Meg Ryan, 6Roller

By | Begun 04/27/2004
Posted in 3Rollers™ |

The Heartbreaker

Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally... Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire Meg Ryan in Joe Versus the Volcano Meg Ryan in Proof of Life Meg Ryan in Joe Versus the Volcano Meg Ryan in In the Cut 

Romantic Comedy isn’t a genre that grabs me (though once I’m seeing one ~ usually for Roller Research ~ I often wonder why I eschew them…I guess I expect them to be schmaltzy… but that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? … I suppose I prefer more intensity… oh nevermind). Anyway, since Meg Ryan dominated the genre as America’s Sweetheart, I just never directed much attention her way.

When I finally saw When Harry Met Sally… about four years after the fact, it immediately went to Desert Island and I remember being idly surprised by how much I enjoyed her performance.Much more substantial than I’d been led to believe.

That was before I started counting roles ~ now I’m wiser and recognize that sensation for what it is: Roller Radar.

I finally woke up with Proof of Life, which I was watching for the Hackford/Crowe collaboration (love Morse, too). It wasn’t so much that Alice was so striking, but that everyone else was completely absent. In fact, her response to an interviewer’s question as to where America’s Sweetheart had gone was, “She never existed.”


Now she had my attention.Her fall from pop culture grace after The Affair finally loosened things up for her (hey, whatever it takes…), and now we see what she can do.(By the way, Ms. Ryan, imho you really didn’t need In the Cut, but it’s cool.)

And too bad about Silence ~ she was probably wise to have declined given her subsequent success as Sweetheart, but * I’ll bet she’d have made a specTACular Starling, as perfect a realization as Norton’s Graham.

(And with all due respect to Ms. Foster, Ryan wouldn’t have balked at Hannibal and  * could also have pulled off the actual ending, had the powers that be not completely chickened out (cowards). >sigh< Now that would have been something to see…)

Tragic Update Oct 2009

I cannot believe I’m writing this. The words never occurred to me in my wildest dreams. But here we go: Meg Ryan’s run at Rollerdom is over.

Usually, such would happen because a person retired from acting or passed away. Not here. Just saw [part of] The Women [before turning it off], and realized with horror and sadness that Ryan will never achieve another Qualifying Role because she has Botox-ed herself into complete absence of expression.

How bad it is?  The only way she can indicate emotion is to roll her eyes, blink forcefully, and tilt her head in jerky movements. Like a bird. This is profoundly sad… tragic, even. For her and for us, but mostly for girls. I find myself feeling angry with her.

* Update 2011

Watching a documentary on the making of Silence. Includes an interview wherein she explains her decision to decline the role on grounds that the material was too dark for her to spend months in that place. Really, Ms. Ryan? How about the real Starlings and Crawfords, the people who actually live there, giving their best every day to track down the Buffalo Bills and keep them away from us? Or the real Martins who barely escape the Gumbs… and those who don’t. You can’t bring them honor by spending some months acting it out? Honestly…

You can tell I’m pretty disappointed and disillusioned. But for what it’s worth, take a look at some incredible work:

Meg Ryan’s Qualifying Roles

Sally Albright
When Harry Met Sally…

Variations on the Theme: Pretty much everything up to 1996, with the exception of Rita Boyle.

Capt. Karen Emma Walden
Courage Under Fire
NSFW: R for Language

Favorite line, when Karen is wounded in battle and an underling asks her if she’s okay: “I delivered a nine pound baby, a******, I think I can handle it.”


Joe Versus the Volcano

I usually hate this kind of thing ~ “Let’s have them do something so goofy that the ham in them can carry off the fact that it’s more buffoonery than acting.” (Jeez, not that I’m jaded or anything…!) But after seeing that she’s truly cranking out Roles I had to go back and check, and sure enough…


Alice Bowman
Proof of Life

I’m giving this one to her because she was Hopelessly Trapped in Sally at the time and did a great job of laying ground for something else, which would eventually evolve into Frannie. (Super performance, by the way, you really should see it.)

Angelica Graynamore
Joe Versus the Volcano

Ditto DeDe.

Frannie Avery
In the Cut

If she wanted to reformat her career, she did it, and did it well ~ unfortunately, the film itself was for the benefit of cast and crew alone, having forgotten those of us between the projector and the screen.

And thus concludes one of the greatest runs in 3Rollerdom history. Unbelievable.

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