The same year, Ryan returned to type, starring alongside Tim Robbins in Fred Schepisi's romantic comedy I. The film centers on a mechanic and a Princeton doctoral candidate who fall in love, with the aid of the graduate student's uncle, Albert Einstein (played by Walter Matthau).
Also in 1994, Ryan won Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award, and People Magazine dubbed her one of "the 50 most beautiful people in the world." In 1995, critic Richard Corliss called her "the current soul of romantic comedy." That same year, she appeared opposite Kevin Kline in Lawrence Kasdan's French Kiss, a romantic comedy that catered to her "America's Sweetheart" image, and Ryan was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award.
Ryan's first film of the 2000s was Hanging Up, a Diane Keaton-directed family comedy-drama about a trio of sisters who bond over the approaching death of their curmudgeonly father.
Also starring Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, and Walter Matthau, the film adaptation of Delia Ephron's 1995 novel received poor reviews from critics.
In 1986, she played Carole Bradshaw, the wife of Naval Flight Officer Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (played by Anthony Edwards) in Top Gun. (1989), which paired her with comedic leading man Billy Crystal and earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Ryan appeared in the film Innerspace (1987) with her future husband Dennis Quaid, and later in the remake of D. Her portrayal of Sally Albright includes an oft-recounted scene in which her character, lunching with Crystal in Katz's Delicatessen in Manhattan, theatrically demonstrates for him how easy it is for a woman to fake an orgasm.
A year later, she once again returned to her romantic comedy roots with Kate & Leopold (2001), alongside Hugh Jackman.
Her other films include The Doors (1991), When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Courage Under Fire (1996), Addicted to Love (1997), City of Angels (1998), Proof of Life (2000), and The Women (2008). She has two sisters, Dana and Annie, and a brother, musician Andrew Hyra, a member of the band Billy Pilgrim.
In 2015, she made her directorial debut with Ithaca, a film in which she also acted. Her parents divorced in 1976 when she was 15 years old.
Released to mixed reviews by critics, Ryan's first film release of 2008 was The Deal, a satirical comedy film based on Peter Lefcourt's 1991 novel of the same title about Hollywood.
Directed by Steven Schachter and co-starring William H.