It’s been 25 years since Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan last graced us with their presences in a romantic comedy, and yet, I find myself thinking about You’ve Got Mail daily. Since then, both have gone on to have prolific lives, professionally and personally, winning awards, raising incredibly talented kids who followed in their footsteps, and being amazing people in general.
After an eight-year hiatus, Ryan returned to Hollywood to direct, write, and star in the 2023 movie release What Happens Later. After watching the movie, it’s safe to say she hasn’t lost the charm that made her a rom-com icon in the ’80s and ’90s. Though she had great chemistry with her on-screen love interest David Duchovny in the What Happens After trailer, I couldn’t help but wish it was Hanks she was stranded in the airport with.
While Hanks hasn’t acted in a romantic comedy in a long time, there’s no reason why that streak can’t be broken. After all, if there’s anyone who can save the swoon-worthy genre it’s these two!
Tom Hanks And Meg Ryan Are Always Movie Magic
Hanks and Ryan both started acting in Hollywood in 1980, but their paths first crossed in 1990 when they starred in the cult classic Joe Versus the Volcano. With a quirky premise, the movie didn’t perform well at the box office, but it did prove the two had amazing chemistry together that needed to be replicated.
It’s not common for actors to star in multiple movies together that aren’t interconnected, by Hanks and Ryan defied the odds, appearing in two other movies in the ‘90s. Sleepless in Seattle marked their first partnership with romantic comedy writer/director extraordinaire Nora Ephron (whom Hanks has praised for her preparedness as a director). It went on to earn several Academy Award nominations and is considered one of the best romantic comedies of all time, largely because of the chemistry the two showed.
For me, Hanks and Ryan solidified themselves as the gold-standard romantic comedy couple in You’ve Got Mail. Reunited with Epron, the trio masterfully brought to life the enemies-to-lovers and anonymous pen pal trope that is still alive in Hollywood today.
If there was one movie I wish I could erase from my memory and watch again it’s You’ve Got Mail. There’s something magical about watching Joe and Kathleen go head-to-head in person while slowly falling in love with each other in an AOL chat room. The will-they, won’t-they tension is palpable in every scene, especially after Joe learns that Kathleen is not only his business rival but the woman he’s been falling for online. It doesn’t matter that I’ve seen the movie a hundred times, I still find myself crying when the truth is revealed and Ryan says the iconic: “I wanted it to be you so bad.”
It’s The Perfect Time To Get Them Back Together
Hollywood might not know it, but audiences are desperate for a blockbuster romantic comedy. Well, at least I am. Crazy Rich Asians was the last movie I remember that really went for it. It was a major success, yet the studios refuse to churn out similar movies.
With Ryan’s return to acting and Hanks’s continued success, now is the perfect time for these two to reunite and give the people what they want. If not for us, they should do it to honor the amazing life and legacy of Ephron and help usher in the next generation of romcom writers/directors.
Not to mention, the duo has a chance to revitalize the genre and prove that love isn’t just something teenagers and twenty-somethings experience. I would love to see them star in a second-chance love story, perhaps as two widowed or divorced people who don’t think love is out there for them again. Or, perhaps, just two older people who never put their romantic lives at the forefront and now realize that they’re desperate for that connection in their growing age.
Honestly, they could be falling in love while stuck in space and I would still show up at the movie theaters over and over again to watch them work their magic.
I’m definitely holding out hope that one day soon one day soon we’ll get to see the two incredible actors reunite in a movie together. Fortunately, we have some amazing romantic comedies to watch while we wait for that day to hopefully come. You can stream Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail with a premium Prime Video subscription. (Joe Versos the Volcano is also available to rent on the streaming service.) While there, you can also check out Ryan’s return to movies by purchasing What Happens Later.