Meg Ryan on her new romantic comedy, ‘What Happens Later’ | ET REALITY


This worried Duchovny, who is 63 years old. The characters in “What Happens Later” bring the weight and disappointments of middle age. “They can’t go through those younger romantic comedy moves; they can’t look stupid or stunted,” he said. “And yet they cannot be tired or bored. It was really that dance of, how do we make this legit for adults?

Even then, he wondered if there was an appetite to see mature people holding on to the connection. “There’s something in us that gets angry when we see hopeful old people, you know?” she said, adding, “That’s the resistance we face in the movie. But now we have ‘The Golden Bachelor’ to show us the way.”

Ryan wrote the film after her long on-again, off-again relationship with rocker John Mellencamp; She ended her engagement in 2019. Did that have anything to do with her interest in lovers who pursue each other for years? Not specifically, she said. “But in the idea of, some people go around and around” and never get it right. “And maybe they don’t need it.”

“Being my age and looking back, a lot of these stories are about hoping for a happy ending,” he said. “And there are totally different questions at play here.”

Of course, it’s not lost on you that romantic comedies are what sold us happily ever after (“a crazy idea”) in the first place. And that having the genre’s former poster girl prodding him with regrets or sadness is, to paraphrase her expletive, a mental tornado. “In my own way, I feel like it’s a great little movie,” he said proudly.

She cursed more than she expected and leaned into unorthodox pleasures. Upon finding out that she had never been to the area, she pointed me to a vedanta temple with a curved view of the sea, designed, he noted, by one of the first outstanding architects in California. “It’s so surprising,” she said, and insisted on giving me the address, near the mountains. “No matter what, you have to go up the hill, because it’s sunny.”

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