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Top Five Movies of Meg Ryan

I won’t pretend to know what goes on in the mind of a woman as she ages. As a guy, I can look to people like Steve Martin, David Letterman, Tony Randall and Cary Grant and think I can never really get too old to start a family. With surrogate motherhood and the technology to “freeze” eggs, I suppose the same can be said for women, but I can’t help to think of the cliché of ticking biological clocks and not being able to relate to that sensation, at least for now.

As it is also the end of the holiday season, I can’t help but think of Meg Ryan. Looking through her movies, the overwhelming majority of the movies cast her as the perfect object of affection, the combination of adorable, intelligent, loving, and that insouciant hint of sexy as she pops up in movies debuting during the holidays. Watching movies of the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s, she is in so many fun romantic comedies that I found it tough to narrow it down to a simple five for just that part of her career. Then, something happened and I have no clue what it was. She didn’t appear in a movie or any creative acting endeavor released in 1999, 2002, 2005 or 2006. Before that, the last time she didn’t have a credit for an entire year was 1980. There are a couple appearances here and there as herself and a producer credit for 2002, but for an actress that prolific, something happened and I’d hate to speculate any as I don’t know anything about her, and I’m just talking age. (For a great examination of age and actresses, here’s an interesting Vulture article. I should note that Meg Ryan turned 40 in 2001. Coincidence?)

megryan2So, as the holiday season comes to an end, I’m going to wax nostalgic, think of New Year’s Eves, Christmases, Valentine’s Day and the holidays of the past and raise a toast to Meg, one of the best dream girls of the romantic comedy.

5. I.Q.

I’m probably a sucker for a movie that has fictional versions of Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel as meddling matchmakers, so this one makes the list over some of Meg’s more popular movies. Plus, Tim Robbins as a male lead works very well for me in other movies like “Bull Durham” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

4. When Harry Met Sally

I haven’t seen this movie in a while, so it might need to be higher. I know it came in the middle of an incredible run of good movies by director Rob Reiner that included some favorites like “This is Spinal Tap,” “Stand by Me,” “The Princess Bride,” and “Misery.” It could probably be on the short list for best all-time romantic comedy, but I have different preferences.

3. Innerspace

First of all, in romantic comedies, I like a little crazy (like here with Martin Short) and with a little science fiction or fantasy (like the aforementioned “The Princess Bride” and if I stretch, a movie like “Real Genius” which is probably more comedy with a romantic angle. Like “Innerspace.”)

2. Sleepless in Seattle

The first of two movies with Tom Hanks, and believe me, I thought of putting “You’ve Got Mail” on the list because I like Meg and Tom and I like Dave Chappelle. This one ranks highly due to the underlying idea of relating this story to that of “An Affair to Remember” which stars Cary Grant, and that’s always a plus in my book.

1. Joe Versus the Volcano

Fantasy. Tom. Meg. Silliness. Dreams. Wow, I want to watch this one again right now and plan a trip to New Zealand, the Cook Islands or the Galapagos Islands, some island paradise far away to where I’ve never journeyed. That sounds like a good goal for 2014.

Agree? Disagree? Which movies would make your Meg Ryan top five?

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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