Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow and Walter Matthau
Blunt Warning: The film's not a comedy but a heart wrenching drama sprinkled with some genuinely funny parts. Bring hankies; it's a wet one. Hanging Up did seem more of a Lifetime Channel made for TV movie at times. Mainly due to the script more than the cast.
I have to say I love the Ephron sisters. They wrote all these Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks-ne'er-could-happen-love stories-with-a-oh-so-cutesy-quirky- twist that we've seen in the past. Look life's hard and it's nice to see 'fluff' sometimes. How many of you didn't weep at the end of 'Sleepless in Seattle' ? Or wanted so hard to hate 'You've Got Mail ' for it's blatant 'cashing in' on the Internet craze, but instead fell in love with Ryan and Hanks all over again? Me too. So, I probably am forgiving with this.
I enjoyed the film but felt oddly blue afterwards. Not filled with that energy of happiness usually associated with perky Meg's fluffanutter films. Ya, know that warm feeling that makes you believe you too could look so good in khaki's and a man's tee...
And I have to whine...To whom does the blame of this wildly off-track casting faux pas belong? Dianne Keaton (figure about 53ish), stars as the 'older' sister, Georgia Mozell. Spare me please. Retarded casting or what? Sure they show us pics of these three girls (sisters) with like a five to seven year difference (max) between them. Tah.
Eve Mozell, played by stunningly adorable Meg Ryan--she's like what 34? 36? And younger still sibling Maddy Mozell, played by Lisa "Dipsy-doodle" Kudrow who's hitting 30 maybe--maybe). Hmm. Why would they do that? What ever. I guess I'd cast keaton in anything I ever did too. She's a woman's woman in a usual boys' club Hollywood. It was impossible to get this miscasting out of the head and actually buy into them all being sisters. Not good.
The story revolves around these three "sisters" dealing with the soon to be end of their father they each adore but to very different degrees.The father, played by Walter Matthau is losing his mind and obliviously quickly deteriorating. Their mommie dearest is the anti-mother from hell when it comes to compassion for any of them.Mom, played by a catatonic Cloris Leachman "who never really needed children."
So, Eve (Meg) is the anchor of the family, though she gives eldest sister Georgia (Keaton) continual credit as the only mother she ever really had (-funny 'cause I'm thinking Keats could have been mum).
Georgia is not exactly a great replacement. She's your typical self centered ego maniac with her own successful magazine named, well, Georgia, what else.
The baby sister, Maddy is another "Okay,me back to me" person, whose a semi-braindead bimbette. A real stretch for thespian Kudrow. I smell typecasting HELL.
While Ryan's Eve is the best (naturally) the Ephron sisters have a great insight into the human psyche in general.The other two just seemed a tad less "breathing" beings.
Keaton's direction was often unique and interesting. A last note; the audience was about 14 female an there to see Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow. They seemed moved...even taken with the film so, once again the Ephron's have made a hit with someone...if not me. And Meg was as shinny as ever--I just love that chick.
Snack Recommendation: Apricot Stuffing and lots of great Merlot.