Director, star Meg Ryan pays tribute to mentor Nora Ephron in 'What Happens Later'

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Saturday, November 4, 2023
Meg Ryan returns to rom-com world with new movie 'What Happens Later'
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We haven't seen Meg Ryan on the big screen now for about eight years. But she returns opposite David Duchovny in the romantic comedy, "What Happens Later." Meg went all in with this one as a star, director, co-writer and executive producer.

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- We haven't seen Meg Ryan on the big screen now for about eight years. But she returns opposite David Duchovny in the romantic comedy, "What Happens Later." Meg went all in with this one as the star, director, co-writer and executive producer.

Ryan and Duchovny play ex-lovers who, by chance, find themselves trapped in the same small airport during a winter storm. It gives them time to talk about what went wrong once upon a time.

"These are two people who are looking back on a life that they didn't live together and wondering these, like, I think the essence of what each of them are wondering, you know, like, why didn't you love me enough?" said Ryan. "And that fact that it's not a cynical movie at all makes it very vulnerable, especially these days."

"What Happens Later" takes us on that rollercoaster of emotions, sometimes going pretty deep.

"I mean, forget about the whole journey of the movie but scenes themselves would go like this," said Duchovny, mimicking a rollercoaster with his hands. "I was really interested in navigating that as an actor. She really was paying attention on so many different levels to so many different things, as the director has to do."

Ryan did something in this movie for her late friend, Nora Ephron, who wrote "When Harry Met Sally," then co-wrote and directed "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail"...all movies Ryan was in. Films normally end with the "Directed By" credit...but for this one, Ryan asked the Directors Guild for an exception. She wanted the film to end with a screen that simply said "For Nora."

"We appealed to them. And they gave us a unanimous vote, yes, go right ahead and put those words there before your credit. And I loved it. Loved that they let us do that," said Ryan.

"What Happens Later" is in theaters now.