Meg Ryan

Proof of Life…Meg in a different role

meg-blog3Way back when, Meg Ryan was the light-hearted romantic lead. And she fitted it perfectly. Any RomCom that came out with her in it was an automatic “watch”. Well, that was the case for me and my circle of friends. And tucked in somewhere between the delightful You’ve Got Mail and Kate & Leopold was a more serious Proof of Life.

And you know what? She pulled off this role very well. I really enjoyed her out of that light-hearted stereotype we’d gotten to know her as.

Here she is Alice Bowman, living in South America with her husband Peter (David Morse), who is kidnapped by guerillas opposing the pipeline plan he is working on. Desperate to get him back, she hires negotiator Terry Thorne (Russell Crowe) to try secure Peter‘s release.

Having had some marital tensions leading up to the kidnapping, she is placed in a full stress situation of getting him back but at the same time spending many long hours with Terry. This stirs up some interesting situations. Which Meg Ryan pulls of so convincingly. What I enjoy about her role here is how she manages to pull us into her conflicting emotions of being the concerned wife but also feeling an attraction to the rescuer. And not once do we “see” her RomCom persona in Proof of Life as can tend to happen when actors focus on one type of role. This just shows how wonderful Meg Ryan was as an actress (“was” because I haven’t seen her in anything since Kate & Leopold).

That final scene always leaves me wondering how things would have turned out if circumstances had been different.

So, here’s to you Meg Ryan. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday for Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies “The Meg Ryan Birthday Blogathon”.

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Happy Birthday Meg Ryan…

Meg Ryan is forever associated with school friends and movie nights. Back in those days she was the girl we all went to see regardless of the movie because she was inevitably in a “good one”. In fact, it was a given that you’d have seen the “latest Meg Ryan movie”. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean. Right?

maggie-blogathonI was introduced to Meg Ryan, rather late…that means, NOT with When Harry Met Sally (“oh no, how could¬†you???” you cry), which was most people’s introduction to this star, but, with Sleepless in Seattle. And from then on, we’ve probably all got similar watch lists…although, Top Gun, which chronologically comes before Sleepless in Seattle, is one I only saw relatively late in my Meg-Ryan-movie-watching-timeline. But she isn’t really in a main role here, is she?

Oh, and then came Courage under Fire. Everyone went to see it. I recall it being good. Although, I barely remember what it was about. Sorry ūüė¶

Addicted to Love was another good one. Misunderstood and underappreciated by many I think. Unlike the popular City of Angels (which my aunt from Los Angeles couldn’t stop raving about). Although, and don’t unfollow me for this, I wasn’t the biggest fan.

Ahhh…..then came the most delightful, wonderful, feel-good, sweet, lovely (fine, I’ll stop) You’ve Got Mail. Sigh…what a cute movie that was. As for Meg, she was wonderful (but wasn’t she just always?). I dreamt of running my own book shop for a long time thereafter (but that had just as much to do with my love of books as with this little cinematic delight).

Everyone had come to think of Meg Ryan in that rom-com manner when along come Proof of Life. And my girl friends just wouldn’t watch it. I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed it. And to be honest, while the overall genre and feel of this movie might have been different, Meg‘s character was still that wonderful woman who could hold her own. After all, isn’t that what she did in You’ve Got Mail and Addicted to Love?¬†

Sadly, the last movie I remember having watched with our birthday girl was Kate and Leopold. Another one I thoroughly enjoyed. After this,¬†somewhere along the line, ever so quietly, Ms Ryan slipped off the movie radar. Maybe, I should say “my movie radar”.¬†Yes, granted, we all grow older but still, I miss that youthful “bubbliness” that was Meg Ryan in her prime. OK, fine, maybe I’m wrong and just haven’t kept up with her movies but I will forever have her in mind as I had back then.

Whatever the case, here’s to a wonderful actress who was such a big part of my high-school movie days. Those fun nights out at the cinema with friends. Wonderful days. Wonderful movies. So, dear Meg Ryan, here’s wishing you a very happy birthday. You brought that special touch to romantic comedy that few others managed.

Thanks Pfeiffer Films and Meg Movies for your Meg Ryan Birthday Blogathon.

A new appreciation for Addicted to Love and those days…

So…there’s a blogger in our midst who is Meg (and Michelle) crazy. I’m sure many of you know who the culprit is. Hmmm…anyway, so just every now and then Addicted to Love is mentioned. In fact, when I started out with this thing called following fellow film fans, one of the first posts I read was about….you’ll never guess….AAddicted To Loveddicted to Love. I’ve been meaning to re-watch it for ages, even before that post (last I saw this one was 12 years ago….cringe….sooooorrrreeeeeeee….I apologise) and today I stumbled across another blog on said blogger’s page but this time around how they don’t make these wonderful screwball comedies the way they used to (I totally agree). A definite sign. And an inspiration. I actually got around to re-watching it today. Having mentioned, a while ago, to this blogger that I was hoping to watch it again, I was asked to be merciful and do the letting down gently if need be…but…here’s the thing: Addicted to Love is just so much fun! In fact, 12 years later I think I enjoy it soooooo much more than I did way back then. Actually, I know that for a fact because I’m an I.T geek and have a database going with all my DVDs and Blu-Rays listed with details such as when I bought them, how much I paid, the actors, number of times watched each year and among other things, my ratings (for the techies out there…yes, yes, I’ve got an ETL process going to load a little star-schema, bridging table, keys and all – couldn’t avoid the many-to-many relationship though). So…I’ll not mention the “medium” rating I originally gave this one (yes, I never thought it was bad, otherwise I wouldn’t own the DVD) but…what was I thinking?????? It definitely deserves better than that. I think as we grow older and are changed by experiences so our appreciation of films changes (for better or worse). But this one…the humour is just…well, screwball? Add the quirky music and you’ve got a superb combination. Granted, there are serious undertones, but overall…so much fun! I think we’re overdue for something like this. Now. In the 2000s. Not a replacement. Something as good. Something with the same magic.

I haven’t seen Meg Ryan films for years. Can’t recall her being in anything recently (last I watched her was in Kate & Leopold). However, I’ve just been reminded of how great and upbeat and just wonderful she was. She brought this natural freshness to her roles. She was great. Remember You’ve got Mail? And Sleepless in Seattle, the hit back in the day? The list goes on…but come to think of it, this is not about Meg Ryan. It’s about those wonderful works of art…there was something special about them…where did they go? Serendipity? Sliding Doors? Someone like You? And where are the Meg Ryans of today? The ones where you can tell your friends that “there’s a new Meg Ryan movie out”…the ones you can depend on?

Serendipity

Thanks Pfeiffer Films and Meg Movies for being inspiring and reminding me of “those” days. I’m on a roll now…just pulled out You’ve Got Mail with Sliding Doors waiting. Serendipity sounds good too. Thank goodness for the weekend!

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