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Movie Review "What Happens Later" Is a Touching Tale of Second Chances and Rekindled Love

Film Earns Four of Five Stars

Series: Film Reviews | Story 3

"What Happens Later," stands out as a refreshing and poignant exploration of second chances and rekindled love amidst the backdrop of mature relationships. This romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan and is also directed by Meg Ryan. This is her second directorial effort.

The film revolves around Willa (Ryan) and Bill (David Duchovny), two former college sweethearts who unexpectedly reunite after decades of separation, finding themselves snowed in at a regional airport overnight.

This is a very appropriate movie for Meg Ryan to make. We don't get too many romantic comedies in the movie theaters anymore. Once upon a time many years ago Ryan was the star of all of our favorite rom-coms back in the 1990s. She, of all people, will have something to say about rom-coms.

In this movie she lightly pokes fun at these movies in subtle ways. This movie is about what really happens after the happily ever after moment. When things don't happen as you hope. This is a story about a separated couple reconnecting about their relationship many years later. They discuss what went wrong, how things have changed,and how they have changed.

Think of a hot passionate fiery romance except this is the painful but invigorating cold water thrown on top of it.

Ryan and Duchovny deliver exceptional performances, imbuing their characters with depth and authenticity. They have great chemistry. They seamlessly transition from playful animosity to heartfelt introspection, showcasing the multifaceted nature of their long-dormant relationship.

The film's setting, confined to the airport, serves as a metaphor for the characters' emotional journeys. The snowstorm, symbolizing the obstacles and challenges they face, forces them to confront their past and seek refuge in each other's company. As they explore the deserted airport, they rediscover the qualities that drew them together years ago, leading to a profound reassessment of their paths.

The third character in this movie is the airport announcer. Some of his commentary and responses are kind of funny. So are the characters' reactions to these announcements. I feel like the announcer is playing the role of God or fate in some of his pronouncements.

"What Happens Later" should resonate particularly well with older adults, especially women who may have experienced disappointment in love and life. One segment of conversation that really resonated with me was how older folks have something to say from their years of experiences but nobody cares to listen now. The film highlights the importance of clear and honest communication in relationships, emphasizing the need to express feelings and desires without fear of judgment.

This is a talking movie. It's two people in a deserted airport. There are no special effects, no action sequences, nor any dramatic events. It's a movie with just two people talking to each other. There's nothing wrong with the other types of movies. but this is a nice change of pace.

"What Happens Later" offers a nuanced take on the romantic comedy and a different perspective on love and relationships in the later stages of life. It celebrates the possibility of second chances, the enduring power of love, and the transformative potential of honest communication. The film's gentle humor, relatable characters, and poignant exploration of human connection make it a must-see for anyone seeking a movie to make you feel and think.

I enjoyed this movie. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

"What Happens Later" is currently screening at Regal Cinemas 12 at the Eagle Ridge Mall.


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