Georgia Mozell, Eve Marks and Maddy Mozell are adult sisters. Georgia is the editor of her own wildly successful self-titled women's magazine. She strives for publicity at any cost. Party planner Eve is the mother hen of the group, not only of her own family, but also of her siblings and father as their mother, Pat, not only emotionally left their father when they divorced, but her daughters as well. And Maddy is a vacuous soap opera actress who has always struggled for her own identity. Despite being as busy with her own life as the others, Eve is the only one of the three who deals with the long term hospitalization of their cantankerous seventy-nine year old father, Lou Mozell, when he enters the early stages of dementia, and the associated outcomes of that hospitalization. Eve's caring for Lou is despite an especially hurtful incident with him seven years earlier. As the emotional aspect of looking after Lou becomes more and more stressful, Eve has to figure out how to maintain ...Written by
This is the 2nd movie Meg Ryan and Walter Matthau starred in together. The first was I.Q. in 1994. See more »
When Eve enters her father's hospital room with flowers and Chinese food the vase with flowers is not on the table. After she shows the food the vase with flowers is on the table. See more »
You know, that I actually met a girl by the name of Moo Goo Gai Pan? That was her last name. Her first name was Freida. Freida Moo Goo Gai Pan. She was half-Jewish, half-Chinese. A lot of people called her the Ori-Yenta.
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Sugary, lucid and heavily diluted chick-flick confection.
For the most part, the `chick flick' is always the easiest type of movie to make. They don't require expensive sets, computer-generated effects, not even much thought or anything big in the way of plot and script. There have been plenty of exceptions (The Hours, Terms of Endearment), but the latest in line, `Hanging Up', is just as average as any other chick flick. In simple terms, this is all sugar- no substance. Cute, fluffy and instantly forgettable. The only thing to elevate this type of film above the norm is to have exceptional acting. And the general standard here is quite good, but just not enough to compensate for an enormous lack of imagination.
The plot is supposed to be about three sisters who have different reactions when their 79-year-old father is sent to hospital. But the film focuses too much on the middle sister and not enough on the other two. The whole `three sisters' concept doesn't come into practise until about the last half-hour, and for the most part, this is more of a `mid-life crisis' ordeal than anything else. I always like to see that movies have heart. But this is more soft centred and sweet (or should I see saccharin) than a candy fluff parade!
As I said, the general standard of acting is good. Meg Ryan takes on the lead character role. On her own, she is enough to carry the film and her character is always believable, but the support certainly helps. Academy Award winner Diane Keaton (who also directed the movie) doesn't get a chance to develop her character until the last half-hour, so here presence just isn't felt. You have to accept the one-dimensionality of actors when they play the same role over and over again. Thus, it's quite ironic for Lisa Kudrow to be playing a TV star. Getting a bit more screen-time than Keaton does, her part is more nourished and wholesome, and this is probably one of her best roles yet. At the same time though, she doesn't stray far enough from her `bubbly airhead' prototype to be taken fully seriously.
In his last outing (I think), Walter Matthau is perfectly cast as the batty, thoroughly flawed, but always convincing patriarch type figure. On top of this, there is average-but-uninspired support from Adam Arkin (Alan Arkin's less talented son) and Oscar winner Cloris Leachman (The Last Picture Show), who appears in but one scene.
The real flaw is the script. The shape and flow of the movie is so predictable, you can predict its every move. Directing techniques are below par from first time director Diane Keaton. She is much better before the camera than behind the camera. The same applies to Jodie Foster, Edward Norton but that's beside the point. The chemistry between the three main characters always seems natural, but the genuine quality of the performances simply can't lift this film far above average.
I'm not saying that it is a bad movie, or anything of the `throw-popcorn-at-the-screen-it's-so-bad' variety. But it's a fast moving world, and there are better films out there than this. If you want a good old fashioned chick flick, then `Hanging Up' is the movie for you. Otherwise, try something else. My IMDb rating: 5.3/10.
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