- Meg Ryan’s new romantic comedy, What Happens Later, has a mixed reception on Rotten Tomatoes with a 51% score from 35 critics.
- This continues a streak of negative reviews for Ryan, who hasn’t had a Fresh-rated movie since 1998’s You’ve Got Mail.
- Although not her highest-scoring film, What Happens Later is her best score in 22 years, coming close to reaching a Fresh rating.
Meg Ryan’s new romantic comedy What Happens Later has continued a negative streak for the movie star on Rotten Tomatoes. Ryan is best known for her roles in classic rom-coms including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. In her latest movie, which she also directed and co-wrote, Ryan stars as Willa, a woman who accidentally runs into her ex Bill (David Duchovny) and winds up spending the night trapped in the airport with him when they get snowed in, which causes them to reminisce about their past.
Rotten Tomatoes has now aggregated an official score for Meg Ryan’s What Happens Later, with 35 critics giving it an aggregated score of 51%. This continues a dismal Rotten Tomatoes streak for the star, who hasn’t starred in a movie with a Fresh score since 1998’s You’ve Got Mail. However, it is her second-best score of that entire run of movies and her best in 22 years since 2001’s Kate & Leopold, in which she starred opposite Hugh Jackman.
Meg Ryan’s Rotten Tomatoes Slump Explained
Ryan is a star who has weathered negative reviews from the very beginning, having kicked off her career in the early 1980s in poorly reviewed movies including Amityville 3-D and Top Gun. However, her breakout performance in the iconic rom-com When Harry Met Sally kicked off a period of consistently strong reviews, minting her as an iconic romantic heroine. In addition to her three blockbuster rom-coms, she also received strong reviews in titles such as Restoration, Courage Under Fire, and Anastasia.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that Ryan’s career got more complicated. Her latter-era romantic movies such as Kate & Leopold and The Deal began to experience diminishing returns critically and commercially. Ryan’s attempts to diversify with titles like the sports movie Against the Ropes and the World War II-era drama Ithaca (also her directorial debut) were likewise poorly received, leading to a streak of nine Rotten scores before she took a hiatus from filmmaking in 2015 ahead of her What Happens Later return. See a list of Ryan’s recent movies and their Rotten Tomatoes scores below:
Proof of Life
Kate & Leopold
In the Cut
Against the Ropes
In the Land of Women
The fact that What Happens Later has a score that’s comparable with one of her first movies after her Rotten Tomatoes peak is likely good news for the director-star. If her new project is commercially successful, there could be future Meg Ryan rom-com movies in the cards. That would give her the opportunity to continue working and building her critical goodwill into what could potentially be her first Fresh score in decades.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes