You've got to admire a movie that embraces womanhood as so few mainstream movies do, and Hanging Up
deserves credit for combining issues of sisterhood and elderly parent care while relying on neuroses to carry its unconventional plot. But you've also got to lament this botched "dramedy" from screenwriting sisters Nora and Delia Ephron (adapting the latter's novel) and director Diane Keaton, who lack a coherent plan for illuminating their trio of female siblings. Despite a sharp focus on Meg Ryan as the middle sister Eve--a capable Los Angeles event planner--the movie never quite seems to know where it's going, and you feel like the best scenes are merely happy accidents. In exploring the foibles of family, Keaton fared better with her earlier film Unstrung Heroes
In addition to directing, Keaton plays the eldest sister Georgia, a celebrity magazine editor, and Lisa Kudrow is kid sister Maddy, a soap-opera actress who's nearly as self-absorbed as Georgia. They leave it to Eve to care for their declining father (Walter Matthau), a retired screenwriter who slips in and out of lucidity and is, at best, a cantankerous curmudgeon whose estranged wife (Cloris Leachman) has long since severed all family ties. This is potent material--at least it could have been--and Ryan admirably struggles to hold the film together. But it's ultimately a losing battle as the movie, so full of cell phones and disconnected people (hence the title), becomes disconnected itself, offering hollow humour and a few memorable moments with characters whose problems are too minimal to worry about. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Eve (Meg Ryan) is annoyed that her sisters Maddy (Lisa Kudrow) and Georgia (Diane Keaton) offer no help in caring for their sick father Lou (Walter Matthau). She might not get on well with the cranky old man, but at least she tries; her sisters meanwhile, they just seem caught up in their own lives, and consequently the three seem to be drifting apart. However, when Lou slips into a coma, the three gather at his bedside and, in their mourning, find an opportunity to overcome their differences. Written by sisters Delia and Nora Ephron ('You've Got Mail', 'Sleepless in Seattle') and directed by Diane Keaton.