Which Meg Ryan Are You?

Sally, Annie, Alice, Kathleen, Alice #2 or Sarah?

09.14.16
meg-ryan-man-repeller-combo

Do you remember how, as kids, superlatives were the pillars around which we built our identities? We didn’t have distinct points of view; we had favorites. A favorite color or a favorite food was enough for us to feel fully formed. I laugh when I think of mine because they weren’t chosen with any care or discernment, all that mattered was that I had them.

One such example was my favorite actor in the whole wide world, Meg Ryan. I’m pretty sure she was the only actor I really knew by name but her hair was the same color as mine (crucial) and she had two first names (required) plus You’ve Got Mail, you know? But so what if my love for her as a kid was a little unfounded? Hindsight is 20/20 and I still support the fervor. It even grew into a permanent soft spot. Seeing her today in a movie feels like jumping into a little pocket of childhood comfort.

She’s played plenty of memorable characters, particularly those imagined by my hero Nora Ephron. And like those played by Diane Keaton, each was made that much more iconic by virtue of her style. And that brings me to the question at hand: Which Meg Ryan are you?

Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally (1989)

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You’re as likely to pair a bowler hat with wide-leg trousers as a cotton turtleneck with high-waisted jeans. Hell, why not a blazer with some Bermuda shorts?

Your clothes are comfy and loose and menswear-inspired and your hair’s a little wild and messy to match the spirit of your optimism.

[Photograph by via MGM Studios Inc.]

Annie Reed in Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

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Three words: long voluminous trenches. That’s your base coat, so to speak, and you keep it simple so that the focus remains up top. Red lips, sad eyes, can’t lose. Your hair is the frame, and it’s straight and neatly swept off your face, braided or ponytailed to enable you to most efficiently look for love.

You’re not afraid of swaddly fabric and lots of it, including scarves.

[Photograph by AF Archive.]

Alice Green in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

Meg Ryan Man Repeller A Man Loves A Woman

Your style is a little hard to pin down because you’re just as likely to wear a massive knit sweater with a patterned skirt as you are a plain sexy black dress, but then, your personality is equally hard to pin down.

Sometimes you play it sweet, sometimes you play it dangerous. Your unkempt bob and aviators are never missing from either equation.

[Photo by Peter Sorel.]

Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail (1998)

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You’re a sucker for smart layers, both clothing and hair-wise. Pencil skirts over tights and under cardigans. Button downs under sweater vests and a tie. Matching striped pajama sets.

You’re a snuggly person with a snuggly personality: turtlenecks and story time are kind of your thing. Under all that softness is some serious gumption, though.

[Photograph via Warner Bros. Pictures.]

Alice Bowman in Proof of Life (2000)

meg-ryan-man-repeller-proof-of-life

You’re a world traveler in both spirit and aesthetic. You’re not afraid to throw together items from different parts of your life because you yourself are complex: leather belt plus sarong, shearling vest plus striped tee. You leave your worn button downs half untucked and your short hair messy because you have shit to do. Your brown leather boots always sport the perfect patina, proof of your adventures.

[Photograph via Warner Bros. Entertainment]

Sarah Hardwicke in In the Land of Women (2007)

Meg Ryan Man Repeller In the Land of Women

You’re kind of like a house cat in that your sleepy attitude and soft exterior belie your housebound tendencies. You love casual clothes: cotton T-shirts, wool scarves and cashmere cardigans. When forced to go outside, you throw on a belt and a scarf or, on special occasions, a button down tucked into some belted chinos. Very ’90s suburban mom of you.

I’m Sally Albright and don’t want to know if you think that’s wrong. Who you are?!

[Photograph by Lorey Sebastian via Warner Bros. Entertainment.]

Feature photograph by Ron Galella via Getty Images.

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  • Amelia Diamond

    WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN FOR THE WARDROBE PLEASE

  • katie48

    Kathleen Kelly. Bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils and all.

  • Julia Park

    I’m totally a mix of Kathleen Kelly and Sally Albright both personality wise and sartorially! I re-watched When Harry Met Sally with my family recently and they all laughed because I am SO her with food. “I’ll have this, but if not this, this, and not that then nothing at all.” Ha! Love the article.

  • Max

    brb need to go watch When Harry Met Sally

    • Max

      actually I should brb and go watch Sleepless in Seattle bc I’ve never seen it & I have an affinity for long voluminous trenches

  • gleek

    Meg Ryan <3
    You can't forget about French Kiss (1995)
    That movie had striped shirts, white button downs, and awful yet fabulous mom jeans.

  • Mallory Harmon

    I was obsessed with Meg Ryan after seeing “You’ve Got Mail.” I even copied her hair style when I was in the 5th grade, so I totally understand when you refer to feeling a sense of childhood comfort when you see her.

  • Patty Carnevale

    I’m an Alice Green aspiring to be an Alice Bowman. Also, love the name Alice?

  • Emma

    I have an unconditional love for Meg Ryan! She did the voice for Anastasia, one of my favourite movies growing up <3

  • SHANA MARIA VERGHIS

    Proof of Life in spirit, but not the clothes. None of the clothes here actually.

  • Andrea Raymer

    My favorite Meg Ryan is Anastasia, which I clearly relate to the most because I am also a Russian princess with amnesia in the 1920s.

    But for real. She goes shopping at Chanel in that movie and then goes to a show at the Moulin Rouge. GOALS.

  • Lindsey

    I am proudly a When Sally Met Sarah. That casual housebound look with a little menswear thrown in. Always kind of rumpled.

  • kay

    i watch when harry met sally, sleepless in seattle and you’ve got mail obsessively and and looovve them so much, but….did you ever notice how they get less “feminist” with time? like in harry met sally, she feels free to not only discuss orgasms but fake one in public, but by mail can you even imagine kathleen kelly thinking about her own orgasms? there’s like a downhill progression through all 3 movies to where you get to mail and kathleen kelly needs tom hanks to secretly tell her she should be a writer because she didn’t know herself well enough for that to occur to her. i feel really vicious writing this because mail is arguably my favorite of the 3, but after watching them as much as i have it’s hard not to notice. in my opinion it reflects the changing priority of women’s empowerment though the late 80s/90s. i guess ephron had her finger on the pulse.

    • kay

      ps also want to add that meg ryans office clothes in that time travel handsome prince movie were amazing

  • Aleah Green

    Definitely Kathleen Kelly, I watch You’ve Got Mail about every month.

  • Kathleen Kelly – I am a sucker for You’ve got mail..but, her wardrobe the The Women (2008) floats my boat
    http://www.talesonsilk.com

  • Sacharissa Cripslock

    Catherine Boyd–fitted cocktail sheaths with classic heels, jumpers with sneakers. Cannot go wrong. 🙂

    (I.Q. is such a cute, underrated movie.)

  • lily

    I’m Annie Reed!

  • Therese Lindberg

    Style wise I love Hanging up (w Diane Keaton and Lisa Kudrow!) Loads of Donna Karen and oversized coats á la scandinavian chic.

  • Megan

    What about Inner Space? when she had that cute short spiky hair?