Being of the female persuasion, I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy my fair share of chick flicks. On paper, “Hanging Up” has all of the necessary chick flick elements. It stars Meg Ryan, the blond prom queen of romantic comedies. The legendary Diane Keaton co-stars AND directs. And finally, the script is written by the Dynamic Duo known as Delia and Nora Ephron. “Hanging Up” tells the tale of three sisters played by the aforementioned Keaton, Ryan and lovable Friends star Lisa Kudrow. Rounding out the cast is the always grumpy, Walter Matthau, their sweet yet alcoholic father.
If this film, based on the book by Delia Ephron, is truly a tale that celebrates the joy of sisterhood, I want to publicly thank my parents for making me an only child. During the first 20 minutes of the film, we are plagued by the nonstop ringing of every cell phone, cordless phone and fax phone in and out of sight. OK, they call each other constantly, but they never really talk and inevitably “hang up”on each other before any real conversation gets started.
The story scratches the surface of some serious family issues. But that’s just it – it’s only a flesh wound. Here, the Sisters Ephron have the perfect opportunity to explore the family dynamic of three squabbling siblings faced with the dilemma of dealing with a crazy, sometimes emotionally abusive dying parent. Instead of delving deeper, Delia and Nora sell out the dramatic tension with two-dimensional characters and paint-by-number plot points. The resolution of all this pain and baggage? June Allison. Don’t get it? Don’t worry. I wished I missed it too.
I really wanted to love this movie. It’s not everyday the plight of modern women is embodied on screen. And you know what? It still isn’t. In the end, I couldn’t relate, and the film fell short of all my expectations. Cry me a river, ladies. Yeah, you’ve got problems. We all do, but at least your problems are padded with personal assistants, luxury cars, a Donna Karen wardrobe, and the perfect hair cut. Not only did I not like this movie, but I walked away from this film a bit insulted by this force-fed, rich-bitch version of a chick flick. Ladies, next time you’re at one of your Hollywood power lunches, ask the waitress what it’s like to be a real woman.