Cell Phone Mania
Hanging Up
Review by Ross Anthony

An over-burdened Meg Ryan runs around town tending to everyone else's needs, but her own. She remains mostly in good humor while doused with an inharmonious silly physical comedy. Example: The phone rings and Meg answers the TV remote.

Meg's Father (Matthau) is hilariously incoherent to deeply touching to terminally ill. "How is it that a man can't recognize his own pants, but he remembers his daughter's phone number." Matthau is wonderful, without him "Hanging up" would have been completely "Disconnected." Kudrow, Keaton and Ryan all give strong performances.

Aside from some early exposition, the dialogue is very good, very re-written, and sharply detailed; however, the story line feels like a first draft. What happens to Meg's kids as she tends to everyone else? After the first 15 minutes, they're gone. We're teased into anticipating a plane crash that never happens. And an interesting character (Dr. Amond) is left undeveloped and un-used.

The intent was to portray a slice of the life of a good person with a bleeding heart personality who is totally exhausting herself, but the byproduct of that is ... we get exhausted along with her.

You might lose some sympathy when Meg tears a page from a public phone book while driving to her estranged mother's house. Besides being a bit out of character, that is so rude! What about the next person whose mother's maiden name starts with the same letter?

In the end we have a film that touches on Meg's relationships with her sisters and with her father and with herself in a on-again-off-again humorous way, but without a great story to hold onto.

  • Hanging Up. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau
  • Directed by Diane Keaton
  • Screenplay by Delia Ephron and Nora Ephron
  • Produced by Laurence Mark and Nora Ephron at Columbia Pictures.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:08:37 PDT