When it comes to romantic comedies, there are very, very few actors as iconic as Meg Ryan. Her effortlessly endearing persona dominated the rom-com movies of the 90s, and her chemistry with Tom Hanks didn't hurt, either.
In November 2023, Meg Ryan released her first big rom-com in over a decade—and her first movie in eight years. In What Happens Later, Meg Ryan directs, produces and co-stars alongside David Duchovny to tell the story of Willa and Bill, ex-lovers who are trapped in an airport together when a snowstorm grounds their flights. According to RogerEbert.com, Meg Ryan's “sparkling charm remains firmly intact” in her new film—though perhaps this won't go down as one of her best.
If you're in the mood for a Meg Ryan comedy that will guarantee to make you feel good, we suggest you turn to one of her tried-and-true hits below.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Often cited as one of the best romantic comedies of all time, this movie kickstarted Ryan's career as a rom-com queen. Longtime friends Harry and Sally cherish their friendship with one another, so much so that they don't want to risk ruining it by having sex. But maybe their love is worth the risk.
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
This bonkers-in-the-best-kind-of-way movie sees Meg Ryan playing three different roles—Dede, Angelica and Patricia—all of whom interact with Joe (Tom Hanks) after he finds out he only has a few months to live and decides to jump into a volcano as part of a ritual on a South Pacific island.
Not only is this movie a cult classic, it's the first of three films Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks made together—if you've never gotten around to watching it, you're missing out.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Another classic rom-com, this movie follows widowed dad Sam, whose son calls into a radio talk show and persuades him to talk on air about how much he misses his wife. Thousands of women around the country are touched by his story—including Annie, a reporter who is already engaged but isn't sure she should be.
Addicted to Love (1997)
Another off-the-walls and under-the-radar Meg Ryan movie, this film follows Sam (Matthew Broderick), who has recently been broken up with by Linda (Kelly Preston). Linda had left their small town to do a teaching fellowship in New York, and loved the experience so much she decided to stay.
Determined to win her back, Sam immediately goes to New York and discovers that Linda is dating a new man named Anton. Obsessed, Sam decides to squat in the dilapidated building across the street from her lover's apartment—only to shortly be joined by Maggie (Meg Ryan), who was recently jilted by Anton. What follows is about what you'd expect from two people who both decided to spy on their exes.
This beloved animated film stars Meg Ryan as the headstrong Anya, an orphan in communist Russia who has no memory of her childhood and just set out into the world on her own. Anya runs into Dmitri, a conman who convinces her that she may actually be the lost duchess Anastasia, and promises to take her to the Grand Duchess to see if it's true.
You've Got Mail (1998)
Based on the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner, this Nora Ephron film once again pairs Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks to great success. Kathleen is the owner of a small children's book store that is being pushed out of business by a bookstore chain owned by Joe Fox.
While they have conflicting feelings for one another in person, Kathleen and Joe are also falling in love online—unbeknownst to each other, they've already met in an online chat room and have been exchanging long emails with one other.