What Happens Later: A Mediocre Film with Memorable Performances

In the long-awaited return of Meg Ryan and David Duchovny to the big screen, they star in the two-hander film What Happens Later. While their performances shine with undeniable charm, the film itself falls short of expectations. Ryan, who also co-wrote and directed the movie, fails to deliver a compelling storyline. Join me as we delve into the details of this mediocre film and explore the strengths and weaknesses of the lead actors.

Charming Performances that Outshine the Film

Meg Ryan and David Duchovny deliver captivating performances in What Happens Later, showcasing their undeniable talent and chemistry on screen.

Despite the lackluster storyline, the performances of Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later are the film's saving grace. Ryan's portrayal of Willa, a woman still harboring resentment from a past relationship, is both vulnerable and relatable. Duchovny brings depth to the character of Bill, a man haunted by his own mistakes. Together, their on-screen chemistry is palpable, drawing viewers in and keeping them engaged.

With their years of experience in the industry, Ryan and Duchovny effortlessly breathe life into their characters, elevating the material and making the film worth watching. Their ability to convey emotion and create a genuine connection is a testament to their talent as actors.

A Tepid Storyline and Direction

Despite Ryan's involvement as the writer and director, the storyline and direction of What Happens Later fall flat, leaving viewers wanting more.

One of the major drawbacks of What Happens Later is the tepid screenplay, co-written by Meg Ryan herself. The story lacks depth and fails to provide compelling character development. The dialogue often feels forced and lacks the natural flow that would engage the audience.

Furthermore, Ryan's direction fails to bring the story to life. The pacing is uneven, with moments of stagnation and lack of momentum. The film feels confined and limited, as it was primarily filmed in an airport in Northwest Arkansas, resulting in a cramped and abbreviated look.

While Ryan shows promise as a director, What Happens Later does not showcase her full potential. It is evident that the film could have benefited from a stronger script and more dynamic direction.

Unconvincing Character Development

The character development in What Happens Later leaves much to be desired, with inconsistencies and lack of depth in the portrayal of Willa and Bill.

Willa and Bill, the ex-lovers at the center of the film, are portrayed by Ryan and Duchovny respectively. Unfortunately, their characters lack consistency and depth, making it difficult for the audience to fully invest in their journey.

The reasons for their breakup and the subsequent years of separation are revealed through incessant and unspecific verbal babble, leaving the audience feeling unsatisfied. The conflicting and irreconcilable differences that supposedly led to their split are not clearly defined, making it challenging to empathize with their past struggles.

Additionally, the introduction of new revelations about their lives, such as Willa's daughter and Bill's marital crisis, feels forced and tacked on. These plot points are not given enough time to develop, leaving the audience feeling disconnected from the characters and their stories.

A Wasted Opportunity for Ryan and Duchovny

Despite their undeniable talent, Meg Ryan and David Duchovny are let down by the lackluster material in What Happens Later.

What Happens Later is a missed opportunity for Meg Ryan and David Duchovny to showcase their skills in a more rewarding film. Both actors have been absent from the big screen for years, and their return is a cause for celebration. However, the lackluster script and direction of this film do not do justice to their talent.

It is evident that Ryan and Duchovny have matured as seasoned artists during their time away from the spotlight. Their performances in What Happens Later demonstrate their growth and the development of a touching, intimate rapport. Despite the film's shortcomings, their chemistry and natural delivery make it clear that they are ready for a better project that truly showcases their abilities.


Despite the charm and talent of Meg Ryan and David Duchovny, What Happens Later falls short of expectations. The lackluster storyline and direction hinder the film from reaching its full potential. However, the performances of Ryan and Duchovny shine through, showcasing their undeniable chemistry and skill as actors.

While What Happens Later may not be a standout film, it serves as a reminder of the talent and potential of Ryan and Duchovny. Hopefully, their return to the big screen will lead to more rewarding projects in the future.

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