An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
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
Bumpy comedy-drama with insufficient changes in tone
The best scene in this Diane Keaton-directed film has drunken dad Walter Matthau showing up at a kid's birthday party bellowing and vulgar, but it doesn't belong in a comedy. It's more like something out of "Shoot The Moon", which Keaton starred in, and would fit much better in a film with a darker tone. "Hanging Up" wobbles around in search of appropriate emotions, but Keaton just can't get a consistent rhythm going. Her performance as the eldest of three unhappy sisters is also wan (she's winging it), however Meg Ryan as the middle sister has some fabulous moments: she hugs a coffee machine, she tries to convince her husband that driving a wrecked truck is going to work for her, she tells off her father but cries because she loves him. This is a performance well worth watching, but the picture definitely needed a director with a tighter grip on the reins. **1/2 from ****
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