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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

If there’s one thing that I love to indulge in, it’s watching a romantic comedy. And even though there are a lot out there, none can beat the era of rom-coms that came out in the 90s. Specifically, movies that have Meg Ryan in them. This list is going to be a compilation of (Meg Ryan) rom-com movies from that era that I always find myself going back to over and over again for nostalgia, to enjoy the soundtracks, or just to wish I had their outfits in my closet!

First one being a classic, “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993). One of my favorite movies ever, not just because the premise is great, but because director Nora Ephron is a romantic comedy genius and has an obsession with Meg Ryan just like me (that makes me feel understood). It’s a very bittersweet movie as Sam Baldwin, played by Tom Hanks, has lost his wife and is looking for a new place for him and his son, Jonah, to live that doesn’t constantly remind him of her. One Christmas, after they’ve moved to Seattle, Jonah calls a radio show and talks about how he notices his dad is sad and that he wants his dad to find a new wife so he can be happy again. Everyone in the country seems to be listening to this radio show, and his “case” on the radio is given the name “Sleepless in Seattle.” Needless to say, Annie (Meg Ryan) was listening to his case and has to decide whether her obsession with this stranger on the radio is stronger than her love for her fiancé, Walter (Bill Pullman). 

Next up, we have yet another Nora Ephron movie starring who? You guessed it! Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks! They’re such a great pair in this film called “You’ve Got Mail” (1998). This movie is actually built off of the original film called “The Shop Around the Corner” which was made in 1940. Set in New York City, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), the owner of The Shop Around the Corner – a cute and quaint local bookstore – is anonymously writing digital letters to a stranger on the Internet through a program called You’ve Got Mail. While she is writing to this stranger (who is becoming a good friend of hers) she is also grappling with issues that her store is facing with a massive department bookstore opening around the corner called Fox Books. The owner of Fox Books, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), happens upon Kathleen Kelly while at her bookstore, and again at a business party. Kathleen is starting to resent Joe, and Joe – despite acknowledging that she’s a smart and beautiful woman – also doesn’t like her very much. But who is Kathleen messaging on You’ve Got Mail? I mean, it could be anyone at all! Watch the film to find out! 

Last but not least, we have When Harry Met Sally (1989) which was written and produced by whom? Now, you’re starting to see the pattern – Nora Ephron! And even though Tom Hanks is not in this one, we have a pretty close personality equivalent when acknowledging the humor and general persona that Billy Crystal is known for. Also set in New York City, we follow Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) as they move on through the years of their life in NYC. Starting from them moving there after college together, to eventually becoming reluctant friends and then lovers, later on. It’s a comedic story that makes you laugh, but also kind of agonizing to watch as you “just want them to get together already!” Also, it’s probably my favorite soundtrack out of all the movies I’ve talked about so far.

I have so many more that I love to watch, but if someone were to ask me, “I want to start watching rom-coms, where do I begin?” I would point them to this article. If you can’t find at least one movie you like in Nora Ephron’s repertoire, then perhaps it’s time for a moment of self-reflection. Happy movie watching!  

Alexa is a Communications major and a Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies minor.