Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter
|Featuring||Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau, Adam Arkin|
|Producer||Laurence Mark, Nora Ephron|
“Hanging Up” is the story of an ailing father (Walter Matthau) and his three daughters (Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, and Lisa Kudrow), each forced to deal with the problems and frustrations of a difficult family situation. Eve (Ryan), the middle of the three, tells the story from her perspective. She is the one who sees to it that her father Lou (who is experiencing memory loss and other health problems) gets the medical care he needs. Sisters Georgia (Keaton) and Maddy (Kurdrow) are too self-absorbed to worry about anything but themselves, and have their dumped responsibility for their father’s welfare onto Eve.
The story uses many flashbacks to describe the constant communication problems between the siblings and their relationship to their father. There are several points in “Hanging Up” that were simply not fleshed out properly in the script. Although Eve is Lou’s main caretaker, her father gives the impression that Georgia, who never spends time with him, is his favorite. Eve and Maddy are resentful of their selfish, older sister, but the story never goes more into detail about why they feel this way. None of the siblings are close to their mother (Cloris Leachman), who explains in one brief scene that she never liked motherhood. It is never fully explained why Lou and his wife got divorced.
Matthau plays one of his usual grouches, a role in which he always excels. Diane Keaton has some good moments as the oldest sister who makes no apologies for wanting everything to revolve around her.
There are no explicit sex scenes, though the sisters do walk in on their father as he is in bed with a woman. No nudity is shown, however. Lou makes a few sexual comments, and foul language is used during the more heated arguments among the characters. In the end, not much else is known about these characters, other than what is seen on the surface. The result is a bland movie.