February 16, 2007 |
I never thought I'd say this . . . but here goes. I miss Meg Ryan. Especially this time of year, when soggy romantic comedies starring the likes of Mandy Moore (!) remind us that since Ryan abdicated her throne with 2001's Kate & Leopold, no actress has come along to make Valentine's Day movie-going safe again. Say what you will about Ryan's twinkly persona, but nobody this side of Doris Day had a longer run as a romantic-comedy queen. And the movies she made - even the misfires - were at least fun. I'd gladly catch Ryan - playing three women, no less - in Joe Versus the Volcano again before watching Sandra Bullock trot out one of her wounded lonely-hearts or enduring an endless string of Renee Zellweger scrunchy faces.
January 7, 2003 |
SHE MAY HAVE been faking it, but Meg Ryan threw quite a tantrum while hat shopping at Barney's in New York recently, according to Imdb.com. "Meg was yelling at this poor girl that she had kept her waiting," a source told the film Web site. "I was really shocked because she always plays such sweet characters in movies. " When a store manager intervened, Ryan, 41, supposedly tossed a Benjamin on the counter for a $35 bill, and left after snapping, "Keep the change - I'm outta here.
July 6, 1995 |
When my brother was a toddler, he had many toys, but his favorite playthings weren't toys at all. He loved sitting on the kitchen floor clanging the lids of pots, clashing them like cymbals and squealing with delight. It is perverse but true that babies love simple things. You can spend huge bucks on an adorable stuffed giraffe, present it with a flourish and watch the baby go for the package ribbon. A baby will play eagerly with a wooden spoon or key ring, a necklace or glove.
May 5, 1995 |
Girl gets fiance. Girl loses fiance. Girl gets (new?) fiance. No, this is not the skinny on Julia Roberts' romantic career, pre-Lyle Lovett. This is the standard storyline of a Meg Ryan movie. And at the start of her newest, French Kiss, it is looking plumb dog-eared. Between When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, I.Q. and this new one - where once again she is torn between two men (in this instance the fiance who jilted her and the con man who's using her) - Ryan has changed partners more often than Baryshnikov.
March 14, 1990 |
There is no delicate way to put it: faking the most famous orgasm in movie history is a hard act to follow. But Meg Ryan, who gave "going for deli" a whole new meaning in last summer's hit comedy "When Harry Met Sally," tries to top herself in her new movie, "Joe Versus the Volcano. " Co-starring Tom Hanks as a paper-pushing shlub who agrees to throw himself into a South Seas volcano in exchange for a few months of high living, the film has three major female roles. They are Joe's repressed co-worker DeDe, a hot-blooded L.A. sexpot named Angelica, and the level-headed Patricia, who accompanies Joe on his eventful Pacific voyage, ultimately wins his heart and jumps alongside him into that volcano.
May 27, 1997 |
The hair conjures the image of a strafed wheat field. The body, of a broom handle with breasts. But there is a goofy grace to the dance of Meg Ryan's upturned nose and downturned mouth that makes it clear why this waiflike blonde is Hollywood's clown princess of romantic comedy. The punkette coif and black girl-gangster suit cannot cloud the essential sunniness of spirit. Nor can her role as Maggie - the jilted girlfriend waging total war on her ex-beau in Addicted to Love - tarnish the golden girl-next-door persona of the 35-year-old actress.
December 23, 1994 |
In "I.Q.," Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) tries to fix up his brainy academician niece (Meg Ryan) with a garage mechanic (Tim Robbins). This is an interesting premise in the context of the recent debate surrounding intelligence and attraction started by "The Bell Curve," a book built around the idea that intelligent people are attacted to one another, and that when they couple, they produce smart children - a genetic intellectual elite....
March 9, 1990 |
If Lewis Carroll were making movies, he might create something akin to "Joe Versus the Volcano," only Carroll's version would undoubtedly be many times better. "Joe Versus the Volcano" is a comedic nonsense fantasy that has the spirit, if not the ingenuity, of Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass," a story writer John Patrick Shanley ("Moonstruck") evidently had in mind when he introduced the name "Tweedle Dee" into his movie (it's the name of a yacht). Shanley's film is occasionally inspired but too often flat, though it wins a lot of points for trying.
June 10, 1988 |
On paper, "The Presidio" must have sounded great. Think of it: team two hot properties, Mark Harmon and Sean Connery (especially hot now that he's an Oscar winner), in a hot genre, the mismatched cop picture. Throw in a love interest in the person of Meg Ryan, sign up an experienced action director, Peter Hyams, and set it all in the eminently picturesque locale of San Francisco. On film, "The Presidio" stinks. Well, maybe "stinks" isn't the right word. This film is too bland and predictable to emit any smell at all. The Presidio is a large military base within the 'Frisco city limits.
February 18, 2000 |
Imagine King Lear art-directed by Martha Stewart and you have Hanging Up, a movie in which the telephone is a metaphor of human connection and termination. And a movie that perhaps inadvertently suggests that against an aging patriarch's insistent demands, sisterhood is powerless. In this film based on the Delia Ephron novel and adapted for the screen by the author and her older sib, Nora, three grown sisters have cut the umbilical cord, but they can't cut the cordless. Diane Keaton, who directs and costars, elicits electric performances from Meg Ryan as the middle sister, Eve, and Walter Matthau as their senescent father, Lou. Excellent as they are, every time the film trips into emotionally dangerous ground, it takes a slapstick pratfall to alleviate the intensity.