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Meg Ryan Returns to the Rom-Com Scene with a Vengeance in “What Happens Later”

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Are you ready for some nostalgic romance and laughter? The queen of romantic comedies, Meg Ryan, is making her highly anticipated return to the big screen in the upcoming movie “What Happens Later.” Directed by Ryan herself, this charming film reunites her with the talented David Duchovny and promises to capture the magic of their on-screen chemistry. Get ready to be swept away by a heartwarming tale of love, second chances, and the enchantment of unexpected reunions.

A Synopsis of “What Happens Later”

In “What Happens Later,” we are introduced to two ex-lovers, Bill (played by David Duchovny) and Willa (played by Meg Ryan), who find themselves unexpectedly stranded together at a regional airport due to a snowstorm. Indefinitely delayed, they begin to unravel the riddle of their past relationship as they compare their lives to the dreams they once shared. Willa, a magical thinker, and Bill, a catastrophic one, discover that despite the passage of time, they are still as attracted to and annoyed by each other as they were decades ago. As they navigate their shared history, they can’t help but wonder if their reunion is mere coincidence or something more enchanted.

The movie delves into their past, exploring the reasons behind their breakup and who was to blame. With plenty of humor, heartache, and self-discovery, “What Happens Later” takes us on a journey of reflection, forgiveness, and the possibility of finding love again.

Meg Ryan’s Triumphant Return to Rom-Coms

What Happens Later Trailer #1 (2023)

After a streak of hits in classic romantic comedies like “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” Meg Ryan took a break from the genre to explore other creative endeavors. Now, she is back and ready to reignite the cheeky magic of her rom-com heyday with “What Happens Later.” Ryan’s return to the genre she helped define is a delight for fans who have missed her infectious charm and relatable characters.

David Duchovny’s Role in the Film

Joining Ryan in this romantic escapade is the talented David Duchovny, known for his roles in “The X-Files” and “Californication.” In “What Happens Later,” Duchovny portrays Bill, an ex-lover who finds himself unexpectedly reunited with Willa, played by Ryan. Duchovny brings his own unique charisma and wit to the character, creating a dynamic and captivating on-screen presence alongside Ryan.

The Magic of Airport Encounters

Airport encounters have always had a certain allure in romantic comedies, and “What Happens Later” is no exception. The film captures the essence of chance meetings and the possibility of rekindling lost connections. Stranded together in the airport, Willa and Bill have no choice but to confront their shared past and the unresolved feelings that still linger between them. As they navigate the ups and downs of their unexpected reunion, they uncover hidden truths and rediscover the magic that once brought them together.

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The Inspiration Behind the Film

“What Happens Later” is based on Steven Dietz’s play “Shooting Star.” Meg Ryan, along with Kirk Lynn and Dietz himself, co-wrote the screenplay, infusing the story with their own creative vision. Ryan was inspired by the romantic comedies of the 90s, which she believes work best when the characters are opposites yet have a rhythm of intellect, humor, and banter that indicates their compatibility. The film aims to recapture the essence of these beloved rom-coms while adding a touch of enchantment and exploring the complexities of love and relationships.

Evolving the Rom-Com Genre

While “What Happens Later” pays homage to the beloved rom-coms of the past, it also strives to push the boundaries of the genre. Meg Ryan explained in an interview that the film introduces new elements and themes, adding depth and complexity. The story not only focuses on the possibility of rekindling love but also delves into the challenges faced by mature individuals navigating their lives and relationships. With its mix of romance, comedy, and relatable characters, “What Happens Later” promises to offer a fresh take on the beloved genre while still delivering the heartwarming moments audiences crave.

The Chemistry Between Meg Ryan and David Duchovny

The on-screen chemistry between Meg Ryan and David Duchovny is palpable in “What Happens Later.” Their ability to effortlessly bounce off each other with witty banter and authentic emotions creates a captivating dynamic that draws audiences in. Ryan praised Duchovny’s performance, highlighting his commitment to the role and the depth he brings to his character. Duchovny’s portrayal of Bill, a character different from his real-life persona, showcases his versatility as an actor. Audiences can expect a captivating and heartwarming performance from these two talented stars.

A Tale of Second Chances and Rediscovery

“What Happens Later” is not just a love story; it’s a tale of second chances and self-discovery. As Willa and Bill confront their past and the choices that led to their breakup, they are forced to confront their own fears, regrets, and desires. The film asks the question: if given the chance, would they make different choices? It explores the power of reflection, forgiveness, and the possibility of finding love again later in life. Through their journey, Willa and Bill learn valuable lessons about themselves and the importance of embracing the present while cherishing the past.

Release Date and Anticipation

Fans eagerly await the release of “What Happens Later,” which is set to hit theaters on October 13. The trailer has already generated excitement, promising a delightful and heartwarming experience that captures the essence of classic romantic comedies. As Meg Ryan makes her triumphant return to the genre that made her a household name, audiences can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and anticipation for this enchanting film.


“What Happens Later” is a highly anticipated romantic comedy that marks Meg Ryan’s return to the genre she helped define. With David Duchovny by her side, Ryan takes us on a journey of rediscovery, second chances, and the enchantment of unexpected reunions. This heartwarming film promises to recapture the magic of classic rom-coms while adding a touch of enchantment and exploring the complexities of love and relationships. Get ready to laugh, cry, and fall in love all over again as “What Happens Later” hits theaters on October 13.


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