Today is a very special day in romantic comedy history. It's Meg Ryan's 54th birthday.
Without the affable Ms. Ryan, movies would not be what they are today. We would have no plucky heroines, no pithy dialogue, and certainly no romantic comedies that aren't overly saccharin. Meg set the bar for chick flicks so high that they have moved far beyond that narrowing moniker. Show us a man who doesn't crack up while watching her bicker with Billy Crystal and we'll show you a man who's lying.
Since the birth of Meg Ryan is an occasion worth celebrating, we set out to do so in the best way possible: By having a full-on movie marathon. She has so many classic flicks, that it's only natural to binge-watch in her honor. We invite you to join us and follow along—we've even left you with a few parting thoughts for each film. Consider it like book club, only better, since you don't have to actually read books. Everybody wins.
When Harry Met Sally
We start with a true classic and the movie that put Meg Ryan on the map—if you ask anyone who doesn't care about Top Gun (that's us!). Harry and Sally taught us so many things about ourselves through the years, whether it's that we love and idolize Nora Ephron, that we want to own a brownstone on the Upper West Side, or that the ability to have witty banter outweighs every other quality in a person. Also, wagon wheel coffee tables are always a bad idea. And now, a few discussion topics.
• We need to start bringing the "Can men and women really be friends" debate back to my dinner party conversations. We'll invite all zero of our male friends.
• Harry's airport theory is totally spot-on. Let's all start phasing airport pickups out of our relationships immediately. Which means we're now free tomorrow night.
• Are we terrible people because we think the New Year's Eve scene where Harry and Sally get back together is our least favorite? Yawn city.
• Our actual favorite scene? "Hey, I didn't know they had food in Ethiopia. This will be a quick meal. I'll order two empty plates and we can leave."
Sleepless in Seattle
The second of the great Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks team-ups. This is actually one of our favorite movies to watch at Christmastime, which is odd because the Christmas scene at Annie's house is a tiny part of the movie and the rest of the movie is pretty sad. But it's always the season for a good cry! Looking to get out some of your feelings this snow day? Just rewatch any scene in which Sam talks about his late wife. If we die, let's hope our boyfriends remembers the way we peel an apple.
• Who else thinks it's pretty awful how long it takes for Annie and Walter to break up? Just let the man be free to care for his allergies!
• Tom Hanks is definitely the kind of dad that only exists in movies, just like Diane Keaton is the kind of mom who only exists in movies.
• Jonah is also totally unrealistic, but awesome. "Thanks for dinner. I've never seen potatoes cooked like that before." Go on with your bad, sassy self.
• Is the macaron today's tiramisu?
20th Century Fox
If you think we're ever going to turn down the opportunity to watch Meg Ryan flail around Paris, you are sorely mistaken. Sure, French Kiss doesn't have quite the wit or charm as the first two flicks mentioned, but dang we can't all be Oscar-nominated movies, OK? When you combine a story line that follows a kind-of-crazy-lady as she chases her former fiancé to Paris to steal him back from his new girlfriend, with a grumpy Frenchman and Ryan's chunky highlights, you've got rom-com gold.
• Is there a video montage of Meg Ryan having panic attacks on planes? Because there should be.
• Sometimes we think we're much more Luc than Kate, and while that's a little scary, he's also pretty right about everything that makes him grumpy.
• Case in point: When people tell us they are happy, our ass begins to twitch, too.
• Who else was shocked (shocked!) when Kate and Luc ended up together? We guess that's why they put them on the poster.
City of Angels
This movie marathon's about to get deep, y'all. Nicholas Cage deep. Not only did this movie inspire us to think about life's Big Questions more, but it also had the best late-'90s soundtrack of all time. What up, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan and Paula Cole!
• We probably watched this for the first time at way too young an age, because we remember being so jealous that Seth got to sit on top of highway signs.
• "Are you homeless?" "No." "Are you a drummer?" Exactly.
• We're really supposed to believe that Meg Ryan is a doctor, yet can't explain to a dead guy why humans cry?
• OK, we totally forgot about this ending. We take it all back, this movie is terrible and now this is the most depressing day of all time.
Kate & Leopold
To lift our collective spirits as we end our movie marathon, we're going to watch what is quite possibly the most WTF flick of Meg Ryan's career. But, this cinematic monstrosity isn't just Meg's fault—Liev Schreiber and Hugh Jackman are to blame, too! There is literally nothing more to say about a movie that chronicles a modern-day career woman falling in love with a 19th-century Englishman who arrived in NYC via a time portal on the Brooklyn Bridge except: Enjoy!