Meg Ryan is one of the all-time greatest movie
stars. Early on, she made appearances in a number
of different genres before finding the type of movie that would define her career and
make her incredibly popular: the romantic comedy. Showing she wasn’t just somebody to build
a happily-ever-after around, Ryan kept making notable dramatic movies, too, but, over the
years, her presence in Hollywood has become pretty much nonexistent. So, what went wrong? From box office flops to her notable aversion
to fame, let’s take a deep dive into the real reasons Meg Ryan’s career seems to be a thing
of the past. Bad box office While she’s most fondly remembered for genre-defining
romantic comedies of the ’80s and ’90s, by the time the 2000s rolled around, Ryan’s movies
weren’t considered the masterpieces they once were, nor did they pull in blockbuster numbers
at the North American box office. First there was Hanging Up, which made a surprisingly
low $36 million at the box office. The kidnapping drama Proof of Life came later
that year and then promptly left theaters. Kate and Leopold was basically a mega-hit
at $47 million when compared to the meager earnings of In the Cut, Against the Ropes,
and In the Land of Women. To make things worse, not only did Meg Ryan’s
Y2K-era movies strike out with audiences, major movie critics were ambivalent at best. The Rotten Tomatoes scores of the movies in
Ryan’s cinematic dark period range from only 12 percent to 50 percent. Blockbuster rentals Ryan suffered a string of flops, but at least
they were released in movie theaters. Shortly after the release of The Women in
2008, Ryan starred in two consecutive films that didn’t even make it to your local multiplex:
My Mom’s New Boyfriend and The Deal, which both went straight to DVD. The runaway success of on-demand streaming
may have changed the way we consume entertainment, but Hollywood’s best and brightest star in
movies that hit the multiplex first. Meg Ryan just wasn’t the kind of actress to
have two films in a row unceremoniously dumped on DVD. So what happened? Personal drama During the early 2000s, rumors surfaced that
the star allegedly cheated on her then-husband of nine years, movie star Dennis Quaid, with
her Proof of Life co-star Russell Crowe. Ryan didn’t really address the situation at
the time, leaving herself open to bitter tabloid rumors of a messy divorce. Subsequently, there was something of a backlash
against Ryan — an affair with a co-star was not something a true America’s Sweetheart
would do. But there’s more to the story. In 2008 Ryan explained the situation, telling
InStyle, “What wasn’t in the story was the reality
of my marriage. Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time,
and that was very painful.” Ryan and Quaid did divorce, but the media
attention surrounding it, while career-harming, was personally freeing for the actress. She went on to say, “I didn’t have to care about what people thought. [I could] be totally under the radar and live
my life.” In other words, America’s Sweetheart was done
being America’s Sweetheart. “There’s almost no win in any of the world
of tabloid, because as soon as you defend yourself there’s more story.” The fame game For better or worse, part of the job of being
an actor is to promote your work. Actors may love bringing characters to life,
but they’ve also got to get the word out about the productions that enable them to use their
talents. This can be demoralizing or tawdry for actors,
and some of them downright hate it. Ryan spoke of these feelings in a 2016 interview
with Vanity Fair, admitting, “I am a terrible celebrity. If I started my career today, I wouldn’t have
a chance. Social media has changed things. It’s so vast and big. I couldn’t handle the constant attention and
the judging.” Never met your dad In 2014, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother ended
its nine-season run. It’s safe to assume the show’s diehard fans
were thrilled when news broke that CBS had a spinoff-slash-reboot of the show in the
works called How I Met Your Dad. This one would be from the female perspective
and explore how a woman met the father of her children. The element of narration would be repeated,
this time with the voice of somebody who knew a thing or two about how to sell an on-screen
romance: Meg Ryan. Though it was seen as a lock for the fall
schedule, CBS ultimately — and surprisingly — passed on the show, thus ending Ryan’s
attempt at a TV-based comeback. Out of Hollywood Ryan has been working in show business for
nearly 40 years now. Maybe she just needed a break. Unfortunately, taking time off is dangerous
in Hollywood. However, Ryan made the choice to take a breather
for a good reason: She wanted some time to raise her kids, and to raise them in New York. She’s often been spotted in Manhattan with
her daughter, Daisy. A friend of Ryan’s told Closer Weekly, “Meg is as dedicated a parent as you’d ever
want to see — keeping Daisy’s best interests in mind, having fun with her, taking her to
school events and dance lessons really keeps her grounded.” Thanks for watching! Click the Nicki Swift icon to subscribe to
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