Hanging Up

Directed By: Diane Keaton

Starring: Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau, Adam Arkin, Ann Bortolotti, and Cloris Leachman

Sometimes a movie is so fluffy that I wish it was never made.  I wish that Hollywood had never given the filmmakers a green light to make it, and I wish that I never decided to torture myself by watching it.  This is exactly how I feel about the comedy-drama Hanging Up.  Based on Delia Ephron's book of the same name, Hanging Up is a movie that just never clicks.  Written by Delia and her sister Nora Ephron and directed by Diane Keaton, it's a film that's too sugary and happy given its premise.

The Mozell sisters have never been close to their parents, but they've always stuck with each other.  Their mom Pat (Cloris Leachman) abandoned them a long time ago, and their father Lou (Walter Matthau) is a drunken fool.  Of the sisters, there's Eve (Meg Ryan), Georgia (Keaton), and Maddy (Lisa Kudrow).

Eve is an event planner and working on an upcoming party at the Nixon Presidential Library.  Georgia is the editor-in-chief of the self-titled magazine Georgia, which is getting ready to celebrate its fifth anniversary.  Maddy is an actress on a daytime soap opera, and there is a major arc being developed for her character.  It's needless to say that all of these women lead very busy lives.  When their elderly father falls ill, Eve steps up to the plate to take care of her father in his final days.  Meanwhile, her sisters sit on the sidelines and continue with their lives.

Hanging Up is one fluffy piece of crap.  You can hear it in the music.  You can see it in the overly sentimental performances from the trio of actresses.  You can feel it in this flick's terrible and cheesy screenplay.  For a movie trying to deal with the looming death of a parent in a serious way, this movie is too damn saccharine.  It is one of the most annoying films I've seen in a while.  I almost turned it off.  It is just a tough film to endure, and it just keeps going when you're ready for it to end.

I've got a bone to pick with each of the Mozell sisters and the actresses portraying them.  Meg Ryan's character Eve irks me.  She is a very whiny character, and that's not an endearing trait for the protagonist of the film.  Diane Keaton's Georgia is a very shallow character.  I realize this is intentional, but the actress-director makes things worse by making her character a caricature of a successful magazine executive.  Her character is not only shallow, but there is no substance to her performance either.  Lisa Kudrow's Maddy is just a bland character altogether.  Because of this, the Friends star adds no real value to the movie.

Hanging Up is just a terrible film.  Diane Keaton's directorial effort falls flat in every way.  There is absolutely nothing enjoyable about this film.  I feel like I tortured myself by watching it.  As Walter Matthau's character says, you might as well "throw that one back".  Hanging Up gets a wasted rating.  Have some kamikaze shots if you bother to watch this one.  Break out the tequila and the triple sec for this one.