You know, for about ten years there Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart. Though she had competition with Julia Roberts – from about When Harry Met Sally through til You’ve Got Mail – Ryan was the girl next door. But after a public affair with Russell Crowe that led to her divorce andjust the sad truth of getting older as a woman in Hollywood, Ryan’s star faded. Now she’s moving to directing, as is set to helm Into the Beautiful, according to Variety.

The film is being described as a contemporary Big Chill, though the last film that tried for that was Kenneth Branagh‘s painfully middlebrow Peter’s Friends. Ryan has never directed before, but has worked as a producer – though it’s hard to know if some of those credits were contractual obligation or if she had a hands-on role.

Ryan was a star but she was also an actress, and would take things outside of the box, including films like The Doors or Flesh and Bone or In the Cut. Many of these films tested her limits as an actress, and some showed her limitations, or perhaps a lack of commitment. My favorite role will always be in the criminally underrated Joe Vs. The Volcano, the sole misfire of her multiple collaborations with Tom Hanks.

Do you think Meg Ryan will make a good director?