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The Meg Ryan Bio

The Meg Ryan Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:

When Harry Met Sally / Sleepless in Seattle
Both films may have been successful without the chemistry between the two leads, but, oh what chemistry. And, if you think that Meg always plays the same role, note these two diametrically opposite personalities. Okay, they're both obsessive, but in opposite directions.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
In the Land of Women (the Mom next door)
When a Man Loves a Woman (Andy Garcia can't cope with wife Ryan after she recovers from alcoholism)
Flesh and Bone (hitchhiker helping Dennis Quaid get his life back together)
Hurly Burly (part of ensemble in treatment of David Rabe's Hollywood play)
Innerspace (Dennis Quaid's estranged girlfriend)
Romantic Comedy Classics:
Sleepless in Seattle (Golden Globe-nominated performance as woman in love from (very) afar with very sad widower Tom Hanks)
When Harry Met Sally (Golden Globe-nominated performance as obsessive neat freak trying to be just friends with Billy Crystal)
You've Got Mail (Golden Globe-nominated performance as anonymous email pal and business competitor of Tom Hanks)
Addicted to Love (with Matthew Broderick, obsessed with ex-lover)
Prelude to a Kiss (at her wedding to Alec Baldwin, accidentally switches bodies with an old man)
The Other Romances:
City of Angels (heart surgeon whom angel Nicolas Cage falls in love with)
Kate and Leopold (NYC exec opposite prince Hugh Jackman caught in a time warp)
Proof of Life (in love with Russell Crowe, the man hired to save her husband)
In the Cut (a teacher in love with detective Mark Ruffalo)
Joe Versus the Volcano (multiple roles opposite human sacrifice Tom Hanks)
French Kiss (chasing fiance Timothy Hutton all the way to Paris, helped by French thief Kevin Kline)
D.O.A. (opposite ex-hubby Dennis Quaid, a professor who's been poisoned)
I.Q. (niece of Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) who sets her up with mechanic Tim Robbins)
The Doors (girlfriend of Val Kilmer's Jim Morrison)
Courage Under Fire (Army captain and the subject of an investigation by Denzel Washington to discover if she deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor)
Restoration (Irish mental patient, opposite Robert Downey, Jr.)
The Presidio (Army brat, daughter of Sean Connery, opposite Mark Harmon)
Top Gun (Goose's woman)
The Real Meg Ryan:
The Romantic Comedies >

Though she's smart and espouses environmental policies and has a body of work that anyone could be proud of, Ryan seems to wear her insecurities on her sleeve, still.
Acting Style:
The sweetheart. Ryan puts such energy and verve into her roles that, in the romantic comedies, she reached right through the screen and left the audience feeling kissed. There was a personal connection that propelled her to stardom and, ultimately, undid her, as her audience felt as betrayed as the equally likeable Dennis Quaid when she cheated on him/us. It should be noted that Ryan has an enviable cluster of intensely dramatic roles, besides all the RC. From the baby step away with "City of Angels" to the giant leaps of "The Doors" and "Hurly Burly," Ryan had more range than she's credited with.
Bits and Quirks:
The hair, of course, whose style is named for her. It not only is larger than life, it is a metaphor for her zaniness and unexpectedness. Stretches that neck, particularly in a sublime closed-eyed grin. Great wide-eyed quick grin, too. Shrug, often with flailing arms.
Great Scenes:
When Harry Met Sally

> Many great scenes, but one of the best of any scene anywhere is the fake orgasm in the deli
> Discussing with Billy Crystal how men and women can't be friends
> The New Year's Eve scene at the end
> The crazy way she orders
> After making love with Billy
> Amendment to the "can't be friends" rule

City Of Angels

> The first kiss with Nicolas Cage
> She sees the photo of him as light
> They make love in Tahoe
> The bike and the accident

Addicted To Love

> Explaining love to Matthew Broderick

Sleepless In Seattle

> The end at the top of the Empire State Building
> Listening to Tom Hanks on the radio
> Almost getting run over when she sees him in Seattle
> Saying goodbye to her fiancé Bill Pullman just before the end

French Kiss

> Taking off on the plane, sitting next to a French Kevin Kline
> spying on Tim Hutton in the restaurant
> fighting with the hotel manager
> the whole charade at the beach for Timothy Hutton's benefit