You never know who you will run into, or when. Willa (Meg Ryan) is about to learn that the hard way in What Happens Later. Of course, with it being a leap day, magical things can happen. Although is running into an ex over two decades after he left you really ‘magical’? Only time will tell as Bill (David Duchovny) just happens to have a layover at the same small airport during a snowstorm. Bill lives in Boston and is heading to Austin with Willa going in the exact opposite situation. With all flights being delayed, the two of them will finally have the opportunity to reconnect. That is, if either one of them really wants to.
Bill and Willa are pretty much opposites. She’s a free spirit who has a magical view of the world. She embraces cleansing ceremonies, is carrying a rain stick, and writes phone numbers in her shoe to remember them. Bill on the other hand is waiting for things to go wrong. He’s got more of the uptight, corporate, suit-wearing thing going on. They say opposites attract, and that couldn’t be more apparent than with Willa and Bill. But can opposites live happily ever after? As Willa and Bill spend more time together unpacking their relationship, they wonder what could have been.
Meg Ryan not only stars in What Happens Later, but she directs and cowrote the film as well. Steven Dietz and Kirk Lynn round out the writing team. This is only Ryan’s second film behind the camera and first romantic comedy. It is also her first screenplay. When one mentions romantic films, especially rom-coms, it’s almost impossible not to think of Meg Ryan. She is on the Mount Rushmore of rom-com actors. It has been quite some time since her heyday, but her name still carries that cachet. That coupled with her directing and writing What Happens Later, and there is certainly some intrigue.
What Happens Later absolutely has its moments, but unfortunately not enough of them. Ryan and Duchovny have on-screen chemistry, more so than Bill and Willa who are simply strange characters. They are able to play off each other well which leads to some heartwarming and hilarious scenes. Which is vital with the two of them essentially being the only characters for much of the film. The script provides several humorous touches – most notably the PA announcers and little details thrown about. Yet it also leaves a lot to be desired. Bill and Willa have strange aspects of their relationship that go from endearing to annoying. Their relationship begins to grind on the audience. What Happens Later gives a valiant effort, but by the time the storm passes, it ends up as another forgettable romcom.
What Happens Later launches On Demand NOVEMBER 28th.