No matter what the actual quality of Meg Ryan’s directorial debut Ithaca may be, let’s start with this: It’s certainly not lacking in ambition. She’s not helming what we tend to think of as a “Meg Ryan movie,” some frothy rom-com or middlebrow drama; Ithaca is a period literary adaptation, based on William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy, telling the story of a young man’s coming of age as a small-town messenger during WWII. And here’s your first trailer:
Ryan is also part of the ensemble cast, which includes Sam Shepard, Hamish Linkater, Molly Gordon, and Jack Quaid – no, not a coincidence, Ryan’s son with Dennis Quaid. But there’s also some strange lede-burying in the trailer; the big news here is Ryan’s on-screen reunion with three-time co-star Hanks, who is clearly seen (and is, it seems, playing Ryan’s husband), but who is not billed in any way. Maybe he’s just low-keying it because it’s a small role? Either way, it’ll be interesting to see distributor Momentum Pictures attempt to sell this challenging movie without pushing its most marketable element.
Ithaca opens in theaters and on demand September 9th.