship of long term with Russell is unheard of in this town- a milestone in itself- I also don’t love her daughter Kate- I like her- but don’t think she is that talented- I like people like Cate Blanchett and Sarandon, Linney and so many others dripping in talent who downplay it- while Hawn was fun and I don’t underestimate comedy and what it takes – Jennifer Coolidge and several others wipe her out for me- and I like her but she is no heavy weight in the world of talent – at least not to me- enough of this -life is too short for me to give any more attention to Hawn- sorry

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        • daffystardust

          wow-you had me right up to “Jennifer Coolidge.”
          I know a lot of people really enjoy her, but she just leaves me cold. She seems to do pretty much the same thing in every role, no matter what the person is supposed to be like. I find her annoying.

          What I’m getting to here is that no matter how well-informed our opinions of performers may be, sometimes one of them just hits either our “sweet spot” or our “last nerve,” and there’s no amount of convincing which will turn us to the other side on them.

          While I’m no fan of Hawn, to my eyes she possesses quite a lot of on-screen charm and easy comic energy. And that’s coming from somebody who HATED a lot of her movies.

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        • Danielle Charney

          You know what daffy – you are right about Coolidge- I take it back- they keep casting her in the same role- I wonder if she can do anything and hasn’t gotten the chance? and, I agree with you about Hawn- have never been into dumb ditz’s or those sorts of movies- I was not into the Ephron ones either except “Michael” nor do I like Nancy Myers movies so I am not the audience- but it takes brains to play stupid well– – I do like Hawn in a ‘life-lived’ way- agree- her movies not so much- never been my kind of fare- but she does bring a huge sunny cast to the screen- I like Monty Python- the Galaxy song is my theme song in life so I am a bad judge here – the movies I liked of Meg’s were her dramatic shots- thought she did well – not Cate Blanchett – but well enough

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        • Another thumbs up. I hit Coolidge overload after the first American Pie. She peaked with the Christopher Guest films. But who didn’t?

          I share your opinion of Hawn. I dislike most of her films and have actually joked about her career for years. But I can’t deny her talent, charimsa and staying power. She has made very few movies that I would want to watch, but her accomplishments are undeniably impressive.

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        • 1969 was a SUPER interesting year for Oscars… looks like Midnight Cowboy dominated. I have issues with that film, wouldn’t show it to my kids but can’t deny it was groundbreaking with great performances. I think Dustin Hoffman should have won best actor. The actress from Cowboy that was nominated for Best Supporting didn’t have a lot of screen time.

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        • I remember seeing Midnight Cowboy in college. Great movie. Really enjoyed it. Can’t imagine what the reaction must have been like in 69. Must have blown minds.

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        • Danielle Charney

          I saw if when it came out and was blown away- if not for the entire movie- for Voight’s performance alone- just the way he walked- I recently saw it and it not only held up for me- it broke my heart all over again- piece of art to me-

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        • Rant of the week? I think so. I gave this comment a thumbs-up.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Hey- have we hit 250 yet? Lets do it

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        • This comment is number #256 for this article. Next stop, 300.

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        • I never heard “nightmare” stories about Ryan like some of the others I have covered. But it seems like there must have been something there. Other than Ephron, Hanks and Quaid, you didn’t see Ryan collaborating with people very often. She doesn’t have a powerful Hollywood friend willing to roll the dice on her today. She’s clearly not despised, but she seems to lack close friends in high places.

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        • Danielle Charney

          make up people know all – 🙂

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        • Wow. Harsh stuff. I am surprised this hasn’t come up in almost 250 comments!

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        • Danielle Charney

          You never know about a relationship with family- maybe her mother was cruel or competitive – maybe she was a horrible mother- Aniston is estranged from hers too- and I know many who are- so I am loathe to every judge the family thing unless I have both sides and other witnesses- maybe her mother was a self- centered drunk or whatever – you get my drift

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  61. Danielle Charney

    visible of our generation – certainly there were others before her- Jayne Mansfield and many others

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  62. Danielle Charney

    think Hawn was up against serious stuff in 69- can’t remember but someone was nominated from Midnight Cowboy and another really good movie- They Shoot Horses Don’t They – have to check- for Hawn to have gotten it over those parts is to me a reflection of her general popularity at the time- but the Oscars are also weird in many ways as to who wins-

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  63. Danielle Charney

    Quaid was also a serious alcoholic and I bet she got really tired of that cute smile after years of that- I think part of it is because the way Ryan did it – in the jungle with Crowe – made everyone jealous- who wouldn’t have done that with him? I sure as hell would have as all the women I know and many men would have- Goldie was always more likable- we liked
    her- we rooted for her -as a person- and things were not as intrusive then – not as they are now so her actions were avant garde but way less public – not like they are now- plus it was that sunny persona – she spread it -total joy- Ryan always had an edge

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    • At the time, Quaid’s problems were not widely known. Quaid and Ryan were THE long-lasting (by Hollywood standards anyway) power couple. The way it was portrayed was that the prom queen cheated on the prom king in the jungle with that hooligan from Australia. The one with a chip on his shoulder who was always getting in trouble. Crowe was suffering a bit of a backlash as well at the time. His was a slower burn that would eventually end his time on the A-list as well. I think if it had been just about anyone but Crowe, Ryan’s scandal would have been less severe.

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      • Danielle Charney

        Interesting- I knew about Quaid’s issues for a long time- and their marriage troubles- so I guess I am not a good judge of it- people bought his little boy smile- i always found it annoying – do you really see Crowe as slipping? He seems to be working at big stuff all the time- and let’s hit until 300 and get you some major sponsorship- you deserve it- I guess he had already hit the guy in NY with the phone? or is my timing off on that one? Women have always loved bad boys and upstarts- especially when they look like him- next to him- most men pale in the vulnerable manly-man contest- at least for me

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        • I think the phone incident was roughly the same time as the scandal, but I can’t remember the exact timing either. Crowe was a big deal when Gladiator was released. But it’s been a slide since then. Master and Commander, Cinderella Man, Robin Hood… he’s had a lot of movies that were expected to be huge that disappointed or flopped.

          Les Mis could be seen as a comeback since it was a big, critically acclaimed hit. But Crowe was frequently seen as a punchline for his “limited” singing ability. Now he’s reduced to playing Superman’s dad. He’s far removed from the A-list. But I think he still has a long career ahead of him.

          Quaid’s issues in the 90’s weren’t any big secret. I just don’t think they were common knowledge. Generally when you saw Quaid he was attending a Hollywood premiere with Ryan and they seemed the picture of a happy couple. Most people just took that at face value.

          At the time of the affair, the media demonized Ryan and made Quaid out to be a wounded innocent. And then when Ryan and Crowe broke up, it was presented that Crowe had dumped Ryan even though that is not what happened. Ryan kept quiet which in retrospect was probably a mistake. Although I’m not sure people were in any state to hear here side of things.

          In the years since, Ryan’s story has been told. People got over it. By then, they didn’t really care any more about Ryan. They weren’t mad, but they didn’t really want to see her in movies any more.

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        • Danielle Charney

          State of Play was after that- I liked it – have to IMBD him to see what came after Proof of Life- I loved Master and Commander- but agree mainly with it all- I find people in general don’t care much about the truth or facts of a situation involving people they have already formed an opinion about- ie- Charlie Sheen- he can beat people up- scream egotistical maniacal rants and racist statements- and still – stay on top–
          no one cares once they have formed an image of someone- or rarely do they – now I must go- 300 here we come – WHEEEEEEW

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  64. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around, then as well as now, what people want/expect from actors. I also am in the camp that believes they have a right to a private life, although it’s going to be more difficult for them. Meg Ryan, like many others, did get tarnished unfairly after the movie with Crowe, and I am quite convinced he was the jerk, not her. Although, even saying that, I recognize that none of us know exactly what happened. And I don’t want to. Growing up, all of life’s problems were generally made infinitely better by getting a movie ticket and disconnecting for a couple hours. OK it’s still like that 🙂 That’s all I ever want from celebrities. Going back to Ryan, yes, I can totally see the attraction she had for bad boy Quaid. He sounds like much better fling material than husband material. I llove his quirky smile and screen presence (don’t kill me Danielle) and he has been transitioning to smaller roles and stretching more. Best example is The Words. I may have been totally off earlier, by suggesting that Meg could do older woman Kathy Bates type roles, ok they are totally different but she can certainly do many of the roles that have been successfully played by, for example, Sarah Jessica Parker, who I also admire.

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  65. It seems that Meg Ryan’s writeup holds the record for the most comments. To me it sort of reflects her impact on the movie landscape. Looking at the current A list rom-com actresses, who do we really have that can fill the shoes of say Meg, Michelle or Julia? There’s Reese Witherspoon but she’ll come up against the same age barrier in not too long. ditto for Jennifer Aniston. The younger group of actresses that are A list now, just don’t seem to have the same bigscreen presence. Scarlett, Jessica, etc…no, no. maybe Charlize. Can anyone else think of one?

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    • There have been several bidders for the crown. Kate Hudson and Katherine Hiegel certainly lobbied hard for it. I think Aniston probably has the most valid claim to being queen of the rom com. But she’s ready to pass the torch. I’m not sure who if anyone will be the next to hold the title.

      Part of the problem is the current state of romantic comedies. The genre is in desperate need of reinvention. I find most modern rom coms neither romantic nor comedic. They are mostly just lazy.

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      • Danielle Charney

        Have I lost my mind- who is Michelle? What about the Kristin Whig? I think Aniston will never give up the torch- they may rip it away from her- but I bet she hangs in and turns it into the “divorced -mid 40’s etc ” group – second time around looking for love and Mr R and stumbling, struggling Rom Com genre- and then further because they are looking for good Boomer scripts- she will stay in I bet no matter what she says or what it takes- is Drew B out? I cannot stand her personally – are we talking 20’s or 30’s? There are some but I can’t think of them-
        ( I got up early-) Emma Roberts seems a comer- there have to be others- Rom Coms to me have not been funny for the most part for a long time for any age group for the last oh say- 10-15 years- except the Coen’s “Intolerable Cruelty” which is not really a Rom Com – I don’t like the genre much myself- come on – there have to be more – how do you see the genre re-inventing itself LB ? I never like any of Meg’s RC’s either

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    • I know I’m biased, but I don’t think there’s anyone who can fill the shoes of Meg, Michelle or Julia but just to throw a couple of names into the mix, what about Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence?
      I haven’t seen Jennifer in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ but according to the headlines it’s the film that shattered the stale rom-com mould.

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      • Have not seen Lawrence in anything yet so reserving judgment. SLP is on my Redbox list but has 2 negatives, B Coop and the idea that such a young person is a ‘recovering sex addict.’ Honestly do writers have no imagination anymore?
        Anne Hathaway, Kristen Wiig, and others are good actresses but quirky, again don’t have the same presence. Being cute and blonde isn’t enough.

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      • I haven’t seen SLP yet either, but I hope the headlines are true. The genre needs one intelligent entry to raise the bar and show Hollywood how it should be done.

        Hathaway and Lawrence are talented actresses who will certainly make some romantic comedies. But I don’t see either of them concentrating on rom coms to the degree that Ryan and Roberts did in the 90s. I hope there is more variety in their futures.

        I don’t really consider Pfeiffer a rom com queen. She made One Fine Day and Frankie and Johnny. Fabulous Baker Boys and Married to the Mob are arguable rom coms. But for the most part, I considered her more of a dramatic actress.

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      • Danielle Charney

        Please- who is Michelle? I am having a brain melt down- Aniston took over from them as queen of it but I’ve never liked her work that much- I kind of like her in odd ways but not her movie work- Anne Hathaway seems to do both- I like her much more in drama- that smile that wraps around the face bugs me no end- haven’t seen SLP so cannot comment- but her face bugs me too- I agree- they have more on their agenda than the old RC genre- which I agree must change- I also see Aniston staying in to do Senior Citizen rom coms- they will pry that torch from her when she is in the grave- she will never give up the attention and money- as for having a private life- those who agree to the star machine do it to promote themselves and sell their films- my guess is most of them not only like doing it but pay for it- they love the attention- Aniston has had major PR machines going since she hit it -keeping her on the covers of everything and milking the poor me thing with Brad for every crappy boring movie she made- who else is there? When stars fall off the radar they also make a lot less money-it’s harder to promote their movies- Julia Roberts I believe hasn’t really sold tickets to much for a long time- as in since Erin Brockovich which I loved- one who tried but hasn’t seemed to hit it for film as she did with Sex in the City was Sarah Jessica Parker-

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  66. Yeah, Kate Hudson is like the blonde Jennifer Lopez. Attractive but bland, no chemistry generated onscreen. Heigl a bit better, not much. And you’re right, some of the scripts are so lazy that not even Meg or Michelle could resurrect them.

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    • I really liked Kate Hudson early in her career. I remember seeing her in 200 Cigarettes and thinking she would be a huge star. And of course she was great in Almost Famous. But then she sold out to the rom com machine and I haven’t liked a thing she has done since.

      I just hate every movie Heigl makes. So I can’t really comment on her acting talents. I have been conditioned to run the other way whenever I see her face.

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      • Danielle Charney

        I liked Kate early on too- but not in the stupid stuff that soon came- I saw Sugarland Express the other night – Goldie was really good- and so young- think it was mid-70’s- that ‘type” will always be in- cute and perky little blonde girls- ‘men’s women’

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        • Early Kate Hudson was so much like her mom when she was young. They both lit up the screen. It’s a shame to me that How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was as successful as it was because to me it derailed a promising career.

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        • Good points all. I must have not had enough coffee, Cameron Diaz is a contender for the RomCom throne, if not THE contender.
          Lebeau, if you like Kate Hudson then NEVER watch Bride Wars… it will be disappointing. Both actresses were the opposite of lighting up the screen, the movie tried so hard to be funny and ended up being so lame. I am an obvious sucker for romcoms but also agree there are fewer good ones these days.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Cameron is long gone- way too old- and in real life- so nasty a person – people don’t like working with her at all- I liked Jennifer Lopez in real drama pieces- like Blood and
          Wine and Enough- but never in those stupid comedies – you know we have all seen maids that look like her- right and they all married Blue Bloods staying in 500 dollar a night hotels- but I think she can act- love her in Out of Sight too –

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        • Michelle, i meant Pfeiffer, and LB is right she’s more dramatic but i like her in the RC genre. Lopez, agree to disagree there, gorgeous face but to me, not much personality on screen. I did like her in Monster in law, but cmon she was acting opposite Jane Fonda. So she’s OK when she has a strong cast to work with but I don’t see the acting chops there. Sarah Jessica Parker I think is a fine comedic actress and has some intelligent and enjoyable comedies, several are in my DVD collection but she hasn’t been able to turn them into box office magic. I like SJP enough that I also went out and bought the SATC movies after seeing them in the theatre. But she is also somewhat quirky more than a classic beauty so never going to be in the same mention as Meg Ryan. If nothing else I admire SJP for her ability to land hunk after hunk and then get married to Matthew Broderick. Not too shabby! ps are we at 300 yet

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        • 279 and counting!
          Incidentally getting back to Meg Ryan, she’s appearing in Lisa Kudrow’s tv show, is it Web Therapy? sometime this summer.
          With John Mellencamp out of the way could this be a precursor to her appearing in movies again?

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        • Interesting. Thanks for the Meg scoop! Is that on Showtime?

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        • Yeah, last I heard the show starts its run in late July.
          Victor Gerber who appeared in Sleepless in Seattle is in the same episode as Meg.

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        • I’m a Victor Garber fan. As I am not a Showtime subscriber, I’m unlikely to see it. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Oh bless you RB- I thought I was losing my mind- I agree with LeB- to me Michelle is far more a dramatic actress than comedic -as for Lopez- can’t stand her comedy movies or work in them- I talking strictly about her dramatic roles and I do think she can act in that area- especially the films I mentioned- one Soderberg, another Rafelson- not chimp directors- actors will work for them for free- I think SJP is talented too-but hated both SATC movies and the show after a while- but I think I was more annoyed by the Samantha one note sex samba story line and Kim C than anything else besides the throwing the hair back with huge teethy smiles and screaming as a substitute for acting- JR coined that one too- it bugs me no end- I agree she SJP will never be embraced on the big screen -too quirky- in real life- she is hideous by the way and very shy and nice- I know many who have worked with her- lovely inside is what they say or most of them- and I hated Monster in Law as I did the Maids one– and Iove Fonda- but didn’t like the one with Keener either who I love where Fonda plays the 60’s hippy mother- to me they were bad scripts and badly directed – but again- not my genre- Lopez in Out of Sight was fab- and I don’t like her as a person – not into POP stuff and she is mean and greedy- so many who have worked closely with her reveal-too controlling – remember when she and Ben Affleck ( so glad he got away from her) were on Martha Stewart? it was frightening- I must go – thanks for the yak- be back later- we must hit 300 – ONWARD oh and just for the record- I CANNOT STAND Lisa Kudrow – anything about her- she annoys the crap out of me in every way there is- a real one note samba to me and can’t stand her face and affectations-

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        • Around the time of LA Story/Honeymoon in Vegas, I thought Parker was a knock-out. Now, not so much. People are unnecessarily cruel with regards to her looks. For whatever reason, she hasn’t had a lot of success in rom coms.

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        • Danielle Charney

          yes they are- but the camera loves who it loves as we all know- I have seen her when she has looked good but honestly- in person she is hideous- I must be the only human on earth that find Matthew Mc C unattractive- nice human but I don’t like his looks at all and Kate to me is just another cute dime a dozen California blonde- her face doesn’t hold any interest for me- Charlize- there is a blonde beauty to me – or Maria Bello- I like Parker in really wacky broad comedies like the mafia one- sorry guys – I am so tired I can’t remember a thing- I had hopes for Lopez too- but the minute they trivialized her and stereo-typed her – she blew it- I still think she can do drama if it’s a good script and director – see y’all later

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        • Sarah Jessica Parker?

          http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/291679?page=2

          Mar 25, 2010 at 4:43pm

          Not going to comment on her looks, but in terms of acting and screen presence Sarah Jessica Parker is the woman you cast as the best friend who’s somehow ended up playing the leading lady time and time again.

          From what I saw of her on Sex and the City, she was supposed to be the main character to empathize with, but:

          -Cynthia Nixon was a better actress.
          -Kristin Davis had a believable appearance as a Manhattan socialite.
          -Kim Catrall fit the R-rated content of the show much better.

          She’s just an ill fit for the roles she’s gotten.

          Mar 25, 2010 at 7:58pm Post by CrazySting on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:58pm
          I think Parker is certainly an attractive women and not ugly or anything.

          But I think a lot of the backlash to her was because she was pushed as this sex symbol, but not many people bought it. Likewise, on Sex and the City, Carrie was often referred to as the best looking one, and always had men drooling over her all the time.

          I think it was more a rejection of how she was marketed rather than people being mean and singling her out.

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        • I could see doing SJP for the series. What has prevented me from doing so is that her movie career is relatively light compared to her TV career.

          Like

        • Danielle Charney

          I like Ruffalo too – but not the chemistry or lack of between them in “In the Cut”- he was trying- but it was as though she was alone- at least to me- for US- right there is the first scene with the flashbacks- it’s all right in there- as for SJP and SATC- four girls- four parts of each of us- standard formula that works- like in friends- but SATC was simpler- there was some awfully funny and good stuff in it- all around- Carrie was always the lead- it was always her show- she is a smart good actress and the camera likes her for the most part- I got really tired of them all but the show went on too long-

          Like

        • Yeah, In the Cut just didn’t work in general.

          Like

        • There was of course that “South Park” episode which went out of its way to insult Sarah Jessica Parker’s appearance (i.e. “A transvestite donkey witch”):

          Like

        • Assessing Sarah Jessica Parker: A Glorified Clothes Hanger:
          http://www.pajiba.com/career_assessments/sarah-jessica-parker-career-assessment-a-glorified-clothes-hanger.php

          Subject: Sarah Jessica Parker, 46-year old American actress

          Date of Assessment: September 14, 2011

          Positive Buzzwords: Romcom, theater, L.A. Story

          Negative Buzzwords: Romcom, fashionista, limited range

          The Case: Let’s just get this out of the way upfront — please do not refer to Sarah Jessica Parker as a “horseface” in the comments. We are here to speak of her acting career and are going to do just that; unfortunately, SJP makes it difficult to do just that, but try to restrain yourselves.

          Sarah Jessica Parker began her career as a very promising stage actress while appearing in The Sound of Music and snagging the lead role on Broadway’s Annie. She went on to television and still warms hearts by the virtue of one season’s worth of “Square Pegs.” Subsequently, she moved into unavoidably cheesy 1980s movies like Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun as well as several short-lived stints on television and a bunch of made-for-tv movies. In doing so, SJP made the rare successful transition from child star to adult actress. She is still remembered most fondly, perhaps, for her role as SanDeE* of the high colonics L.A. Story and for her work in Honeymoon in Vegas. At that point, SJP was still adorably quirky and lovable for her approachable, non-threatening aura.

          Then, she fell into a romantic comedy rut with the likes of If Lucy Fell, ‘Til There Was You, Life Without Dick, and many more. Although I thought SJP was hilariously perfect in The First Wives Club, and she tried to shake things up a bit with the semi-suspenseful Extreme Measures, SJP was destined to return to romcom dreck. All of the offbeat movies in the world — Hocus Pocus; Ed Wood; and Mars Attacks! — couldn’t stop the inevitable return towards more chick flick-esque territory. Yet I will say that the first four seasons (out of a total of six) of “Sex and the City” were at least slightly subversive enough to make an HBO audience feel like they were watching something at least slightly intelligent, but then the tail end of the series plus two reprehensible Sex and the City movies destroyed all goodwill towards “everygirl” Carrie Bradshaw. SJP will always revert to mindless fluff like Failure to Launch and Did You Hear About the Morgans?, and she’ll do it for the huge romcom paychecks. Not that there’s anything wrong with going for the money — just don’t claim to be a “great actor” when your true purpose in life is as a glorified clothes hanger.

          Prognosis: Sarah Jessica Parker has other formulaic-looking movie, I Don’t Know How She Does It (which looks like a lot like “SATC” only SJP is playing Miranda), coming out this weekend, and she’ll make the inevitable turn (with the rest of Hollywood) in the upcoming New Year’s Eve. In addition, she’s got a bunch of romcoms in development, but I doubt her status as an A-list leading lady will continue much longer because SJP possesses absolutely no range outside of the romcom genre, and people will eventually tire of watching her play the same role. While the second Sex and the City movie didn’t fare nearly as well at the box office as its predecessor, Parker herself has insisted that a third film is likely in the cards at some point. Further, she’ll always have money rolling in from her inevitable producing gigs, including a rumored “SATC” prequel movie, a prequel television series set to air on the CW, and continuing royalties that will roll in from TBS reruns too. Truly, she’s got a bank account to be envied but no substance to show for it.

          Like

        • Can these Hollywood careers be saved? Sarah Jessica Parker:
          http://boards.theforce.net/threads/can-these-hollywood-careers-be-saved-sarah-jessica-parker.32098257/page-5

          Sarah Jessica Parker

          Career high points: “Failure to Launch”, “Sex and the City: The Movie”

          Career low point: “I Don’t Know How She Does It”

          How to fix it: Sarah Jessica Parker’s post-“Sex and the City” career is curiously similar to the way it was in the years directly preceding the show’s debut. After receiving some critical acclaim in the early ’90s for her winning turns in films including “L.A. Story” and “Honeymoon in Vegas”, flops like “Miami Rhapsody” and “If Lucy Fell” temporarily killed her chances of becoming the next rom-com queen. Though Parker is now 15 years older and far better known, her only non-“Sex and the City” starring vehicle to really hit it big since she donned the Manohlos was 2006’s “Failure to Launch” opposite Matthew McConaughey. 2009’s “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” with Hugh Grant was a disappointment, but what really put the nail in Parker’s rom-com coffin was last year’s “I Don’t Know How She Does It” – a critical and commercial failure that suffered from an overwhelming “been-there-done-that” feel. If she’s going to keep her big-screen career afloat, what she needs now is to find quirkier projects that will highlight the same spunky charm she became known for in the first place – in a more age-appropriate manner, obviously (think a 40-something Diane Keaton). As is, churning out a seemingly endless stream of formulaic crap clearly isn’t getting her anywhere.

          – Chris Eggertsen

          The problem here is age. Meryl Streep has sustained a career past 45, but I can’t think of another actress who has.

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        • OK TMC this time you’ve gone too far! First of all, those of us who shell out our hard earned dollars to see Romcoms at the movie theatre do not consider them “dreck”! Well… maybe some of them are…. but usually they are enjoyable, escapist dreck! SJP has made some of the better ones in recent years. I own both Failure to Launch and Morgans and find them to be interesting variations on the formula. I mean… can’t films be formulaic but still have original elements? After all, in many ways, life IS formulaic, and art imitates life! Further, let’s be totally clear here…. SJP as Carrie is a modern day heroine in that she lived the fantasy life we women have. Snarky writers such as the one you posted, completely fail to appreciate why this is the case. And by fantasy I’m not even talking about all the gorgeous men although that’s part of it. I’m talking about the SHOES!! Carrie not only supported herself as a writer, she was able to spend $40,000 on shoes!! This is the ultimate dream come true, even more than Prince Charming!

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        • Why are you, RB seemingly interpreting what I’ve posted about Sarah Jessica Parker’s career, some how meaning that I necessarily agree with everything that’s being said (as if I have a personal agenda besides perhaps, selling the idea of her getting a WTHHT in the near future). If you have an issue w/ what has been written in the articles, then wouldn’t it logically, be more sensible to take it towards the actual writers instead of me on this particular site!?

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        • Out of Sight gave me so much hope for Lopez’s career. Maid in Manhattan killed that hope forever.

          I used to really like Diaz. I would go so far as to consider myself a fan. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a ton of rom coms she made. Most of them seemed to go the gross-out route like Something About Mary or Bad Teacher. I love Anna Ferris’ impression of Diaz in Lost in Translation, but it kind of killed the illusion.

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        • LeB: ‘What Happens in Vegas’, Diaz costarred with Ashton Kutcher who is also not on my top 10 list but did fine in that movie, which was decent as romcoms go.

          Like

        • Oh right. Forgot about that one. By then, I had lost interest in most Diaz movies. I never had any interest in Kutcher to lose.

          Like

        • 10 Actors Who Play Themselves In Every Movie:
          http://whatculture.com/film/10-movie-actors-who-play-themselves.php/8

          3. Cameron Diaz

          While Cameron Diaz has flirted with quite a few different genres – romantic comedy (There’s Something About Mary), thriller (The Box), and action film (Charlie’s Angels) – she has that unmistakable screen presence that we can only assume is reflective of her actual, true personality. She’s loud, out-there, fun, likable, and of course, very, very blonde; even when she’s playing it edgy like in Bad Teacher, she’s still unmistakably playing herself, though this is one instance where we can’t really find room to complain about that.

          Sure, we’d love to see her branch out a bit, taking on more roles like her near-unrecognizable turn in Being John Malkovich, but she’s a much more likable presence than most of her contemporaries – we’re looking at you, Katherine Heigl – and so, we can’t knock her too much. Watch one interview with Diaz and you’ll see how her it is her natural demeanor that just spills into the roles she picks.

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        • I did see A Life Less Ordinary. I suppose it does have the DNA of a rom com. But I have always considered it more of a hybrid. There are parts of the movie that I think work better than others. I could have done without the suoernatural subplot. Same with Head Above Water. That was more of a black comedy than what I think of as a rom com. I did enjoy it because Harvey Kietel is awesome. Part of what I loved about Diaz early in her career was that she made movies that were a little edgier than the typical Meg Ryan rom com. These are two good examples.

          Vanilla Sky was interesting. I always felt like it was unfairly dumped on. I haven’t watched it since it was in theaters and I’m not in any hurry to watch it again. But there was some cool stuff going on there. Diaz was really scary.

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        • Reviews were mostly negative. Currently, it only has 40% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. It barely passed 100 million at the US box office which means it turned a profit, but it was a tremendous disappointment. Expectations were that it would perform along the lines of Cruise and Crowe’s last collaboration, Jerry Maguire. It was a huge embarassment for both Cruise and Crowe. Cruise recovered, Crowe still hasn’t. Diaz scored some nominations as did Paul McCartney for the title song. But the movie was a black mark for everyone else involved.

          I agree that Diaz used to make much more interesting movies than she does today. Although I sort of liked Bad Teacher.

          For those keeping track, this is comment #300 for this article.

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        • I felt like it was unfairly beat up on. It’s better than its reputation. But I also understand why it is so unpopular. It’s got what I call AI factor. It drags on for an extended run time only to end with what feels like a cheat. I keep debating giving it a second chance, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do so.

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        • I gave up on Hudson years ago. I think it was Fool’s Gold (which I have not watched) than convinced me. She seems to have no interest in making movies I would want to see. That one inparticular annoyed me because it seemed like audiences were expected to fork over their money because Hudson and McConaughey are beautiful. Yes, you are bronzed perfection, both of you. No, that’s not enough to warrant my hard-earned money. Now begone with you!

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        • I’ve just been reading an article on the future of the rom-com and this comment struck a chord.

          ““The rom-com genre got a bad name somehow”

          “Somehow”? Was it the predictable, asinine plots? The treatment of women as braindead man-obsessed morons? The trite dialogue? The endless casting of plastic, charmless nightmares like Kate Hudson and Matthew MacConaughey?

          Today’s romcoms are the bastard grandchildren of the old screwball comedies, many of which actually featured snappy dialogue and actors who could perform it smartly. Could you imagine Cary Grant taking a gratuitous crotch shot for a cheap laugh, or a scene of Katharine Hepburn in sweatpants with a carton of ice cream, moping about a man? No.”

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        • It’s funny you mention this. A little earlier when I was thinking about “how to save the rom com” my answer was to go back to screwball comedy roots. Specifically Bringing Up Baby, that kind of thing. The problem is, it’s hard to pull off. The writing has to be really smart and the timing just right. Very few actors can pull it off. I thought Clooney and Zellweger did a great job with that kind of comedy in Leatherheads, but the movie was such a mess. Also, I don’t think audiences have much of a taste for classic screwball comedy any more.

          If you want to fix romantic comedies, you should start by making them funny. The characters have to be relatable. And you can’t have a lazy premise that requires everyone to act like they are braindead just to keep the movie going. Then find a couple of actors with chemistry – something that is in short supply in Hollywood these days. Do those things and you will have a hit.

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        • Danielle Charney

          I dreaded Aniston doing a remake of My Man Godfrey- as she sees herself as a cross between Lombard and Arthur- and it would have been a good vehicle with lots of juicy parts- there are smart writers and good talent- chemistry – so much harder- as close to screwball as it gets seems to be ditzy or fat people – like Melissa McCarthy who I also cannot stand- affectations seem to have replaced Lombard like talent since the 60’s- although Allen did many that were on the wacky screwball line –

          Like

      • 10 Awesome Performances From Usually Terrible Actors:
        http://whatculture.com/film/10-awesome-performances-from-usually-terrible-actors.php/6

        6. Kate Hudson – Almost Famous (2000)

        Is Kate Hudson that bad? Probably not, but her ‘form’ of terrible movies (Bride Wars followed My Best Friend’s Girl followed Fool’s Gold…) and her insistence on so rarely stretching herself (her stock character has gradually been diminished to, simply, ‘a blonde girl’) that puts her firmly on this list. And it’s her phenomenal performance in Almost Famous that solidifies her position.

        In Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical rock ‘n’ roll comedy, Hudson plays ‘band aid’ (read: groupie) Penny Lane, a confused and vulnerable girl used up by fictional rock group Stillwater. Hudson’s conflicted and melancholy in her first big role, thinly covering up her insecurities with jocundity and flirtatious energy. The line “Why doesn’t he love me?” is a trite one, but here, out of Hudson’s mouth, it’s heartbreaking. She’s been playing a watered-down variation of this role ever since, with none of the films or her performances in them quite as successful. And still, years of rom-coms haven’t diminished the brilliance of this portrayal.

        Like

      • Can these Hollywood careers be saved?

        http://boards.theforce.net/threads/can-these-hollywood-careers-be-saved-sarah-jessica-parker.32098257/page-2

        Kate Hudson

        Career high point: Critically? “Almost Famous.” Commercially? “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”

        Career low point: “My Best Friends Girl.” It gets no lower than making a romantic comedy with Dane Cook.

        “How to fix it: One minute you’re the Oscar nominated star of a Cameron Crowe movie and the world is seemingly at your feet. The next minute, your name has become synonymous with the kind of romantic comedies most viewers — men in particular — wouldn’t even watch on airplanes. The first solution is to start sending “Almost Famous” to every acclaimed comedy or semi-comedy director out there and tell Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Judd Apatow, anybody who’s ever MET Judd Apatow, the Duplass Brothers, Lynn Shelton, the aforementioned Cameron Crowe… Tell them you’re willing to work for peanuts in order to remind people that you used to be lovable. Some people might advise you to steer away from your strengths, but that’s what led to “Nine” and to the well-intentioned “The Killer Inside Me.” Remind viewers they like you and then worry about stretching as an actress, or it’ll be time for a FOX sitcom within a year.”

        – Daniel Fienberg

        The problem with Kate Hudson is that she looks just like a dozen other pretty blondes. No distinctiveness.

        Katherine Heigl

        Career high points: “Knocked Up”, “27 Dresses”

        Career low point: “One for the Money”

        “How to fix it: As we anticipated, Heigl wasn’t able to breathe new life into her sinking career with this year’s “One for the Money”, which was almost universally panned and grossed less than $30 million worldwide. Unfortunately Heigl’s greatest enemy has always been herself; at the height of her success, the actress actually had the cojones to bad-mouth “Knocked Up”, the film that launched her to big-screen stardom. Now she’s practically begging the producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” (the writing staff of which she’s also publicly denounced in the past) to write her back into the show – essentially an admission by the actress herself that the A-list bubble has finally burst. So where does she go from here? While returning to “Grey’s” probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for her, the show doesn’t have nearly the level of watercooler cachet as it once did – in other words, it’s essentially a dead end at this point. Since the movie-star thing is more or less over for her (at least for now), her best bet is to make a play at critical respectability by “going indie” and stretching her range by taking on a role people wouldn’t expect of her. If she doesn’t have any range, of course (we aren’t sure yet), a return to TV – as the star of her own series, perhaps – is probably the way to go.”

        – Chris Eggertsen

        She does have a talent for putting people off; don’t know if this one is curable.

        Like

  67. This is a fun blog in so many ways. on the romcom thread, so many ingredients, all mentioned above but must have chemistry, which is impossible to define, it just has to happen. The example of Lisa Kudrow, I liked her a lot, but only as Phoebe in “Friends.” This to me is the beauty of an ensemble cast that does great comedy. Everyone has their schtick and they all play off one another utilizing their schtick, talent and timing. Not one of the 6 would have been as screamingly funny if they were trying to carry the show alone. The downside for the actors is trying to find work when the show has run its course. Only Aniston successfully made the leap. Some don’t like her but I love her delivery and timing. Again, like SJP really not a classic beauty but incredibly talented and personable. For actresses who stick to comedy only this is far more important that looks.

    Like

    • I give Aniston a lot of credit for her light comic touch. She makes it look easy. And maybe it is. But very few people have what she has which is why she was so in demand for such a long time. You could plug her in to any rom com with any leading man and she would deliver what you were looking for. That may not qualify her as a great actress but it definitely qualifies her as a great leading lady.

      And so glad to hear you’re having fun. That’s my #1 priority around here. If I do nothing else, I try to foster a fun environment where we can have discussions like this one.

      Like

      • Aniston does have that light touch and does make it look easy – well said. After all, she had years to perfect it, while Friends was on. She also demonstrated in “Horrible Bosses” that she could provide a little edge to her comedy. Some audiences probably prefer that, but I’m more a fan of the lighthearted variety. This may not even be that far off topic because that was obviously Ryan’s strength also. As Danielle said, it’s not like JA is going to give up that torch before she has to, but so far she’s the only actress any of us have mentioned that has even been able to veer close to Meg’s star.

        Like

    • 20 Actors Who Need To Make A Comeback:
      http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/20-actors-who-need-to-make-a-comeback/

      15. Lisa Kudrow

      Kudrow’s problem is that she was so eerily convincing as Phoebe Buffay that it’s almost impossible to see her as anyone but a dumb blonde — despite being a whip smart comedienne with crack timing. If you haven’t seen The Opposite of Sex (which features Christina Ricci’s best performance), go out and rent it now. It’s savage and brilliant and single-handedly proves that Kudrow should have been an icon. Although having to settle for one of the most beloved characters in TV history isn’t half bad. (Also of note: The absurdly hilarious HBO show The Comeback, which was cancelled. That’s just mean, guys.)

      Like

  68. 300 comments and counting!
    I’m heartened that over 10 years after her career as an A lister ended, people still want to talk about Meg Ryan and her movies, and you’re providing the platform to do it.
    Thanks a lot my friend.

    Like

    • I can’t take any credit. I’m just doing what comes naturally. Talking about movies with like-minded people. That’s the secret behind this place. It’s what keeps the whole thing going. I’d have closed up shop long ago except for the fact that other people keep coming back and joining the conversation. Even though we have never met, I have movie friends all over the world. And while we don’t always agree on every thing, we all share a passion for movies,

      I have gotten more from interactions in the comments section than I ever got from writing the articles. Meg Ryan is a prime example. I was a fanboy with a movie crush when I was young. But eventually, I lost interest in Meg and her rom coms. I had written her off over a decade ago. You convinced me to go back and watch some of her less popular movies and showed me the range I thought for years she didn’t have.

      So thanks to you for that. For Flesh and Bone and In the Cut and even Addicted to Love. I never would have watched those movies were it not for your site and your recommendations. Your love of movies is contagious. Thanks as always for sharing.

      I look forward to continuing the conversation about Meg and movies for many years to come.

      Like

  69. Danielle Charney

    Come on- take the freaking credit- you did it and it gives all a cool place to meet and yak and share and disagree and learn- that is something – how many have seen Serious Moonlight? Opinions? I won’t say a word until others do – and thanks Lebeau – I am grateful to have this place- i

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    • Alright, alright. Someone recently told me I need to be better about taking credit. So this one time, I will. 😉

      Serious Moonlight is sitting unwatched on my DVR. I keep forgettimg it is there frankly.

      Watched Dogville today. Boy, that was something!

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  70. Danielle Charney

    glad to hear it- I learned the hard way- if you don’t take credit for your work – someone will come along and take it – haven’t seen Dogville- what do you think of Family Tree- – I know its TV but it’s HBO

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  71. i liked Serious Moonlight, which is really saying something as I am not a fan of the darker genre. It was on our DVR lineup for a quite a while before I even saw it.. i remember thinking, “Meg Ryan is back! This has to be good! Her husband is strapped to a toilet?? this sounds awful……” so then I finally watched it. my verdict? it’s well done, and the ending does provide just the right, satisfactory payoff. Meg did look much better that she had just a few years prior. The script was intelligent, especially given the disturbing and improbable storyline, and of course the three lead actors all hit it out of the park. I like Timothy Hutton a lot and to a lesser extent, Justin Long. BTW I had a very brief conversation with him (Long) in real life a few years ago, when I was steeped in work and so out of touch with movies that I didn’t know who he was. no, he wouldn’t remember me or the conversation. He does look pretty much as he does on screen and seemed pleasant and low key. Anyway, to me, Meg had a lot of her onscreen charisma back in that movie, and the chemistry showed with both male leads.

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  72. I can’t say much about In The Cut.
    It rendered me speechless when I watched it in the theatre on its release and I’ve never wanted to watch it since.
    It’s funny that Meg Ryan was never intended to plat that role, it had always been Nicole Kidman’s project. When Kidman dropped out in the wake of her divorce from Tom Cruise, all the media hype talked about Jane Campion “freeing Meg Ryan from the cage of typecasting”.
    When Sandra Seacat, the guru drama coach at The Actors Studio had suggested to Campion that she ask Ryan to audition for the role of Frannie, Campion’s jaw had dropped.
    And even after Meg was cast Campion confessed that she still didn’t think Ryan was the character, “but then she thought, what about that old fashioned idea of acting?” Campion had to laughed at herself. “Maybe she(Ryan) could act the character!?” she laughed again; yeah, how about that! Acting!”

    Like

    • In the Cut is a really interesting movie. It’s not a very entertaining movie or one I ever plan to watch again. But it was worth experiencing in spit of its flaws. If anyone argues that Ryan lacks range, I point to In the Cut. She does rely on her trademark vulnerability, but aside from that her performance is light years away from the rom coms she was known for. More than anything else, In the Cut proved to me that Ryan could act (in addition to radiating star power which she had done for years).

      Like

      • Danielle Charney

        Must be something wrong with me- I do not see what the big hoopla is about regarding In the Cut- except that is wasn’t that good a script- cannot see Kidman doing it at all – thought she was terrible in Eye Wide Shut- but then Kubrick has always used people as they are- why does this movie upset everyone?

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        • I don’t find the movie to be all that shocking in and of itself. I have seen more shocking films. If anything, I find the movie too dull to justify watching it again. But I was impressed by Ryan’s performance. I didn’t think she had that in her.

          I could see Kidman in the role too. Recently watched Dogville. If Kidman can do Dogville, she could pull off In the Cut. It would be different from Ryan, but I think she would be up to the task.

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        • Danielle Charney

          I just thought I”n the Cut” was a lousy script with slow and plodding direction and i want to like Campion always- maybe you are right about Kidman-who I like – did you like her in Eyes Wide Shut? Did you like the movie?

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        • I saw Eyes Wide Shut in ’99 when it was released and I did enjoy it. Kidman’s role was so small I didn’t have a strong opinion of her performance on way or another. I remember she had a monologue about her dream of cheating on her husband which was well-delivered.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Lebeau – what do you think of Mark Ruffalo- i loved him in The Kid’s Are Alright- I don’t see BB’s unless Tim Burton or someone good directs or it’s a Bond movie- but found him not believable in “Cut”- not sure why- maybe I didn’t buy the chemistry between Ryan and him– and I knew immediately it was the partner who was the bad guy- bad script – but I can spot that stuff usually fast- I knew it was Kaiser Soze in the first five minutes- like people- if you pay close attention a script will usually tell you everything very quickly unless it’s written by a master

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        • I’m a fan of Ruffalo’s. He has a very natural presence. I usually find him interesting even in bad movies.

          I spotted the killer in Cut pretty quickly too. Usual Suspects surprised me.

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        • daffystardust

          I actually go out of my way to willfully try to NOT figure stuff like that out. I’m usually successful, but sometimes it just comes right up and smacks me across the face.

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        • Danielle Charney

          Me too- but after all the work I’ve done and the type of mind i have– it always presents itself- it’s easy to see- wish it wasn’t –

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        • The credits give things away an alarming percentage of the time.

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  73. I disagree. One, Benning is respected but nowhere near the A list. Two, Ryan took her left overs. Three, the project may have been more appealing at the time Benning was attached. You can not equate the two actresses just because they were both attached to the same movie. I think you are over estimating Ryan’s career viability at this point. It is not even on life support any more.

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    • I think that had Annette Benning not been forced to drop out of “Batman Returns” (she was originally cast as Catwoman but had to bow out because she became pregnant), she would more than likely be a bigger star/have more notoriety.

      Like

      • Absolutely. But that was part of bigger issue. Benning was dropping out of more than just Batman. She went into semi-retirement once she started having kids. Even if she had squeezed in BR before that, she probably would have slowed down her career to have kids anyway.

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  74. Danielle Charney

    Bening is no ‘star’? No– she is way beyond it and serious Hollywood Royalty

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    • Because she married Warren Beatty?

      Like

      • Warren Beatty himself should get a “What the Hell Happened to…” (I hope just because he’s over 70 now, it isn’t a desirable candidate immediately). Beatty had a huge flop w/ “Ishtar” (which I think was his first film after his Oscar winning success w/ “Reds”), but it really didn’t effect his or Dustin Hoffman’s careers that much. If anything, the director, Elaine May took the fall as she never directed again. Like Beatty, May developed a reputation as a perfectionist who always went over budget, no producer would hire her.

        Beatty followed up “Ishtar” w/ ironically, the biggest commercial success of his career in “Dick Tracy”. Although it failed to spawn a franchise (it made much lower than the studio had hoped for since it came out a year after Tim Burton’s “Batman”) and the film rights have been stuck in legal limbo since then. I also recall LeBeau criticizing Beatty’s performance as sleepwalking.

        Warren Beatty’s career as both a director and actor was killed off for good w/ “Town & Country”:
        http://themediahole.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/top-10-career-killing-films.html

        6) Town and Country (Warren Beatty)
        The argument could be made that Warren Beatty’s star had faded long before Town and Country, and that a film this late into his career cannot truly be considered a killer, especially for someone who 14 years prior had made Ishtar, however Beatty and this film makes this list simply because of the sheer scale of the failure of the film, Beatty’s apparent ego on set and the fact that it made such a pig’s ear of one of the simplest formats in Hollywood, that of the ensemble romantic comedy.

        Not only did Beatty demand a massive $5 million fee for appearing in the film his perfectionism led to multiple takes on set as well as a complete rewriting of the film’s ending. Still not satisfied however Beatty later demanded that the film be entirely re-shot, which involved the cast being paid double their fees to reshoot and pushing the release of the film back by two years. When it was released however Town and Country opened to negative reviews and lackluster enthusiasm from film goers, making only $10 million at the box office, less then a tenth of it’s now monstrous $110 million budget. Whilst Town and Country did harm a number of high-profile careers including Goldie Hawn and Gary Shandling, Beatty would prove to be the biggest causality, and as of 2013 has yet to return to the big screen.

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        • Beatty would be interesting to get to eventually. He’s a little outside of the time frame I’m currently focused on. But I figure eventually, I will go back and hit some of the 60s/70s era stars.

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        • Not applicable anymore since Beatty has a movie coming out. Amazing that after doing NOTHING for 15 years, and 25 years since his last successful film, a major studio would get a project for him greenlit.

          If lebeau you decide to go back farther with the WTHHT series, there are a lot more to chose from. Maybe you should start a poll.

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  75. Danielle Charney

    NO- because of what Lebeau said- Beniing’s body of work is exemplary – while Ryan struggled to break her ditz- persona and never quite did- Bening’s talent is natural and far reaching- she is a real actress- not a ‘star’ in the distasteful sense of it- marrying Warren didn’t hurt either- he is one smart man – Ryan doesn’t touch her in terms of talent and legacy- similar to me is also Julianne Moore – another broad talent -“stars” are not necessarily interesting to me- in terms of work or why they are- so many factors go into the making of one- to say nothing of ego, narcissism and many PR agents and companies- not usually the mode of the more talented to bother

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  76. Bening is A list all the way, being married to Warren Beatty also makes her half of an A list couple. It’s possible that you may not have seen a lot of her films and she doesn’t seem to be the headline grabbing type. She gets nominated for/wins a boatload of awards every year she works. No Oscar I believe but nominated. I have yet to see “The Kids Are Alright” on my to-watch list. 🙂

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    • Danielle Charney

      She is A list in the Hollywood Royalty and talent sense – I think she has won something- let me check- she is A list in my view- far more so than ‘stars’ like so many with so little talent- you MUST see “Kids” it’s great- the whole movie and all in it

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      • I’m familiar with Benning’s work. I saw and enjoyed Kids. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. You made some important distinctions between star power, talent and fame. When I am talking about the A list, I am talking about the ability to get a movie made and to deliver at the box office. Those are the things that drive an A list career. By those standards, Ryan and Benning have not qualified for about a decade. Benning is still very respected and, yes, Hollywood royalty. Ryan has a lot to do to stop being a punchline.

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        • Danielle Charney

          My response was to RB- but I agree- A list means $$$- etc
          but to me the A list is about talent- like Tilda Swinton or David Strathairn- or Bening or Moore etc- interesting fact- at least when I was in it- it didn’t matter one bit who the woman was- it was always about the men- “okay – but who is the male lead”? that was in the 80’s but is still really big- few women carry a movie -they might help get something made but I bet it’s still about the men

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        • True. Less so than in the 80s. Not that the ladies have gotten more important. Just that actors in general are less important to the studios than ever before.

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  77. That is something many of us filmgoers don’t think about… that it is more about the men, and what Lebeau was saying in essence (he’ll correct me if this is misstated) that Bening does not open a movie on her name alone. As far as I’m concerned she does, in terms of talent she is up there with Sarandon and Streep. Does Hollywood not see her that way!? Just watch Annette in “The American President” –simply delightful. I also thought it was one of Michael Douglas’ better roles as well, along with “Wall Street.” But Bening owned that role, such an interesting part to play, being the President’s love interest, and she played it so exquisitely.

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    • True. But that was during the Clinton administration. A lot of time has passed since then. She’s still a talented actress, but her name does not translate to a big opening weekend. I am still a fan and I’m always interested in seeing her movies. But that doesn’t qualify her as A-list in the traditional sense.

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  78. Danielle Charney

    How can anyone put Dennis Quaid in the same sentence or league as Jeff Bridges- so they are both the better looking younger brother- the similarity stops there- few come near Bridges in talent and range- certainly not Quaid who is talented and charming and not bad- but god on his best day nowhere near JB- to me that is like comparing Jan Michael- Vincent to Clark Gable or Steve McQueen-

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  79. WOW. Meg Ryan article. Just what I was looking for! I love her movies ,especially the romcom ones. She was so beautiful and cute back then , with the way she walks and her high-pitched voice. If only I could turn back time…. She probably would still have a great career with no plastic surgery and botox.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Without the surgeries and whatnot, she probably could have come back to a second act the way Michelle Pfeiffer seems to be doing lately. I saw Pfeiffer prominently featured on the poster for The Family the other day. Been a while since I saw her in a movie theater lobby.

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      • hope so. I want to see another Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie! They radiate warmth! 😉

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        • They definitely do. It would actually be interesting to revisit that chemistry all these years later. Joe Vs. the Volcano sequel anyone?

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        • or Sleepless In Seattle.or even,You’ve Got Mail! :3

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        • I’m sure there would be more demand for sequels to those movies. They were more popular. In all honesty, I have never been a big fan of Sleepless and I didn’t like You’ve Got Mail. But I have been a champion for Joe Vs. the Volcano for a long time.

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        • “Joe vs. Volcano” is a very underrated movie.
          🙂

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        • I’ve always thought so.

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        • Agreed. I’d love to see a YGM sequel. To me, this is the unexplored territory of the rom com world… can there be something interesting after happily ever after? Considering that’s how life goes… I often wonder why there aren’t more movie sequels in this genre. Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly have something in common (books) that should inspire a really good story to be told.

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        • Thought I was the only one. Even though the story after the “happily ever after” might not be as intriguing as it is before , it’d be nice to see something from a different perspective. Anyway,I think YGM is a very sweet “feel-good” movie that I can ‘turn back’ to everytime I had a tiring , bad day 🙂

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        • Some non-sequels have tried (usually unsuccessfully) to explore what happens after the happily-ever-after. Ryan’s When Harry Met Sally co-star, Billy Crystal, basically made Forget Paris as a de facto sequel to that movie. The problem is, you can only “meet cute” once. After that, you’ve got Bridget Jones 2.

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        • Now I have to watch Forget Paris – I seem to remember it being well enough received. Billy Crystal has a really good way of weaving life lessons into his comedy. When he gets worked up and starts with the life lessons in that state, it’s both hilarious and poignant. Can’t think of another comic who does this with the same effect. Recently picked up “City Slickers” and was downright amazed. I think that Adam Sandler has to have been inspired by him, as he seems to try to do the same thing, but Sandler’s movies are generally a weak imitation of Crystal magic. I guess you have to appreciate each performer on their terms, of who they are.

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        • Forget Paris has been sitting on my DVR ever since I wrote the Debra Winger article. I remember enjoying it, but I really need to revisit it. It’s been a long time.

          I’m actually planning to do a write-up on Crystal sooner or later. I was a pretty big fan back in the When Harry Met Sally/City Slickers days.

          I am about as far from a Sandler fan as you can get. I have never understood his popularity other than the fact his movies demand nothing of his audience.

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  80. Meg Ryan was the unfortunate victim of the “tragedy of domestic box office”. Her scandal was barely noticed abroad and she could easily go on as a rom-com queen in the international market. Instead, everybody got scared of US audiences (Meg Ryan as well) and she down-spiralled. I don’t know what she was thinking in that infamous Parkinson interview, but up to then her reputation and stardom was almost intact here.
    I don’t understand much of Hollywood mentality, but from a business point of view I find it quite weird that the main factor seems to remain box office power in the US, when 70% of tent-pole revenues come from abroad.

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    • That is changing big time. However, across the globe star-power just doesn’t mean as much as it used to. You can open a big CGI-filled tent-pole movie with no stars and it will do well everywhere. But Johnny Depp (even with his global appeal) probably won’t save The Lone Ranger from tanking overseas.

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      • I couldn’t agree more. It’s almost disturbing that Avatar was a ultragigantic hit with zero cultural impact. But romantic comedies still rely on star power (maybe). I am old-school, I want to see great acting, and Meg delivered.

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        • She gave good chemistry 😉

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        • She could only do those roles for so long- I mean it looks like a much younger Zellweger is basically done-

          Ryan just shaved 5 years and maybe 2 hit movies from the total- sad though-

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        • Ryan was winding down scandal or no. She just put the last nail in the coffin a little earlier than usual. The thing is, without the plastic surgery, she could have come back ala Michelle Pfeiffer. She’d never be on the A-list again most likely, but she would be on the big screen instead of making direct-to-video disasters.

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  81. Danielle Charney

    Never a fan of what the “suits’ have done to Hollywood- other than the Bond movies or a good action film- never liked the move to the Michael Bay type films- but the new trend- although I am rooting for it- has some disturbing characteristics- everything now is celebrity controlled- Kickstarter which held hope for the average Joe or kid or anyone to get some funds to do a good indie film- is now basically owned by celebrities- many producers and stars are going to it and since they are the ‘sexy’ ones in this society- the smaller projects- even good ones are suffering- everyone wants to be involved in a film with a celeb or already famous producer- on the part of the already successful- I find it greedy and sad- they take everything- so little is left- also I have seen many of these low budget- very low budget films done by so many- and so few are any good- there are plenty of good directors and scripts and stories waiting to be done- but Hollywood will always pander in some form to the demographics and those still seem to be loving car chases, rapes, leaping off buildings and special effects- while a few films with big stars may still fail- when they don’t – the money is so huge that I think it will be a long time before the ‘suits’ get it- the sooner the better to me-

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  82. Danielle Charney

    More and more – movies are catering to foreign money too- and one of the main markets is China- unfortunately- many big budget films will be altered more and more to reap that market- too bad I think- the tastes of the markets there are not the direction I would love to see things going in-

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    • Stuiods are telling directors to just deal with it. Even a heavy weight like Tarantino has to bow to the censors in China. And then they ban his film anyway. American box office matters less and less every year.

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  83. Not to be mean (moi?), but I think what happened is: Meg R’s cute-and-perky shtick reached its sell-by date (to borrow this apt phrase from an above poster). And with the bad plastic surgery factored in, I hope she has success as a director…otherwise she could portray an older Harley Quinn (a Bat-villain).

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  84. Meg Ryan vs Helen Hunt:
    http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/481312/meg-ryan-helen-hunt

    Post by Hit Girl on 21 hours ago

    Meg Ryan seemed to implode around the time of the Russell Crowe affair. Then she obliterated her face and had a meltdown on “Parkinson” and was never the same. Her selling point was being cute and quirky. Once she started acting like a moody bitch, her career didn’t recover.

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  85. Meg Ryan Kinda Screwed Up Her Life Back In The Early 2000s:
    http://socialitelife.com/meg_ryan_kinda_screwed_up_her_life_back_in_the_early_2000s-08-2008

    I’m just reading in between the lines, but it had to be something big for her to melt her own face like that. Jesus, she looks like Shriner’s Burn Hospital. Meg Ryan admits that she’s never been able to balance romance with having a career. Which is why she hasn’t had a hit movie in decades and Tom Hanks has stopped taking her calls begging him to co-star with her again.

    “It’s very difficult to be a career person and have a relationship,” she says. “I didn’t succeed at doing it at all. It’s incredibly hard.

    Meg dumped husband Dennis Quaid to bang Russell Crowe while they were starring in 2000′s Proof of Life with her. It was a big scandal at the time. He kinda chewed and screwed on her.

    “I empowered myself by not staying in the thing with Russell,” she said in 2006. “I felt it was going to be repeating some similar patterns that I’d just gotten out of and it was a drag because I was crazy about him.”

    “Empowered” = “Dumped.”

    Meg’s starring in The Women, and I’m crossing my fingers for her that this becomes a big hit and revives her situation. Because it’s pretty bleak.

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    • On set adulteries/romances are/were pretty common- I’m a bit confused about how the Ryan/Crowe one got out- I think the paparazzi are just everywhere now.

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  86. Meg’s on the cover of the lastest People Mag talking ’bout life after the spotlight!!!!!

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  87. I guess she’s busy being one of the Elitists on TED talks… She’s empowered alright.

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  88. Seems like MR in the interview says that it was her decision to leave the spotlight. She says that she was still requested, but she decides to walk away on her own, ’cause she was tired of the movie industry and wanted to be just a mother. http://www.contactmusic.com/article/meg-ryan_3890908
    Personally I think Meg is telling an half-truth. Certainly an actress who has been as popular as she was can’t disappear in that way if it’s not her will to do so. However I honestly think that, after the string of failures she had after 1999, probabily the role she was offered were not satisfying for her. So, instead of taking part in projects she didn’t believe in, she simply walked away. That’s maybe the complete truth

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  89. RANT WARNING: OK kids, I saw this “story” on MSN today: Amurrikuh’s former sweetheart MEG RYAN has turned her back on Hollywood!!! Ryan tells a journalist (from PEOPLE, no less) that she wants a life “out of the spotlight” and a “quiet life” (or quieter, at least) in a town noted for its balm-like calm and chilled-out vibe, NEW YORK CITY.

    If one wants a life of anonymity or at least “out of the spotlight,”, why does one talk to a journalist?

    If one wants a quiet and simple life, why does one move to NYC? I lived there for four years — life there is neither quiet nor simple, plus it’s VERY expensive.

    She’s “done” with Hollywood, huh? It seems more like it’s the reverse: H’wood is done with HER since she passed the age of 45, she starred in some “under-performing” movies, and got bad plastic surgery that makes her resemble THE JOKER in drag.

    Meg Ryan = A delusional dingbat of a has-been “celebrity.” Dennis Quaid should be glad to be done with her.

    Sorry, Ryan fans, this was the day wherein my allergy to bullshit got really aggravated.

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    • I immediately believe that Meg is in the same sort of predicament (if you want to call it that) that Demi Moore and Debra Winger for instance were in, in that they want us to believe up front that it was “their choice” to walk away from the spotlight in favor of a more quiet life. I do think that for the most part, it was Hollywood and the general public that “gave up” on Meg Ryan just like they gave up on Demi and Debra. When she was no longer in high demand as she was during her ’90s hey-day for whatever the reasons (being the negative reaction that she received over the Russell Crowe affair, her interview w/ Michael Parkinson, her ill-advised plastic surgery, the dwindling box office numbers, etc.) it made her choice to step aside a whole lot easier.

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      • Of the three, I think Ryan had the least choice in the matter. Moore wasn’t on top, but she could have easily made a couple more high profile movies. Winger was never headlining huge movies anyway. Ryan went from ruling Hollywood to having trouble finding work and being loathed by the general public.

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    • I have to wonder why she’s getting all these interviews all the sudden? Did the press suddenly find her number?

      I mean, what else is she going to say? I don’t expect her to say that her career dried up over a decade ago and she’s been struggling to get back into Hollywood ever since. Sometimes, delusions are necessary to keep going. But I agree, she’s not being honest with herself.

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      • It makes sense to me. Sometimes at midlife, if you’ve been through a lot you just have to process crap in a certain way. Part of the process involves somehow coming to peace with your younger screwed up self. And if that’s what she’s doing my heart goes out to her. Speaking of screwed up i hope i am replying in the right thread, my computer just went a little haywire. Anyway I was in line at the grocery store and saw the People magazine article. It wasn’t exactly in-depth investigative reporting but then again, I didn’t expect that, from People. My impression that it was mostly PR fluff (again, People magazine) but there were some admisssions from Ryan that surprised me a little. She took on some blame for the mess with Crowe. People also didn’t shy away from commenting on the effects of the bad plastic surgery and resultant bad publicity. (She looks better now). I think she really did want to go into hiding for some years, and maybe, as the article said, she really did turn down interview requests during this time period. She also, being older, would have had to be much more aggressive in pursuing roles, and up until now she evidently wasn’t going to the effort. So again, another maybe here… maybe she’s ready to transition into older women roles, directing, whatever, and will go after it. Anyway that’s obviously just my own spin, and everyone will have their own take on it.

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        • I actually do think there’s some truth to what Ryan is saying. I can easily imagine her turning down interviews. To a degree, she probably did walk away from Hollywood. But she didn’t do it until it was already clear she was no longer welcome. I imagine what she is saying is her truth. But she’s probably being less than honest with herself in order to (as you put it) process her life.

          I’ll need to track down this People magazine interview. That’s something I never imagined I would ever say.

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        • Tally Atwater's Tresses

          I woudln’t recommend tracking down the recent edition of People magazine because it doesn’t contain an interview with Meg Ryan, in fact Meg hasn’t given a public interview in 5 years.
          All People have done is print decade old quotes from Meg and hearsay from anonymous “industry insiders” and “Ryan Sources”; it’s really lazy journalism and not worth anyone’s time.

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        • That’s pretty typical of what I have come to expect from People. Thanks for the tip.

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  90. Hope you feel better having got that out of your system, Shemp, and maybe you can consider that just maybe, it isn’t BS. She was a movie icon and has money and can’t very well settle down to a life in Peoria. NYC may be the only place outside Hollywood where a celeb can live as close to a normal life as they can get. Bad plastic surgery can, and does, get corrected. If not, she can still live comfortably. If she wants to play “older’ roles she probably can. I’m speaking as someone who loves a lot of her movies and doesn’t care what she chooses to do with her personal life. It’s her life after all. Finally, I also don’t begrudge her talking to a journalist even if it’s only to try and put a certain spin on things. Why shouldn’t she? As I’ve said previously, the PR machine sure turned on her when she didn’t turn out to be who they wanted her to be. What right do any of us have to demand a celebrity be who we want them to be? All we have a right to complain about is if their movie isn’t worth what we paid to see, rent or buy it. Go Meg!!!!!

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    • Ryan can do whatever she wants and believe it or not, I hope she finds happiness. But as I said, it’s more than a little disingenuous to claim you want “privacy” whilst talking to someone from PEOPLE magazine. It kinda reminds me of this woman I knew that would whine, “OH, I just want to be alone!” (as in, “I don’t desire companionship”) but at musical performances (such as in clubs) she would “position” herself to be where EVERYONE in the audience could see her (ie, on the left or right of the stage) instead of hanging back in the shadows…also, singers that say in interviews “Money is not important to me” when tickets to their shows are $200 and they travel in a private jet. You know…bullshit.

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      • PS:

        re: NYC may be the only place outside Hollywood where a celeb can live as close to a normal life as they can get.

        With all respect, how do you figure that? I don’t know about “icons” but actors DO have “normal lives” without moving to or living in the Big (Expensive) Apple. Gregory Harrison (Trapper John MD) lives in Eugene OR with his family and Joan Cusack lives in Chicago. True, they’s hardly superstars but they’re living (OK/good/great) lives. Heck, Mila Kunis said recently (to some big ‘zine) if it weren’t for the brutal winters she’d move to Chicago.

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    • I do think her actions contradict her words. If you really want a life outside of the spotlight, you walk away. Suddenly giving interviews claiming you walked away is the opposite of walking away.

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      • re: giving interviews claiming you walked away is the opposite of walking away.

        My point exactly!!! In this regard, Ms. Ryan is full of merde.

        In the world of music: It’s a bit like when bands or performers have 3 “farewell tours” (in a cynical effort to wrest the last $ from their fans) or retire…and return…then retire again…

        As one human bean to another, I wish her happiness with Mr. Cougarcamp and maybe she’ll do stage work there…but let’s face it, unless you’ve a lot of $ (and patience), life in NYC is neither quiet or simple.

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        • She’s been claiming forever that she was working behind the scenes in Hollywood. Nothing ever really came of that except for The Women. I guess once that tanked she decided to stop telling everyone she was going to be a director/producer.

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  91. Right, definitely… and I’ve never been able to afford tickets to those shows. Clearly the money is important enough to them. hypocrisy can be galling indeed, I’m not disagreeing there? I do try to view through a lens of compassion though. if my life has been enriched by movies and music, then it seems that those who gave their gifts to the rest of us, can get the benefit of the doubt once in a while.

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    • re: hypocrisy can be galling indeed

      BINGO! Entirely my point…again, I really do hope things go well for her, truly. But hypocrisy is really annoying, whether it comes from Ryan, the clergy, your boss, or some captain of industry. (You know, when biznis bigwigs say “We all have to cut back and sacrifice….blah blah blah,” which inevitably means the people that actually work for them LOSE THEIR JOBS and they have to lay off one of their gardeners in the Hamptons…hard times indeed. Or the clowns on Capitol Hill that say they are “pro-family” while trying to reduce or eliminate assistance programs for the poor.)

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  92. I like Joan Cusack but that isn’t an apples to apples comparison. Likewise Trapper John. Never even been to NY… but many big names have been quoted as saying it’s the only city they feel they can just take a walk down the street and blend in.

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    • re: I like Joan Cusack but that isn’t an apples to apples comparison. Likewise Trapper John.

      I never said it was…as I said, they ain’t superstars. BUT a pal o’ mine in San Francisco was on a BUS when he saw Danny Glover and his wife RIDING THE SAME DARN BUS. And I knew a DJ at a small college-type bar in Pittsburgh and Jamie Lee Curtis would come in and hang out whilst she was filming “Dominic and Eugene” there. I will add however that in NYC, to some extent, the rich and the poor do tend to walk the same sidewalks. Then again, NYC is also one of the few cities where you can get run-over on the sidewalk BY A PEDESTRIAN. (I’m not kidding!)
      🙂

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      • Bill Murray is known to walk up behind someone and cover their eyes. Then he steps in front of them and whispers “no one will ever believe you” and he takes off.

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        • My sister met Michael Keaton walking to a restaurant- had a conversation with him.

          She says he was tiny.

          If you walk around Central Park you will see celebs around.

          LA has the celebs- but everyone drives and goes to gated communities or chic-chic places that mere mortals don’t-

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        • I have heard that about Keaton. I have also heard he is just remarkably cool.

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        • The few celebs I’ve seen (going through an airport) were invariably smaller in person. lebeau’s former flame, Ashley Judd, was tiny.

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        • She hates when people say that about her. It will get you a “mute stone”. 😉

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    • If Meg Ryan moved in down the blog, people would gossip about it for a bit. She might sign a few autographs or take a few pictures. Inside of a month, no one would care anymore. She’d blend in.

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  93. Wonder will Meg be the subject of a docu like Winger in like 4-5 years,perhaps????

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    • Well, Debra Winger wasn’t exactly the subject of Searching for Debra Winger. Rosanna Arquette basically got every actress that would return her phone calls to sit down and talk about being an actress in Hollywood. Winger is a friend of Arquette’s and agreed to let her name be used for the title. But she is just one of many actresses featured in the film.

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  94. Just to give everyone an idea of the reporting depth of the People article.. the same issue in the table of contents had a blurb that read something like, “5 months after surgery, Angelina is relaxing at home with Brad and their 6 kids when she ‘s not busy traveling the globe.” not exactly a story.

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  95. Just read in Variety.com that Meg’s developing a sitcom in which she’ll produce & star in for NBCUni,BTW!!!

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    • re: Just read in Variety.com that Meg’s developing a sitcom in which she’ll produce & star in for NBC

      So much for “walking away” from Hollywood and/or a “quiet life,” I guess…

      HOLD YR IRE, Meg R fans! It’s a free country, she can do WHATEVER she wants and I wish her whatever she thinks success is like…but like many celebs, she’s a bit full of merde and/or a bit delusional.

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      • She was obviously being disingenuous with thise statements. Clearly the interview was meant to lead up to this announcement. I’m sure there will be many more interviews leading up to the premiere of her show.

        Hopefully it is wildly successful.

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        • re: She was obviously being disingenuous with these statements.

          [voice of friendly sarcasm here] GOLLY, ya think so?!?

          I read about her sitcom at/on imdb.com — it sounds like a typical by-the-numbers sitcom [meddling mother/mother-in-law! 2 adorable but smart-ass kids!] that’ll likely be pulled after 5 episodes, tops. And this is NOT the opinion of a “Meg hater,” but a hater of cookie-cutter crap trying to pass for “entertainment.”

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        • I’m in agreement. But you never know. Aiming for the middle sometimes leads to big ratings. Look at the top-rated shows on TV. They are all pretty terrible.

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    • Meg Ryan signs on for an NBC comedy pilot:
      http://www.deadline.com/2013/10/meg-ryan-nbc-comedy/

      The actress, who appeared on an NBC sitcom 31 years ago, is eyeing a return to the TV comedy world, playing a single mom who ends up working for her former intern.

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    • Interesting. Whether it succeeds or fails, Ryan is definitely stepping back into the spotlight. TV is clearly the medium for actresses Ryan’s age. Just check out American Horror Story with great roles for Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett.

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  96. I was feeling bad for her, but then Russel Crowe happened.

    And YES, she young LOOK A LOT like Alicia Silverstone.
    In fact, Was Meg Ryan?.

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  97. Ten Hot Hollywood Women That Aged Horribly – Gunaxin Girls:
    http://girls.gunaxin.com/ten-hot-hollywood-women-that-aged-horribly/63395

    6. Meg Ryan

    Meg Ryan was adorable as Goose’s wife in Top Gun. She was girl-next-door sexy in movies like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. In 1994, People magazine named her one of their “50 Most Beautiful People.” However, America’s Sweetheart, simple, cute and naturally sexy, is long gone. Rumor has it that her self-image suffered when she separated from husband Dennis Quaid, following an affair with Russell Crowe. As she fought to stop time and hang onto beauty, she actually did a serious number on her looks. She appears to have had lip implants placed in her upper lip. In the 1990s, many plastic surgeons used implants to “permanently” enlarge the lips; however, most patients eventually had them taken out because they are too firm to look like normal lips. This is perhaps what caused Meg Ryan’s upper lip to look unnaturally stiff. Rumor has it that Ryan realized something was wrong with her lips when she was contacted by Bass Pro Shops, who were interested in hiring her to play the role of the large-mouth bass in its new ad campaign. In addition, this implant can also make the mouth look wider because it doesn’t allow the lip to pucker normally. The enormity of her lips may have been further exaggerated with injectables like Restylane, which surgeons often use to enhance the borders of the lips. Speculation also has it that Meg Ryan has had cheek implants, as her face looks surprisingly fuller in her older age. Her current cheek situation may also be the result of fat grafting, likely combined with other tightening procedures, like a facelift, forehead lift or necklift, seeing as Meg has not one ounce of sagging skin. Many also believe she has had her nose done. Unfortunately, the final result of Meg Ryan’s anti-aging panic has rendered her virtually unrecognizable.

    Like

  98. Meg could have had an entirely different career if she had said yes to “To Die For” rather than turning it down. Nicole Kidman did everything right, whereas Meg never really broke out and became overly cutesy and mannered. She chose to go where the money was – sappy bad scripts and remakes of better films (City of Angels is a horrid soulless remake of the brilliant and affecting german Wings of Desire)

    She can act, but in most of her films she phones in the same old manic pixie nonsense.

    And Joe vs the volcano is a great film. It grows on you. I love the details of it.

    Like

    • You won me over by noticing the details of Joe Vs. the Volcano. I’m constantly amazed by how many people miss what is to my mind right there on the surface.

      I wonder if audiences would have accepted Ryan in To Die For. Or if she was up to the task. She might have phoned in the usual mannerisms. Or she might have given an amazing performance only to have it ignored by audiences like all of her other indie movies.

      I used to think of her in the same terms you outlined; a talented actress who phones in shallow performances. I think that is true in her later day rom coms. But I think if you watch some of her dramas, you can still see her making an effort. She gave some really good performances in some pretty mediocre movies few watched.

      Like

  99. I was torn whether to renew the domain for my site when it expires next week, but the recent comments on this post have convinced me it would be a waste of time and money.

    “Virtually unrecognizable”, “overly cutesy and mannered”, “sappy bad scripts and remakes of better films”, “phones in the same old manic pixie nonsense”, “pretty mediocre movies few watched.” Harsh, but, I’m sure they’re a fair barometer of the feelings of the small number of people who still have any interest in Meg Ryan and her movies.
    Reading those opinions was a sobering experience, and it’s left me feeling more than a little embarrassed that I’ve carried a torch for Meg all these years.

    Oh well, we all make mistakes.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Like

    • I hope you reconsider! I would hate for you to give up the domain for your wonderful site, much less to contribute to that decision. Honestly, your blog caused me to completely reassess Ryan as an actress. I used to consider her kind of a one-trick pony. But after your site encouraged me to watch some of her lesser known dramas, I came to appreciate the career she could have had.

      I don’t think you have anything to be embarrassed about. If anything, I suspect your site makes Ryan converts on a regular basis. With a new TV show in the pipeline, Ryan seems poised for renewed relevance. If anything, I was hoping your site would flourish as Ryan steps back into the spotlight.

      To me, the only mistake would be to walk away from something that inspires such passion. But you have to make the call that is right for you obviously. My $.02 is that the blogosphere would be poorer without your contribution.

      Have a nice weekend as well. Maybe watch a Meg Ryan movie to cheer up. 😉 We still love Meg Ryan here. 438 comments and going strong shows there is still interest even if some of the comments are dismissive.

      Like

  100. Please don’t be swayed by a few negative comments Paul, for one thing you never, never need to regret being an admirer of Meg or anyone else. That’s your call! Besides, the comments are not only mean spirited they are downright inaccurate. Meg Ryan defined romcom after WHMS and actresses today would still kill for that measure of landscape-changing success. But they aren’t Meg and I have not seen a replacement for Billy Crystal either. Oh, others will find and have found a path, but who paved that road?
    You also have a great site and I’d hate to see you give it up, especially if I can get to writing more and we might even gain some partnership mileage, although so far that has only helped me. Your site is hands down well designed with good visual appeal and mine is nothing more than text, then again if you are paying for the domain it’s not for me to tell you to spend money 🙂 I’m plodding along with the free version and honestly would rather help you gain traffic more than me. Tell you what. We seem to have gotten a couple of people interested in Baker Boys…including one person who had not even seen it….let’s think of a Meg movie that needs revisiting and I’ll write a review that you are welcome to cross post. Actually I have even been meaning to compose a review for WHMS, after sitting in a dealership waiting room the other day getting a new car battery and chatting with another customer who was like a living image of Bruno Kirby. Your assignment is to review Michelle’s latest. Finally, Dr. RB has a prescription: if you have not yet seen “The Holiday” get ahold of it and watch this weekend. It will renew your outlook.
    Tell me if I’m wrong!!

    Like

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

    Like

  102. 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.

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  103. They Threw It Away – Self-Destruction and Acting Careers:
    http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=13556983#page:showThread,13556983,21

    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

    Like

    • Re: Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe:
      http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=9292610#page:showThread,9292610,2

      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

      Like

    • What the heck happened to Meg Ryan’s career:
      http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/379901.page

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

      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.

      This.

      +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]
      Anonymous

      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

      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:
      Innerspace
      When Harry Met Sally
      Joe vs. The Volcano
      Prelude to a Kiss
      Sleepless in Seattle
      I.Q.
      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

      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.

      Like

      • Where Did Meg Ryan Go?

        http://seekyt.com/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.

        Like

        • What the hell happened to Meg Ryan?

          http://forum.dvdtalk.com/4923657-post21.html

          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’.

          Like

        • 9 Celebs Who Looked Better Before Plastic Surgery:
          http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/9-celebs-who-looked-better-before-plastic-surgery/2/

          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.

          Like

        • Meg Ryan Plastic Surgery Disaster:
          http://plasticsurgerystars.blogspot.com/2013/05/Meg-Ryan-Plastic-Surgery-Disaster.html

          Meg Ryan – an unsuccessful one of Plastic surgery

          In 2011, Meg Ryan turn 50 and she seems nearly unrecognizable after going through many times of plastic surgery. Getting fame in 1989 when playing excellently the leading role in the film When Harry met Sally, she became a shining face for film directors to choose. And that is the reason of many good romantic – comedy films later such as Sleepless in Seattle, French kiss, Addicted love, City of Angels, etc. She was definitely one of the most beautiful actresses with innocent face, nice smile and charming looks in Hollywood.

          Although owning a perfect beauty, Meg wanted to be better and she got on well with plastic surgery.

          Easily to realize on the before and after picture above that she had lip implants. Some experts said that she used Goretex technique – a method of enhancing lip muscles. Moreover, her cheek liked a modified cheek. Maybe, she got volumetric facelift. Her face had not kept the natural beauty as once.

          In addition, to hiding the age signs, she still had undergone neck-lift and forehead procedures. So that, her skin face seemed not to be sagged.

          Her brows were pulled wider to stretch her eyes to look small and long. And her entire face shows that lots of Botox might be used. In comparison with her nice looking in the left photo below, its right one is so bad. She liked a very old lady as her age.

          Looking back changes on her face from year to year, it is visible to see that she has let plastic surgery remove natural beauties she once owned. Now she is not only old because of her age but also partly ugly than what time can change on her face.

          Like

      • What Really Happened to Meg Ryan’s Career?

        https://www.datalounge.com/thread/15536560-what-really-happened-to-meg-ryan-s-career-

        She reached her Hollywood “expiration date”. Being the “cute, All-American girl next door” will only work for so long. If you’re a female in Hollywood and have any real acting chops, you’d better display them very early if you want to stay “A-list” longer than 10 or so years. I’d say Meg’s peak years were 1989 (When Harry Met Sally) to 2001 (Kate & Leoplold).

        —Anonymous

        reply 23 07/04/2015

        Meg was always the “hottest” relatable girl you could get. She was like a female Tom Hanks. IMHO, it’s a combo of personal problems, being away too long and plastic surgery that has done her in. Also there’s the whole idea that she was the “cute” young girl in her late 20s / early 30s and she’s no longer that type anymore. If that wasn’t the thing she was known for, I’m sure she’d be fine today but alas that’s how she made her fame and now that special something she had is gone for good.

        —Anonymous

        reply 24 07/04/2015

        She had no range, and there’s no such thing as a 50 year old cutie-pie.

        —Anonymous

        reply 32 07/04/2015

        I’ve always heard she’s very nice in real life.

        I blame the plastic surgery 50% and the Crowe affair 50%. I think she could have gotten past the Crowe thing if she looked like her original self.

        —Peggy Hyra

        reply 36 07/04/2015

        Meg Ryan had sort of a trifecta of bad PR–the Russell Crowe thing happened while she was trying to transition out of the sweetheart roles.–and so people weren’t willing to cut her slack right then and go see her more daring stuff. She then screwed with her mouth. At which point, she was over 40 and unable to go back to the sweetheart roles, but without the critical acclaim to do the more dramatic stuff.

        I don’t see Reese Witherspoon in the same category–she’s pulled off some more serious stuff and she’s got a sideline playing bitches that means she’s always been able to do more than rom-coms. Also, she’s married to an agent, has picked up the producing thing and is driven. If she weren’t, that drunk bitch moment would have killed her career; instead she netted a nomination for Wild and made money producing Gone Girl. She’ll be around somehow, though not necessarily as a star.

        The other one who really disappeared besides Meg Ryan was Renee Zellwegger. She seemed to be doing fine career-wise and then she went “poof” and came back a few years later with no roles and an unrecognizable face. Drugs?

        —Anonymous

        reply 41 07/04/2015

        There was a gossip drop here that Rene Zellweger was sexually abused as a child and can’t have romantic attachments with men, all her romances have been “showmances.” I found this plausible and sad.

        It’s a shame Meg was so vilified for the Russell Crowe affair when Dennis Quaid cheated on her constantly. There was a gossip item revealed that Crowe actually made a bet with crew members on “Proof of Life” that he could seduce Meg; it was just scoring points for him.

        —Anonymous

        reply 42 07/04/2015

        She’s in her mid fifties yet doesn’t come across as a mother. Is there a place for a ditsy single mid fifties supporting character actress in movies now? In the old days she’d be the oldest stenographer in the pool who showed the younger ones the ropes.

        —Anonymous

        reply 46 07/04/2015

        Two things:

        She had a really scandalous fling with Russell Crowe that was completely opposite of her perceived public persona of America’s sweetheart. She got terrible PR advice, and everyone liked Dennis Quaid.
        She got some of the worst plastic surgery in the business, rivaling Jennifer Grey’s unrecognizable transformation.

        An actress might survive one of those things, but not both.

        —Anonymous

        reply 52 07/04/2015

        I thought Meg was gorgeous on ATWT and Top Gun. You just knew she was going to be a star.

        But like others have said, she messed it up with that terrible plastic surgery. She obviously had a lot of insecurities to do THAT to her face – I wouldn’t normally blame it on trying to retain her youth, but because like someone said earlier, she basically disfigured herself. Her Barbara Walters interview was very revealing in that she has a difficult past, particularly her relationship with her mother.

        She also couldn’t transition to more dramatic roles, though she tried (Courage Under Fire, When a Man Loves a Woman).

        I think Meg could have survived the Russell Crowe scandal since Dennis Quaid was no prince. But that all became moot when everyone kept focusing on her face.

        Also, the interview with Parkinson did her no favors (although to be fair, he was rude to her).

        —Anonymous

        reply 76 07/05/2015

        think it was the Crowe affair that did her in. You have to go all the way back to Mary Pickford to find another “America’s Sweetheart” who was so beloved by the public. Ryan did something like 15 rom-coms and she had stolen people’s hearts with that goofy, quirky, arm-waving adorableness.

        The Crowe affair was quite simply a shock. I think audiences felt genuinely betrayed by her sudden image reversal; after all, they had completely bought into her “girl-next-door” act. Now, she was brazenly cheating on Quaid and shitting all over her image. It was like a big “fuck you” to the public. It was scandalous.

        It would be like if Mary Pickford had been discovered cheating with Douglas Fairbanks before she divorced. Back then, they managed to hide the affair which ultimately ended in their marriage, which reinforced her “sweetheart” image.

        Ryan was so disillusioned with the public’s rejection of her that she did “In the Cut” about a sexually obsessed woman to prove that she was more than just “America’s Sweetheart.” Of course, that backfired; her career would never come back because there was only one way people wanted to see her, and they never got over that sense of betrayal.

        —Anonymous

        reply 90 07/05/2015

        Meg was good at one type of role only: the cutesy, whimsical kind whom all white women (and wannabe white women such as Asian chicks) want to be. She had no range as an actress and it no longer looks cute when a forty-something actress has nothing to fall back on but her ability to make cute faces, wear oversized shirts and cradle a mug of hot cocoa in some shitty Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers film. Good riddance to her, I say. She was an overrated, minimally talented cow who had a much more successful career than she deserved, thanks to the likes of cunts like Nora and Nancy.

        —Anonymous

        reply 91 07/05/2015

        The type of film she specialized in are no longer popular. When was the last big hit rom-com that didn’t have a gross-out or slapstick element to it? Meyers and Ephron moved on to making very beige films about middle-age. You’ve Got Mail is by no means high art and is in many ways a terrible movie, but if it was remade today it would involve one of the Seth Rogen/Vince Vaughn/Paul Rudd pack of men who are in absolutely everything and there would be a joke involving a dick pic.

        —Anonymous

        reply 99 07/05/2015

        As for her career – no real surprise. She was close to the expiration date, age 40, for cute female stars in Hollywood. She replaced some other cute Rom-Com star on the way up and now it was her turn to hit the wall. I thought she was good in “Courage Under Fire”, but she kept on with those cutesy roles, the irritating phony foot stamping, etc. People will be charmed and amused by that when you are young and cute and you can get away with it. When you try that stuff at age 40, you just look stupid.

        —Anonymous

        reply 102 07/05/2015

        Her career wasn’t over when she had the fling with Crowe, but it was at a critical point–she was getting old for rom-coms and hadn’t shown much range outside of rom-coms. Her film with Crowe was one of those attempts to be taken seriously–but it and all her other “serious” movies tanked.

        If she’d laid off the plastic surgery a bit, I think she could have ended up back on television–doing some part that worked with her narrow range and portrayed her as some sort of lovable, but fallible woman–say, a divorcee who did cheat after her husband did, but she felt terrible about it.

        Her career’s kind of an interesting contrast to Amy Adams, who could have been America’s sweetheart after Enchanted, but has kept doing serious supporting rules along with the occasional starring one. Adams has never been as big a star as Ryan, but she’ll probably keep working.

        —Anonymous

        reply 110 07/05/2015

        Her shtick was being cute and sassy. Cute and sassy doesn’t play when you’re 40 and up.

        —Sssssssaaaassss-say!

        reply 113 07/05/2015

        Her career was already on the downward slide by the time of the Crowe affair. She didn’t want to make cutesy rom-coms anymore, and she’d alienated her rom-com fanbase by acting like she was above that kind of film.

        —Anonymous

        reply 114 07/05/2015

        She had a lot of bad luck. If her husband had been caught cheating first, she would have been sympathetic. If she had a better surgeon, her face would look normal. If her agent hadn’t retired he could have guided her through the transition to middle aged actress.

        —Anonymous

        reply 130 07/06/2015

        always thought she was cute more than beautiful. Her face was a bit on the long, narrow side. When she got her lips inflated, it totally threw off the proportions of her face and made you notice that her other features were a bit off. It’s hard to look at her, which is not a good trait in a movie star. Even at her peak, her big beauty selling point was her. She also has always had a good figure, but that wasn’t a big part of her package–she was supposed to be cute and lovable–the girl next door–but with awesome hair. Jennifer Aniston kind of inherited her position. She’s also cute more than beautiful. I think Aniston’s sharper about her career though and knows not to overdo it on the plastic surgery.

        —Anonymous

        reply 146 07/07/2015

        rowe, bad plastic, ageism, fading public reputation, huge breaks between films, and the natural ebb and flow of the industry (eg. a new wave of America’s Sweethearts, they stopped making that kind of vehicle after the early 00s). I actually miss her character type leading films: very cute and charming (despite not always being likable) but also intellectual, neurotic and witty. So much life and vivre injected into her characters, and a tonne of moxy (gays never seem to like this quality in female stars / personas).

        She’s no Isabelle Huppert or Judy Davis, but she’s given some fine performances – When Harry Met Sally, In the Land of Women, Flesh and Bone, Joe Versus the Volcano, Hurlyburly, Promised Land, You’ve Got Mail, When a Man Loves a Woman, and a surprisingly bold and brilliant turn on Lisa Kudrow’s Web Therapy series as a mentally unstable shut-in who becomes fanatically obsessed with Kudrow’s (unconvincingly closeted) politician husband. And i’ll always love the sappy but funny and utterly wonderful French Kiss with Kevin Kline and Timothy Hutton – perhaps the most beautiful France has ever looked on film, too. To her credit, she tried to get out of the ’sweetheart’ box many times but the public wasn’t interested.

        Also, they stopped making romantic comedies years ago (the ‘sex comedy’ took over), and I don’t think she was ever willing to vulgar down for a Will Ferrell / Judd Apatow / Cameron Diaz type of film… things were much more slow and schmaltzy then and she’d be out of place. Funny that so many are name dropping Melanie Griffith, Meg directed her in a cast that also includes Ryan herself, Tom Hanks again, and her son with Quaid in her debut behind the camera, due this year I think. I’d like Netflix or HBO to throw her a bone (maybe something like Enlightened), but the surgery really is hideously distracting. A shame because she was naturally so gorgeous Poor Zellweger obviously has something bigger going on behind closed doors that we don’t know about.

        —Anonymous

        reply 152 07/08/2015

        Like

        • From what I understand, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were already going to be splitting the sheets (quoting Charlie Runkle from “Californication”; RUNKLE!), but that situation really gave “Proof Of Life” a ton of crud press. I actually like the film (totally recorded it, an episode of season two of the awesome “Dexter” and some NFL Films Dallas Cowboys footage in on that VHS tape:-).
          In general, I like the films directed by Taylor Hackford anyway, though I favor “Jagged Edge” probably the most, and I like “White Nights” a lot as well.

          Like

      • Jerks Behind Women

        https://www.datalounge.com/thread/16590935-jerks-behind-women

        Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid fit [R34]’s description perfectly. She had the bigger career, he couldn’t keep his zipper up and hoovered coke. When she had an affair (one compared to his many), he went ballistic and whined to anyone who would listen. He effectively destroyed her career over his colossal ego.

        —Anonymous

        reply 94 5 hours ago

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    • Re: Did ‘The Women’ ruin her career

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000212/board/flat/212312552?d=243336106#243336106

      NO, Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner ruined her career, for over 15 years 1989-2004 they done Meg Ryan no works anything unless being romcoms performing. Just notice how was the attitudes of Meg Ryan between 1983-1988 (As the world Turns-Amytiville 3D/Promised land-DOA-The Presidio) had a sexier grip and independent further full-bodied performance ..a Meg Ryan further exciting. She rummaged it again between 1990-92 (Joe Versus the Volcano The Doors-Prelude to a Kiss/ Flesh and Bone period) and 2000-2007 (Kate & Leopold-In The Cut-Against the Ropes/ My Mom´s new Boyfriend).

      “The Women” neither and never ruined her career,as opposed, went a other Meg Ryan´s hit-maker that the media in mid-2008, turned the maximum spotlight to Meg Ryan, looked like she was back at the height of the 90s, and she attended several TV programs, shows, entertainment, interviews, film events, Deutsch French, Russian, Italian, Hispanic, it was outstanding newspapers magazine covers.

      2008 was the last glory days of Meg Ryan

      Like

  104. 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).

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

    • jeffthewildman

      Her best dramatic role is still Courage under Fire.

      Like

    • Happy 50th Birthday, Meg Ryan

      http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2011/11/19/happy-50th-birthday-meg-ryan.html

      She rose to fame just before Julia Roberts who rose to fame just before Sandra Bullock. Together the three of them inarguably ruled the Romantic Comedy genre for a full decade back when, and this is an important note, the genre was producing regular classics. (Look at any modern RomCom Queen’s filmography and try to find films half as good; the qualitative dropoff is more like a horror movie!)

      Cut to 2011 and the other two members of America’s Sweetheart Trinity: 1990s Division are still headliners and now Oscar Winners. So what happened to Meg Ryan and why did goodwill not follow her or rescue her as it did her royal sisters in big screen love and laughter? For a good long while people wondered when her Erin Brockovich would arrive. Eventually they stopped wondering but why couldn’t she even stumble onto her own The Blind Side?

      It isn’t a simple matter of talent. While Meg is mostly remembered for romantic comedy blockbusters like When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail (recently revisited at Stale Popcorn) and Sleepless in Seattle she was always alternating those films with dramatic work, sometimes chasing Oscar nominations which never materialized and sometimes, one assumes, merely to stretch herself or work with great actors (When a Man Loved a Woman, Flesh and Bone, Courage Under Fire, Hurlyburly, etcetera).

      In fact, if you lay their 90s filmographies down side by side, without the benefit of knowing what came after, Ryan was demonstrating far far more range than Bullock.

      Was she simply too good at romantic comedy, making her dramatic work feel unexciting in comparison? Did she push herself too far past her natural talents in films like In The Cut (2003) that may have been better suited to miraculous dramatic thespians like, say, a Moore or a Kidman? Or did her own career stumbles tie in too chronologically well with the decline of her signature genre? Or was it just that her volatile personal life (the Dennis Quaid divorce and the Russell Crowe affair) rubbed too abrasively against her “cute” screen image? That’s a problem that Julia never seemed to have despite an even more volatile love life — maybe because her image wasn’t as “cute” but leaned a little spikier and more narcissistic.

      I’m just theorizing now… Join me. I’d love to hear your (non hateful) theories and your take on her best work. It’s her 50th birthday so we wish her well. Her next feature is an ensemble drama called Lives of the Saints with an eclectic cast featuring Kat Dennings, Kevin Zegers, 50 Cent, and John Lithgow.

      What do you make of her more dramatic work in In the Cut, When A Man Loves a Woman, Hurlyburly, Flesh and Bone, Top Gun, Prelude to a Kiss? Which of her romcoms do it for you: …Sally? …Mail? French Kiss? Addicted to Love? …Seattle? Kate & Leopold?

      Like

  105. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

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

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

  106. Meg Ryan will play the narrator on “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff:
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/04/23/how-i-met-your-mother-meg-ryan/

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

    Like

    • Meg Ryan won’t get a Travolta comeback:
      http://whatwouldtotowatch.com/2009/02/25/meg-ryan-wont-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.

      Like

  107. 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

    Like

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