Meg Ryan won’t get a Travolta comeback

Meg Ryan won’t get a Travolta comeback

The Travolta Comeback – it’s what every former A-lister pines for when their agent’s phone stops ringing.

John Travolta himself has had at least two such comebacks, and Mickey Rourke may be in the middle of his first.

But what are the chances that Meg Ryan … or any other 40-plus actress … can swing such a feat?

It’s not pretty.


Ryan is a good example of what happens to too many older actresses. Sure, you’ll always have the exceptions – Meryl Streep and Judi Dench come to mind. But only Streep remains red-hot, commercially speaking, at the ripe age of 59.

Ryan, the ’90s rom-com princess, could command big paychecks. Romantic comedies are where actresses shine, both commercially and in the hearts and minds of movie goers.

Just think back to Goldie Hawn and Doris Day before her.

Today, Ryan is otten seen in direct to video fare (“The Deal,” “My Mom’s New Boyfriend”). She still looks beautiful even if she may have dabbled in some plastic surgery. And her figure remains to die for.

But she’d need Quentin Tarantino to stage an entire film around her to give her career that ol’ A-list juice.

Then you have Rourke, an actor who seemingly spent the last decade burning every bridge in sight. And his face is a Jackson Pollock painting of age, boxing losses and who knows what.

But he came thisclose to beating out Sean Penn for the Best Actor Oscar over the weekend and is in talks to star in “Iron Man 2.”

He’ll be the toast of town again, at least for a while, and have a crack at some scripts he may have never seen as little as a year ago.

As for Ryan, she’ll keep on working, like her female peers, but with the knowlege that her days on the A-list are likely over.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

QuestionNo Gravatar February 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

When is the last time Travolta had a big hit?

cftotoNo Gravatar February 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Wild Hogs did quite well at the box office, sad to say!

opusNo Gravatar February 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Ryan has no depth as an actress and the parts she’s played were to one degree or another plug and play parts. You could have put any one of a couple hundred actresses in the part and it wouldn’t have mattered. She became famous for being cute and charismatic and that’s about it. A one trick pony.
Streep, as best as I can remember didn’t do any, or at least very few traditional rom coms. Love her or hate her she’s attempted a variety of things her entire career never relying on looks,cuteness or charisma to do her job for her.

opusNo Gravatar February 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Off topic a bit, but what’s with the time stamps on the comments?
It’s roughtly 10 am where I’m at but my last post shows a seven hour time difference.

dimitriosNo Gravatar February 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Say what you will about Meg Ryan being a one trick pony etc., still doesn’t change the fact that she was immensly popular in the roles she started in. But she has to share some of the blame for her diminished star power. The affair with Russel Crowe is what killed her career.

cftotoNo Gravatar February 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Opus, not sure about the time stamps … might be built into the system. I’m a journalist, not a techie … and changing things on the system takes me forever – assuming I even get it right! I will try, though…

Dimitrios — she also deserves blame for what appeared to be a too-early dip into plastic surgery/lip enhancement … that didn’t help her at all …

DagnabbittNo Gravatar February 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Yet another example of how not Liberal Hollywood really is, despite its marketing efforts to the contrary.
Ryan’s role as Girl-next-door took a hit with the Crowe affair (though Crowe’s rep did not get burnished; the male actors seldom take a rep hit: Eastwood, Freeman, Washington, et al), the unpleasant divorce from likeable fellow actor Quaid, and the questionable-quality “work,” but then all of these are factors that actresses must consider and their male counterparts need not (w/some exceptions [Burt Reynolds]).
And the note about her actual acting capability is valid; playing in the rom-coms makes it hard to be taken seriously – and Ryan tried, on several occasions, to be taken as such – outside of the genre, and the genre does not recruit, nor encourage, Meryl Streep-quality actresses.
All of this contributes to why Ryan, and nearly any other “star” actress Of A Certain Age, should not hope for a Travolta-style comeback.
~ Dagnabbitt

(as an aside, kudos to Rom-Com survivor Bullock, who defies convention not only by continuing in the roles in her late 30s and beyond, but also being cast opposite YOUNGER leading men)

Mike GarnerNo Gravatar July 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

As a General Contractor Batchalor.Movies are a large part of self entertainment.

I had to wonder what happened to Meg Ryan.She is beautiful,funny,certainly talented.
My hope’s are she will be back on screen.”WHATS AGE GOT TO DO WITH IT”.As a male arent we exesciseing a double standard.
Clent Eastwood is great,but often speaks of getting off track due to his lasting stay in the early Rawhide days while James Garner went ahead of him.Both great actors,but who is ahead now?

ronNo Gravatar November 30, 2012 at 5:34 am

Women seem to hit the age barrier when it comes to getting good parts in movies or tv whereas men still seem to be able to get those good roles. Such seems to be the case her with Meg. How many women over 40 do you still see on tv? I can’t think of any. Very unfair.

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