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Every Meg Ryan Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Meg Ryan began acting in the early '80s in supporting film and television roles. From 1982 to 1985 Ryan was cast in recurring roles in a few TV series including "As the World Turns," but it was her role in the 1986 hit movie, "Top Gun" that launched her successful film career. Three years later, Ryan's star-status was cemented by the success of the beloved rom-com, "When Harry Met Sally..." Ryan then became rom-com royalty, with a string of successful films, being cast with leading men such as Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Kline and Matthew Broderick. She was also type-cast as a cute, perky, and opinionated sweetheart. Ryan told David Marchese in an interview for The New York Times, "I don't think that because things are tragic they're deeper. Think about Nora Ephron. Her observation about romantic comedies is that they were commenting on their time in an intelligent way, but with the intention to delight."

Despite her success with romantic comedies in the '80s and '90s, Ryan took more dramatic roles in the late '90s and early '00s. Some of these roles grated against her public persona, stretching her creatively, but not always landing well with fans or critics. In an interview with David Marchese, Ryan discussed the downward trajectory of her career in the '00s, saying, "I had a very neutered image... 'In the Cut' felt like a real turning point" (per The New York Times). With this failure, Ryan was freed from her imposed title of "America's Sweetheart," allowing her to explore new characters with a full range of human emotions. In a career that has spanned more than 40 years, Ryan has made over 30 films — join us as we rate them from worst to best.

The Deal (2008)

Director Steven Schachter co-wrote the screenplay for his film, "The Deal" with William H. Macy, who co-starred in the film alongside Meg Ryan. "The Deal" is a satire poking fun at the movie industry, but it isn't funny to anyone outside the industry. Down-on-his-luck director, Charlie Berns (Macy), gets funding to film his nephew's screenplay, a historical drama about British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, only after rewriting the script into an action movie starring Bobby Mason (LL Cool J). After securing funding, Berns sets out to film in South Africa, where Bobby Mason is kidnapped. Development executive Deidre Hearn (Ryan), concocts a plan to film the original script on the sly, saving the project.

The will-they/won't-they trope between Ryan and Macy's characters doesn't work. They have zero chemistry, and Berns' relentless flirtation feels lecherous and like it belongs in the '90s, not 2008 when this film was released. Peter Lefcourt's novel the film was adapted from was published in 1991, so we can blame this on the outdated source material. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an abysmal score and Metacritic didn't even bother rating "The Deal." It's easily Ryan's worst movie, and a complete pass.

Against the Ropes (2004)

Director Charles S. Dutton costars with Meg Ryan and Omar Epps in "Against the Ropes" a biopic about real-life boxing promoter, Jackie Kallen (Ryan), who buys the contract of a struggling boxer from promoter, Sam LaRocca (Tony Shalhoub), for $1 after a heated debate. When Jackie visits the boxer Devon Greene (Tory Kittles) at his home, she realizes he is a drug addict, before watching Luther Shaw (Epps), beat Greene up. Seeing Shaw's raw potential, Jackie offers to manage him, convincing Felix Reynolds (Dutton) to be Shaw's trainer. 

A story about the first successful female boxing promoter has so much promise, but "Against the Ropes" never lived up to this potential. This film received low scores on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, and it didn't even make a return on the budget at the box-office (per IMDb). "Against the Ropes" was released just one year after another surprise flop, "In the Cut," making Ryan 0 for 2 in the new millennium.

My Mom's New Boyfriend (2008)

In writer/director George Gallo's comedy "My Mom's New Boyfriend" Henry Durand (Colin Hanks), a young FBI agent, comes home to see his mother after a few years away working on an assignment. Martha "Marty" Durand (Meg Ryan) has lost a lot of weight and has embraced dating after mourning Henry's father's death for a prolonged period. When Marty meets Tommy Lucero (Antonio Banderas), she starts dating him before Henry discovers Tommy is a wanted art thief. Before he knows it, Henry is surveilling his mother, leading to an abundance of awkward moments. 

Much of the humor of the film is about Henry's discomfort at seeing his mother as a sexual being. This source of humor is juvenile, and boring. Selma Blair, as Henry's FBI agent fiancé and Enrico Colantoni as the drunk chef who is enamored with Marty, are the best parts of this film. Rotten Tomatoes gave the "My Mom's New Boyfriend" a dreadful score, and Metacritic didn't even bother. You can take a pass on this movie despite the promising cast. It's a dud.

The Women (2008)

Writer/director Diane English's directorial debut "The Women" is a remake of the 1939 film by George Cukor. This is the story of four well-to-do friends, who discover Mary Haines' (Meg Ryan) husband is having an affair with a younger woman, Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes), who works at a perfume counter in a department store. Mary isn't sure what to do about her philandering husband, but when Sylvie Fowler (Annette Bening), Mary's best friend and the editor of a women's magazine, confirms the affair to gossip columnist Bailey Smith (Carrie Fisher), the affair becomes public, forcing Mary's hand. 

Despite the impressive ensemble cast, including Bette Midler, Candice Bergen, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett Smith, "The Women" misses the mark, not living up to its politically incorrect but funny predecessor. Metacritic agrees, giving the film awful scores with both critics and audiences. This film seems like a missed opportunity to explore how feminists deal with the question of infidelity as modern women who are financially independent and don't "need" their husbands, but love them none-the-less.

Serious Moonlight (2009)

When Louise (Meg Ryan), a high-powered lawyer, discovers her husband, Ian (Timothy Hutton) is having an affair with a younger woman, Louise is stunned. Ian says he wants a divorce after telling Louise he is in love with Sara (Kristen Bell), but Louise rejects the idea, throwing a plant at his head, knocking him unconscious. Ian awakes duct taped to the toilette, with Louise insisting they are going to work it out. Things go awry in this comedy of errors when a burglar (Justin Long) breaks in. Holding Ian, Louise and Sara captive.

"Serious Moonlight" was written by Adrienne Shelly and directed by Cheryl Hines after Shelly's death. Despite Shelly's excellent writing for "Waitress" this film just doesn't hit the right note. If Shelly had still been alive to finesse the project, we have no doubt it would have turned out much better. Metacritic gave the film pathetic scores with critics, while audiences had mixed reactions. You can take a pass on this predictable and flawed comedy.

In the Land of Women (2007)

Writer/director Jonathan Kasdan's "In the Land of Women" stars Adam Brody as Carter Webb, a Los Angeles writer who moves to Michigan to take care of his elderly grandmother, Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis), after a bad breakup with a starlet back in L.A. Carter meets Sarah Hardwicke (Meg Ryan), the neighbor from across the street and her teenage daughter Lucy (Kristen Stewart). Sarah is upset after finding a lump in her breast and recognizes Carter is nursing a broken heart. So, Sarah befriends Carter when they both need someone to talk to.

The Metacritic scores reveal this film met mixed reviews from audiences and critics. "In the Land of Women" owes what charm it possesses to Brody, as well as Dukakis as his grumpy grandma. Dukakis is perfect in this role. Ryan's performance revealed the character's determination to fight her cancer diagnosis, and was written with a depth of understanding that was clearly "sharpened by Kasdan's own experience battling Hodgkin's disease as a teenager," (per TV Guide).

Hanging Up (2000)

Directed by Diane Keaton, with a screenplay by Nora Ephron adapted from her sister Delia Ephron's novel, "Hanging Up" is about three sisters: Georgia (Diane Keaton), Eve (Meg Ryan), and Maddy (Lisa Kudrow), who are blonde, perky caricatures that scream toxic positivity. When their elderly father Lou (Walter Matthau) is admitted to a hospital in Los Angeles, the sisters are unsure how they feel about this news. Lou is ostensibly at the hospital to die, although he never seems that sick.

Roger Ebert called the film "a facile comedy of manners." What could have been a thoughtful film about three sisters parsing through their conflicting feelings about the impending death of a father they were never close to became a beige, middling comedy devoid of genuine emotion. From the scores on Metacritic, it is clear critics gave the film a pass, while audiences seemed to like it, possibly because of the star power attributed to the trio of actresses. We agree with the critics on this one.

Ithaca (2015)

Meg Ryan's directorial debut "Ithaca" was an adaptation of the 1943 novel, "The Human Comedy" by William Saroyan. Ryan stars as Mrs. Macauley, a recent war widow, with Tom Hanks playing her deceased husband Matthew, in dreamy flashbacks with no dialogue. When her eldest son Marcus (Jack Quaid) ships off to WWII with other local boys, the community is on edge. Mrs. Macauley's 14-year-old son, Homer (Alex Neustaedter), takes a job as a bike messenger, while trying to help care for his siblings and grieving mother. In his work, Homer delivers messages notifying families their son or husband has died in the war, finding himself troubled by the experiences.

There are a couple outstanding performances in this film, specifically Sam Shepard as Willie Grogan, Homer's boss. Neustaedter's performance as Homer is also very strong. Unfortunately, these performances weren't enough to redeem the film. "Ithaca" had its moments, but it just didn't keep the momentum going. The subpar ratings on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes reflect this film wasn't up to snuff. Although the small-town America Ryan creates on screen is Rockwellian perfection.

Armed and Dangerous (1986)

In "Armed and Dangerous" Frank Dooley (John Candy) is fired from the police force, and Norman Kane (Eugene Levy) can no longer practice law because of a deal he made selling out his client. The two men meet after accepting jobs at WatchDog Security, where they work with the boss' daughter, Maggie Cavanaugh (Meg Ryan). Frank and Norman realize something fishy is going on with the union they joined. So, they decide to take down the corrupt parties, which include a mob boss, crooked cops, and even their boss. This film is a buddy comedy, filled with violent chaotic action sequences, and cheap humor. Candy even dresses in drag.

Despite Candy and Levy being incredibly funny men who are funny together, "Armed and Dangerous" just doesn't live up to the promise of the cast. It is one of Candy's worst movies. Ryan's part in the film is minor, but she is a bright spot in an obnoxious film. TV Guide said the movie "has none of the bubbling joy of the SCTV sketches that Candy and Levy illuminated with their presence." This comedy has inferior scores with critics on Metacritic, but the movie fares better with audiences. Probably because this brand of juvenile humor has appealed to adolescent boys for generations.

The Presidio (1988)

In director Peter Hyams' thriller, "The Presidio," former MP Jay Austin (Mark Harmon) now lives in San Francisco and works as a civilian detective with the SFPD. When Jay's former partner, MP Patti Jean Lynch is killed on the Presidio military base, and a SFPD officer is killed during the ensuing car chase, detective Austin joins the investigation as part of a joint task force with his rival, Lt. Col. Alan Caldwell (Sean Connery). When Jay meets Caldwell's daughter, Donna (Meg Ryan), they start dating, leading to more tension between the two investigators.

Set in a city known for its steep streets and iconic architecture, the director uses the landscape as an excellent backdrop for the action sequences, but as Time Out said, "his handling of the romance and father/daughter conflicts is at best uncertain, at worst embarrassing." The plot of "The Presidio" is formulaic which explains the dreadful critic scores on Metacritic. Audiences seem to have liked it better, perhaps because of Connery's popularity. We're going with the critics on this one. You aren't missing out on anything special here.

Proof of Life (2000)

"Proof of Life" is a kidnap-ransom thriller, about an American engineer, Peter Bowman (David Morse), who is abducted by a group of gorilla activists, in a fictional South American country where he is building a dam. After Bowman's abduction, Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe) is sent to negotiate with the kidnappers, but leaves when he learns the corporation Bowman was working for doesn't have kidnapping insurance and is on the verge of financial collapse. Feeling guilty, Thorne returns to assist Bowman's wife, Alice (Meg Ryan), and retrieve her husband regardless of payment.

Alice and Thorne develop a relationship during the months they work together, adding a romantic side story to the flick. Crowe and Ryan fail to bring believable chemistry to the screen, despite what was rumored to be happening off screen. On Metacritic, critics gave the film mixed reviews, but audiences were kinder, likely because of Crowe and Ryan's star power. It seemed "Proof of Life" might be haunted by the press about its star's alleged affair, rather than the film itself, but critics had plenty to say.

Todd McCarthy at Variety called the film, "a disappointingly routine thriller." The premise of the film is compelling and could have sparked intelligent dialogue about South American politics and terrorism, asking the audience to ponder where the line between activism and terrorism lies. This perspective could have made the kidnap-ransom scenario more interesting, but the film wasn't as thought provoking as it could have been.

D.O.A. (1988)

In the noir thriller "D.O.A." Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were cast together for the second time. College professor Dexter Cornell (Quaid), is having a bad day. His wife served him with divorce papers, and one of his most promising students jumped to his death from outside Cornell's office window. Cornell's solution is to get trashed in a bar with freshman Sydney Fuller (Meg Ryan). When Cornell wakes up the next day, feeling worse than hungover, he goes to the university's medical clinic, where he learns he has been poisoned and has 24 hours to live.

Quaid and Ryan have great chemistry in this film, which isn't surprising considering they married a few years after filming "D.O.A.". Although the plot is convoluted and twisting, it mostly works. From the scores on Rotten Tomatoes, critics liked this thriller more than audiences, and we agree with the critics this time. Roger Ebert called the film "a witty and literate thriller," and we're inclined to agree. Despite being best known for romantic comedies, Ryan looks at home in the noir/thriller genre.

Prelude to a Kiss (1992)

When Peter Hoskins (Alec Baldwin) meets Rita Boyle (Meg Ryan) at a party, they instantly click. Peter is a shy and traditional guy who works in a Chicago publishing house, while Rita is a pessimistic bartender with chronic insomnia. Despite their differing temperaments, the two fall in love, deciding to marry quickly. On their wedding day, an elderly man, played by Sydney Walker, wanders into their reception, asking to kiss the bride, in a "Prelude to a Kiss." This kiss sets off a supernatural event with ramifications affecting Peter, Rita, and the old man.

"Prelude to a Kiss," is a strange, dreamy and sweet film that did better with critics than audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. It subtly asks the audience to ponder where that spark and connection people feel comes from, and when it is gone, where did it go? It's about love and loneliness and the fears we have that hold us back from embracing the beautiful chaos of life. Roger Ebert said this "is the kind of movie that can inspire long conversations about the only subject really worth talking about, the Meaning of It All." It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you like your love stories with a dash of magic and a whole lot of heart, this one might be for you.

Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

John Patrick Shanley, who won an Oscar for the screenplay of "Moonstruck" wrote and directed, "Joe Versus the Volcano." Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were cast as romantic leads together for the first time in this film. Although the movie didn't achieve the commercial success of their later joint ventures, it did reveal the terrific screen chemistry they have. Joe Banks (Hanks) lives a humdrum, gray existence, working a clerical job in a New England town that feels like a frozen hellscape. It is only after he learns he is dying of a mysterious "brain cloud" that Joe starts living, embarking on a trip to a tropical Pacific island, where he has been paid to throw himself into the volcano as a human sacrifice.

Ryan plays three parts in the film, but it is Patricia, who falls in love with Joe on their journey to the island, and she is the one who watches Joe transform from a depressed hypochondriac to an adventurous man full of life. Quirky and sweet, if you haven't seen this film — and you love the silly and strange — it's worth a gander. The visuals in this film are extreme, using the contrast between vivid color and muted gray like "The Wizard of Oz." From the Metacritic scores, it is obvious this film is too silly for some, getting mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but we think it's underrated.

In the Cut (2003)

Meg Ryan starring as the female lead in an erotic thriller directed by Jane Campion was a major departure for the star. "In the Cut" is about an English teacher, Frannie Avery (Ryan) who becomes wrapped up in an ongoing homicide investigation when she has an affair with the lead detective, Giovanni Malloy (Mark Ruffalo), after being questioned. The film was far darker and more racy than anything Ryan had done before, with graphic sex scenes. Hollywood and audiences weren't sure how they felt about seeing America's rom-com princess naked on the big screen. In fact, she was chastised for it by Michael Parkinson (per The New York Times). 

In 2019, Ryan told David Marchese in an interview for the The New York Times, "when I did 'In the Cut,' the reaction was vicious... I was surprised by the negative reaction. I loved the movie and loved that experience and loved Jane Campion." Although this erotic thriller received mixed reviews on Metacritic, audiences have given it better ratings.

I.Q. (1994)

Meg Ryan is in her element playing Catherine Boyd, a brilliant mathematician and fictional niece to Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) in the romantic comedy "I.Q." While on a drive with her stuffy English fiancé, James Moreland (Stephen Fry), their car has trouble forcing them to stop at a service station, where mechanic Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) becomes instantly smitten with Catherine, feeling an electric connection Catherine is oblivious to. When Ed takes a watch Catherine had accidentally left behind at the auto shop to her address, he hopes to see her. Ed instead meets Catherine's uncle: Albert Einstein. 

The two men bond and conspire to get Ed and Catherine together. Albert believes his niece needs someone she connects with emotionally, not just intellectually, and her fiancé is as cold as a fish. The film lightheartedly asks the audience to consider the importance of chemistry in matters of the heart. Ryan and Robbins have great screen chemistry, and Matthau as Einstein is perfect. On Metacritic we can see this comedy was mildly popular with both audiences and critics.

Promised Land (1987)

"Promised Land" is a drama about two high school acquaintances whose paths cross a couple of years later while both men are home over the holidays. Hancock (Jason Gedrick) was once a basketball star with a college scholarship, but has since dropped out and moved home to become a police officer in sleepy Asheville, Utah. His girlfriend Mary (Tracy Pollan), stayed in college and is different from the cheerleader he fell for in high school. While Danny (Kiefer Sutherland) hasn't lived up to his academic potential, becoming a drifter who finally brings his rebellious bride Bev (Meg Ryan) home for the holidays. 

The disenchantment the characters experience when they realize the American Dream is out of their reach feels prescient, but writer/director Michael Hoffman's film wasn't entirely successful. It lacked energy and direction. From the Rotten Tomatoes scores, it is obvious critics liked "Promised Land" more than audiences, with many saying Ryan's performance as the wild Bev is the strongest in the film.

Addicted to Love (1997)

"Addicted to Love" stars Matthew Broderick, Meg Ryan and Kelly Preston. Sam's (Broderick) fiancé Linda (Preston) leaves him for a French chef named Anton (Tchéky Karyo) while on vacation. So, Sam follows Linda to New York City, moving into an abandoned building across the street. From this vantage point, he spies on Linda and her new beau. Soon, Maggie (Ryan), Anton's ex, joins Sam in spying. Sam wants Linda back, but Maggie wants revenge, so together they plot to break-up the new couple. 

"Addicted to Love" is based on a standard rom-com trope, where two people fall for each other, while trying to break-up someone else. Despite the standard setup, the movie has a dark comedy edge that subverts rom-com expectations. Broderick and Ryan have good chemistry, playing off each other nicely. From the ratings on Metacritic we see critics had mixed reactions to the movie, but audiences gave it good ratings.

Flesh and Bone (1993)

In the thriller "Flesh and Bone" by writer/director Steve Kloves, Arlis Sweeney (Dennis Quaid), watched his father kill a family in a failed robbery attempt when he was just a boy, and his part in the tragedy haunts him still. Years later, Arlis meets Kay Davies (Meg Ryan), who he discovers was the baby his father allowed to survive the massacre. The two fall in love, and Arlis vows to never tell Kay the truth about his father and her family. When Roy (James Caan) comes back into his son's life, Roy threatens the slice of happiness Arlis and Kay have carved out together.

The film has major noir vibes, but the coincidence of Kay and Arlis meeting as adults after their shared childhood trauma brings us into the realm of Greek tragedy, where the sins of the past poison our future. "Flesh and Bone" was met with mixed reviews on Metacritic. Many critics praised the performances but were critical of the predictable plot. Ryan and Quaid have great screen chemistry, and carry an aura of shared sorrow. Caan is despicable as Roy, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Ginnie, Roy's inappropriately young girlfriend, gives a nuanced performance.

Hurlyburly (1998)

"Hurlyburly" is about the movie industry, based on the play by David Rabe. The film focuses on a group of disenchanted friends in Los Angeles, Mickey (Kevin Spacey), Phil (Chazz Palminteri), Artie (Garry Shandling), and neurotic Eddie (Sean Penn) at the center. One night, the guys get together with their lady friends at Eddie and Mickey's place to drink away their frustrations with life. Bonnie (Meg Ryan) comes to the house with Phil. Darlene (Robin Wright) is dating Eddie, but sleeping with Mickey, and the very young Donna (Anna Paquin) joins Artie for the evening. 

The film met mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with audiences liking it more than critics. Jonathan Lethem criticized the film for its misogynistic overtones (which are awfully hard to stomach in a post #MeToo world) while praising the performances in his review on Salon. Despite outstanding performances, the film was too cynical to be enjoyable. The characters too self-involved to be sympathetic.

Restoration (1995)

"Restoration" is a period piece adapted from the novel by Rose Tremain. When an English physician, Merivel (Robert Downey Jr.), defies orders by falling in love with his wife, the mistress to the king, Merivel is banished from the royal court by King Charles II (Sam Neill). After his banishment, Merivel uses his talents as a physician to treat the poor of London for the plague. While caring for the sick, he meets and falls in love with Katharine (Meg Ryan). This historical film was a departure for Ryan, but it was a successful one. The film won two Oscars.

From the scores on Metacritic, we see "Restoration" was a critical success. It is visually stunning and boasts an incredible supporting cast including Ian McKellen and Hugh Grant. Although Downey's accent is a little inconsistent, Ryan's Scottish accent is good! Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly said "Meg Ryan's performance is, refreshingly, less precious than she's been in a long while." From scores on Rotten Tomatoes, we see critics liked the film more than audiences, but we think this lavish period movie deserves a viewing.

Kate & Leopold (2001)

"Kate & Leopold" is a rom-com with a dash of the fantastic. Leopold (Hugh Jackman), an English Duke, follows mad-scientist Stuart Besser (Liev Schreiber) through a portal from 1876 to New York City in the new millennium. Stuart asks his ex-girlfriend Kate McKay (Meg Ryan), who lives a floor below him in their apartment building, to help him keep Leopold out of trouble while Stuart discerns how to get him back to 1876.

Leopold charms Kate despite her modern cynicism, with his perfect manners, good looks, and adorable accent. Although removed from reality, "Kate & Leopold" is endearing once you allow yourself to be swept away by Jackman's Leopold. Any film employing time-travel is often the target of criticisms about the ensuing paradoxes, but this film focuses on the funny and the romantic, ignoring scientific theories.

Critics met the film with mixed reviews, but audiences gave it a high score. Stephen Holden from The New York Times, called the film "a Nora Ephron fairy tale with a sci-fi twist" and that is the perfect description of "Kate & Leopold." While not Ryan's best rom-com, it is precisely the genre she became known for and where she is in her element.

Top Gun (1986)

In 1986, shortly before Meg Ryan became a household name, she was cast as Goose's (Anthony Edwards) wife Carole in "Top Gun." An action flick about the elite pilots attending The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School. Ryan's role was a supporting one, but the film was a huge commercial success, hitting big numbers at the box-office (per The Numbers), boosting Kelly McGillis and Val Kilmer's careers, while cementing Tom Cruise as a star. Although "Top Gun" met mixed reviews on Metacritic, over the years it has built a cult following, and is recognized as an iconic '80s movie. 

Empire said, "Like it or not, if you want to know what pop-film was like in the mid-'80s, there's no better example." Audiences gave "Top Gun" excellent scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Ryan and Edwards had real chemistry in the film, and this role undoubtedly caught the attention of casting agents, helping Ryan become a star.

French Kiss (1995)

In "French Kiss" Kate (Meg Ryan) discovers her fiancé, Charlie (Timothy Hutton) has fallen for a young woman while visiting Paris, so she boards a plane, possibly sacrificing her carefully planned process of becoming a naturalized citizen of Canada. While on the plane, Kate is seated next to Luc (Kevin Kline), a rude Frenchman, who uses Kate to smuggle a stolen diamond necklace into France. When they reach Paris, Kate's luggage is stolen, but she doesn't care about luggage — she's in Paris to get her man back. Meanwhile, Luc attempts to recover the diamond necklace that was stolen with Kate's baggage. 

This caper filled with physical comedy — something Ryan has a talent for — and joie de vivre! Ryan and Kline have terrific chemistry, and their comedic timing is impeccable. Kline's French accent is fantastic. Although critics gave the film mixed reviews, the excellent scores on Metacritic show this rom-com is a hit with audiences. If you are dying for a trip to France, but can't make the time, "French Kiss" is the perfect Parisian holiday.

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

In "When a Man Loves a Woman" Meg Ryan had a chance to stretch creatively, playing Alice Green, a school counselor with two daughters Jess (Tina Majorino) and Casey (Mae Whitman), a doting husband Michael (Andy Garcia), and a really bad drinking problem she's been hiding from everyone. The film is about Alice hitting bottom, admitting she needs help, and then readjusting to life as a sober, recovering alcoholic. This film isn't just about getting sober, it is about staying sober and learning to live with the disease of alcoholism without letting it eat you alive.

It is one of the best representations of how alcoholism affects the entire family on screen. "When a Man Loves a Woman" explores the codependency and enabling that exists in alcoholic homes, showing how sometimes it is harder for the spouse to adjust to sobriety than living with an active alcoholic. The scores on Rotten Tomatoes show the film was well received with audiences and critics, but not universally loved. Roger Ebert gave the film a rare 4 star review, saying, "I couldn't find a false note in Ryan's performance."

City of Angels (1998)

Meg Ryan's 1998 drama, "City of Angels" was inspired by the German art house film, "Wings of Desire." Ryan plays Dr. Maggie Rice, a heart surgeon living in Los Angeles. She is a woman of science, but when she meets a mysterious man, Seth (Nicolas Cage), Maggies opens her mind to the possibility there is more to life than the certainty of science and rationality. Seth is an angelic being watching over the people of L.A., giving solace in times of need. After eons of observing humanity, Seth is inspired by his feelings for Maggie to contemplate giving up eternity, for a brief mortal existence as a flesh and blood man.

For a mainstream American movie, "City of Angels" is more philosophical and contemplative, owing this tone to the German film this movie was inspired by. Emanuel Levy with Variety called the film "a haunting, lyrical meditation on such universal issues as spirit vs. matter, human courage and the true meaning of love and desire." The visuals of the legion of angels looking over the city are cinematic. Cage is excellent as Seth, a man who is enjoying the pleasures of the flesh for the first time. "Ryan excels as a down-to-earth surgeon whose entire set of beliefs is shaken by her encounter with Seth" (per Variety). Critics gave the film mixed reviews on Metacritic, but audiences gave the film high ratings.

Innerspace (1987)

Meg Ryan had a supporting role as Lydia Maxwell in the classic sci-fi comedy "Innerspace." Navy aviator Lt. Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) volunteers as the pilot of a submersible for an experiment where he is shrunken down and injected into a lab rabbit, hoping doctors will one day be able to perform surgery from inside their patients. But when the lab is breached by another organization intent upon stealing the technology, Pendleton is injected into an unsuspecting grocery store clerk named Jack Putter (Martin Short). 

After Pendleton realizes he is in a human host, Pendleton makes contact with Jack, who initially thinks he is possessed or has gone crazy. The two men work together, attempting to get the necessary technology to extract Pendleton from Jack, with the assistance of Lydia, a journalist who used to date Pendleton. Short is a comic genius and is perfectly cast as Jack. His physical comedy is top notch in this wacky and wild ride, and Quaid is excellent as the cocky pilot. Rotten Tomatoes has certified the movie "fresh" with an exceptional score, and "Innerspace" won an Oscar for visual effects.

Courage Under Fire (1996)

In "Courage Under Fire" Meg Ryan plays Captain Karen Walden, an Army Medevac pilot who dies when her helicopter goes down during a rescue mission. Army Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) was a commanding officer in the Gulf War, too. He is still carrying the guilt of a friendly fire incident his superiors covered up. Now, back from the war, Sterling investigates soldiers' worthiness for medals. Despite Sterling's personal struggles, he takes his posting seriously.

Researching the nomination of Captain Walden for a Medal of Honor has fallen to Sterling. During Sterling's investigation, he finds discrepancies between the accounts of her surviving crew. While digging for the truth in the minds of soldiers who are suffering from PTSD, Sterling wrestles with his own conscience. The pressure from the White House and Sterling's commanding officer to push through the nomination for the first woman recommended for a Medal of Honor weighs on Sterling, as he contemplates where his loyalties lie — to the chain of command, or the truth.

On Rotten Tomatoes "Courage Under Fire" received a "fresh" rating with critics, but average scores from audiences. It's fair to say this film is representative of the brand of films Washington typically takes on, while it was a departure for Ryan. The performances of the supporting cast, Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Phillips, are superb. Each surviving soldier has a different story for Sterling, and in each version, we meet a new Captain Walden. Ryan is remarkable when creating each version.

You've Got Mail (1998)

When the megastore Fox Books moves in around the corner from the children's bookstore, The Shop Around The Corner, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is slowly being forced out of business. This is devastating for Kathleen because it isn't just a store — she inherited it from her mother. She was raised in that store and it has functioned as her community. When Kathleen finally meets the owner of Fox books, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), they instantly despise each other. What neither of them knows is they have been falling in love online, oblivious of their real-world connection, in director Nora Ephron's "You've Got Mail."

The rom-com trope — enemies who become lovers — has become quite popular, undoubtedly in part because of Ephron's witty second film with Hanks and Ryan in the lead roles. It doesn't have the romance or emotional punch of "Sleepless in Seattle" but it certainly predicted how romance and dating would move to cyberspace. The movie shows how people fall for their own fantasies rather than three dimensional human beings with flaws, along with the challenges of bringing an online romance into the real-world.

From Metacritic we can see the film received mixed reviews from critics, most of whom complained the film was a predictable commercial money grab, but audiences loved seeing Hanks and Ryan on screen together again. Parker Posey, Dave Chappelle, Steve Zahn and Greg Kinnear round out the supporting cast. Hanks and Ryan once again show what great chemistry they have on screen in this lighthearted look at the complexities of online dating.

The Doors (1991)

Meg Ryan was cast as Pamela Courson, Jim Morrison's long-time girlfriend in the biopic "The Doors." A film about the iconic rock band and their meteoric rise to fame. The story follows Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer) from his days as a film student at UCLA where he meets Ray Manzarek (Kyle MacLachlan) before forming the band together. The story continues through The Doors touring as a band, while Jim gets lost to the Bacchanalian excesses of rock god stardom. The biopic ends when Jim dies in Paris at 27. And Pamela (Ryan) was along for the wild ride as Jim's unpredictable partner in crime.

Both Ryan and Kilmer transformed themselves for this film, vanishing into their characters, becoming virtually unrecognizable. Usually as viewers of films we never completely forget we are watching a celebrity on screen, but while watching "The Doors" Ryan, Kilmer, and MacLachlan easily slip from our consciousness — because the actors melt into their characters. Kilmer was particularly praised for his transformation, but Ryan's was impressive too. "The Doors" is necessary viewing for anyone who loves the music of the '60s and is fascinated by the counterculture it represented. The positive scores on Metacritic suggest you won't be disappointed.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle" has become one of Meg Ryan's best loved films. Inspired by, "An Affair to Remember" this Ephron film pulls on the heartstrings expertly. When Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a journalist living in Baltimore, hears a young boy named Jonah (Ross Malinger) calling from Seattle to a late night radio show hosted by a therapist, something in Annie breaks open. Suddenly, her safe life with her boring but nice fiancé, Walter (Bill Pullman), feels inadequate. Annie longs for something else, something more consuming and expansive. She wonders if she has missed her chance at a big romance. Something like what you see in classic Hollywood films. After hearing Sam (Tom Hanks) talk on the radio show about his deceased wife, Annie thinks Sam might be her chance at a big love with a man who has a big heart.

This film really hit a chord with audiences, getting great scores on Metacritic, and a "fresh" rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience's love of "Sleepless in Seattle" translated into big box-office numbers, making it a huge commercial success (per The Numbers). This is the film that cemented Ryan and Hanks as rom-com royalty, and it is a comfort movie for many a lonely soul. If you love old-fashioned romances and believe in soulmates, "Sleepless in Seattle" will find a place in your heart.

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

"When Harry Met Sally..." was the film that made Meg Ryan a household name. Sure, we had seen her in a few other films by this time and she'd had recurring roles on television. But it was this rom-com written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner that made her a ubiquitous star through the remainder of the '80s, the '90s and into the new millennium. Not only did this film make Ryan a star, it expertly explored hetero-normative relationship dynamics and friendship in a way that was both thought provoking and funny.

When Sally Albright (Ryan) drove from Chicago to New York City with Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) after graduating college, they immediately hated each other. It was the opposite of a meet-cute. But fate has a funny way of throwing people into your path time and again. When Harry and Sally met again at an airport, he didn't remember her. But when they saw each other in a bookstore years later, they became friends — something Harry had famously said years before was impossible.

"When Harry Met Sally..." was a hit with audiences, and on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an excellent "fresh" rating with critics. Crystal and Ryan have fantastic screen chemistry and their witty banter is pitch-perfect in the film. Ryan wields Sally's optimism as a protective shield and Crystal infuses Harry's pessimistic outlook with a droll humor that makes him endearing rather than annoying. If you haven't seen this film, you've missed out on Ryan's best role and most highly rated film. You can fix this by watching it on HBO Max tonight. Enjoy!