New rom-com What Happens Later is Meg Ryan’s return to the big screen, as she is set to direct and star in the upcoming romance movie. David Duchovny stars as Ryan’s ex as they are reunited in a snowed-in airport.
Duchovny, best known for playing Hank Moody in Californication and Fox Mulder on The X-Files, is breaking into new ground as a troubled ex in a turning point in his life. After an extended break away from the genre that Ryan is well known for, she is ready to make a comeback.
Perhaps best known for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, she is a household name in the world of romance films.
The film is based on the play Shooting Star by Steven Dietz and will tell the story of Willa (Ryan) and Bill (Duchovny) as they recount their past relationship while stranded in an airport. The typical set-up of a rom-com is there, but with the added bonus of being an ‘evolved and nostalgic take’ on the genre we love so much.
Willa is described as independent and free of any romantic trouble, while Bill has had another separation and is trying to manage his relationships with his ex-wife and daughter. The question of ‘what could have been’ begins to rear as they settle in overnight.
This is Ryan’s second foray into directing, after the 2015 Ithaca, and it will be interesting to see how she navigates directing a genre she knows so well. Best known for working with the late director Nora Ephron, Ryan is stepping into her shoes and returning some of the real romance to rom-coms that has somewhat diminished since the rise of the Netflix original movie.
The film is heading to Cannes for sale before being released in 2023. Can’t wait that long? Here’s a rundown of other rom-coms available now or coming soon from our favourite romance queens.