Meg Ryan

The Wedding Singer

Much has already been devoted to talking about how Blended is Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s third romantic comedy together. The duo began as an unlikely pair in 1998’s The Wedding Singer, the 80s centric flick in which Sandler played an aspiring rock star paying the bills through wedding gigs and attempting to win the heart of the beautiful Julia. They entered their thirties by portraying Hawaii’s cutest amnesiac and the world’s most determined reformed womanizer in 50 First Dates in 2004. And with this year’s entry into their romcom resume, they’ll slip into the shoes of divorcee parents who happen to get stuck on the same wild vacation together, even though they hate each other. Don’t you hate when that happens? Sandler and Barrymore have this great trend of starring in a romantic comedy together about once every 10 years, and it’s working out well in their favor; how much more publicity have you seen being thrown toward Blended because it’s reuniting everyone’s favorite couple and not because of the content of the film itself? We’re all too aware of what’s probably going to happen in a modern day Sandler comedy, thanks. Their chemistry, likeability and the sheer nostalgia of bringing the two back together for another love story has made audiences wistful about these crazy kids; they remember rooting for them alongside Billy Idol almost 20 years ago, and now, they get that chance again. Of course, Sandler and Barrymore are far from the first couple to pair […]


Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in 'Joe Versus the Volcano'

This weekend schlock-master Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil, Death Race) is bringing us his latest over the top action extravaganza, a story about adventure and romance set against the backdrop of maybe the most famous volcanic eruption in history, Pompeii. If you watch the trailer, it seems like the movie’s going to be pretty bad, but bad in that way that you’re going to end up watching and enjoying it regardless. Or maybe that’s just my crushes on Emily Browning and Kit Harington talking. Pompeii won’t be the first time a couple of attractive young kids have fallen in love against the backdrop of a volcano decimating an entire group of people, however. Back in 1990, writer/director John Patrick Shanley took a couple of actors who hardcore movie fans may have heard of, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and used their one-of-a-kind chemistry to tell a unique tale that was part romance, part comedy, part adventure, and part genocidal disaster movie where an entire race of orange soda-loving Polynesian Jews called the Waponis got decimated by the eruption of a volcano known as The Big Woo. The movie was called Joe Versus the Volcano, and despite everything it has to offer, it still hasn’t received a high definition release of any sort.



The rom-com pairing of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks is the stuff of fluffy dreams — we dare you to name another pairing that is even remotely close to usurping their royal hold over the genre, at least within a modern context — and it’s one that has spawned three charming features. The duo has, quite memorably, starred together in a fizzy romance trifecta: 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano, 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle and 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, and while it’s the second title that often gets all the big buzz and affection, we’ve got a big soft spot for the unrelenting sweetness and strange humor of Nora Ephron’s other Ryan/Hanks feature. You’ve Got Mail is celebrating its 15th anniversary this week (yes, 15th, also, you’re old, I’m old, we’re all old, but nothing is as old as that dial-up buzzing we hear about 20 times within the film itself). It is stylized as a modern take on the Miklos Laszlo play Pafumerie, which was also the inspiration for the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner. It’s “modern” because it involves the Internet or, more specifically, AOL chat rooms, early email and the then-wacky possibility that someone could fall in love with a stranger over the net. Ephron, Ryan, and Hanks had previously explored a similar idea with Sleepless — that two strangers could be so destined to be together that they could fall in love via various types of correspondence — but You’ve Got Mail dove right into the burgeoning […]


Sleepless in Seattle

While we’ve spent the past couple of weeks “celebrating” the birthdays of films with dubious honor (though if you are a genuine fan of stuff like From Justin to Kelly and Dumb and Dumberer, that’s cool and we respect your dedication to using less traditional means of tastemaking to pick your faves), it’s important to remember that there are still plenty of good movies with looming anniversaries that are worth actually honoring. You’d like an example now, right? How about the late, great Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle, which turns twenty years old today? (Also, yes, we’re all really old right now.) The film was the second on-screen pairing of stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (their first was 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano, a wonderfully weird rom-com if there ever was one) and their first outing with Ephron (she’d direct them five years later in their last pairing, You’ve Got Mail). It has the sort of dated plotline that sounded weird even when it was released in 1993 – really, what sort of people were still calling into sadsack telephone chat shows? – but its primary inspiration, drawn from 1957’s An Affair to Remember, is oddly timeless. As a story about other people, Sleepless in Seattle is inherently romantic and infinitely watchable, though it’s the type of thing that, if it happened in “real life,” would sound weird and basically hopeless. Ah, hopelessness, the true currency of all romantic comedies.


trading places 27

There are so many movies with New Year’s Eve scenes that we might be able to make a list of 2,013 of them. Especially if we separate each scene from movies completely set on the night, such as New Year’s Eve, 200 Cigarettes and the Assault on Precinct 13 remake. But we’re going to keep it simple and exclude 2000 of those to share only 13 favorite moments of movie characters ringing in the new year. None of them are from those three aforementioned films, by the way. And since we’ve obviously left a bunch of scenes out, at some point before you go out to party or get situated on your couch ready to watch the ball drop, do tell us which New Year’s Eve scenes you love. Oh, and merry new year!


Reel Sex

As we approach Valentine’s Day (yes, it’s just a few days away) I think it’s only fitting that the topic of romance come into play in anticipation of the day meant to celebrate all things feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I have actually never celebrated Valentine’s Day with a loved one not related to me. Instead I spend the day (or week) loading up on conversational hearts, Reese Peanut Butter cups, and a collection of melodramas so depressing I become skeptical that love can actually end in anything but death. Regardless of my tendency to eat my feelings while crying over the tragic love found in Douglas Sirk films, I do enjoy happy love stories and tend to pair the sadder movies with some of my must-have romances. In honor of the big V-Day, I’d like to share my favorite 14 romantic scenes and also open it up the floor to hear your suggestions as well. Here are my concluding seven romantic scenes to last week’s first half of this list. Bring out the smelling salts; you might need them after all these swoons.



Over/Under is a weekly column in which we even the odds between two films that have, perhaps unfairly, developed very disparate legacies over the passing of time. This week finds us looking for inspiration in the realm of the romantic comedy. Or, more specifically, we’re looking at one of the best-regarded romantic comedies of the last couple decades in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle, and one that’s oft forgotten and sometimes derided in 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano.



It’s almost always a toss-up when an actor turns to directing, but there have been just as many truly incredible success stories as forgotten failures. However, something about Meg Ryan‘s acting career makes me believe she’ll be a strong director. She’s known for romantic comedies, sure, but she’s also been surrounded by a lot of different story styles (from Joe vs The Volcano to The Doors), and some insanely talented directors (from Rob Reiner to Nora Eprhon to Oliver Stone), so it would be almost impossible for anyone to avoid picking up some directing pointers. We’ll find out how many pointers she picked up when she directs Into the Beautiful, a movie scant on plot details right now except that it involves a group of friends reuniting. According to Variety, this is the movie Ryan will make her first directorial mark on. It’s unclear whether this was the mystery project she was talking about at Cannes a year ago (some speculated it was a drama called Little Black Train), but Forrest Gump and Devil Wears Prada producer Wendy Finerman (who was also attached to Little Black Train) will be helping the project along.



I’m not ashamed to say that I love a good romantic comedy. Unfortunately, for every good one, there are about a hundred terrible ones. For this week’s Movies We Love, we take some time to appreciate one of the very best: When Harry Met Sally.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015

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