Meg Ryan, the beloved star known for her roles in timeless romantic comedies like “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” recently made her comeback to Hollywood after an eight-year break. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the writer, director, and actress opens up about her decision to step away from the spotlight and her excitement for her latest project, “What Happens Later.”

Ryan’s daughter, Daisy, describes the feeling she gets after watching a heartwarming movie as “the tingle.” This adorable term perfectly captures the emotions that movies evoke. Ryan shares that she herself is familiar with that sensation and cherishes the feeling that these movies bring. It’s what drew her to the romantic comedy genre, where she became the queen of feel-good films.

However, as her fame grew, Ryan felt the need to explore other aspects of her life. She wanted to focus on developing her experiences as a human being and nurturing her role as a mother to her two children, Jack and Daisy. Taking a break allowed her to step back and appreciate acting as a job rather than a lifestyle. It was a necessary shift in perspective for her.

Now, after eight years since her last film, Ryan returns to the big screen with “What Happens Later,” a rom-com that she not only stars in but also directs and cowrites. The movie follows the story of ex-lovers who find themselves snowed in together overnight at a regional airport. The experience forces them to confront their past and question whether they have a future together. It’s a heartwarming and relatable tale that explores the complexities of relationships.

Ryan describes the production of “What Happens Later” as magical. She shares her excitement for the story and the roller-coaster ride that the characters go through. Will they or won’t they end up together? These are people who once broke each other’s hearts, but now they have gained gratitude from those experiences. It’s a beautiful exploration of love, growth, and forgiveness.

Reflecting on her career, Ryan contemplates the idea that everything happens for a reason. She cites the late Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed many of her classic romantic comedies, as a source of inspiration. Ephron often incorporated the themes of destiny and fate into her movies, and Ryan finds comfort in that notion. Looking back, she believes that there is a certain magic to the projects she worked on with Ephron.

“What Happens Later” is set to hit theaters on November 3. Don’t miss the chance to see Meg Ryan’s triumphant return to the big screen in this heartwarming romantic comedy. Whether you’re a fan of her previous films or simply enjoy feel-good movies, this is a must-watch for anyone who believes in the power of love and second chances.

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