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"HANGING UP"
(2000) (Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Heavy None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Heavy Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: Three sisters try to cope with the others' reactions to their single father's failing health and confused state of mind.
PLOT:
Eve (MEG RYAN), Georgia (DIANE KEATON) and Maddy (LISA KUDROW) are three adult women who, despite being sisters, are distinctly different and don't always get along that well. Georgia, the oldest, is busy running her self-titled magazine that's celebrating its fifth anniversary. Maddy, the youngest, is an actress on a soap opera.

Meanwhile, Eve, the middle child, finds herself being the one who has to care for their 79-year-old father, Lou (WALTER MATTHAU), despite having a career of her own as an event planner, not to mention a husband, Joe (ADAM ARKIN), and son, Jesse (JESSE JAMES). A cantankerous veteran of the entertainment business, Lou has just been hospitalized for a week of tests and observation due to his progressively failing health and increasing forgetfulness.

While Georgia and Maddy care about their father, they'd rather Eve deal with the day-to-day stress of caring for him. Of course, that doesn't sit well with her, particularly since she worries that the next phone call will probably be bad news about him, and that he continually asks to see their estranged mother, Pat (CLORIS LEACHMAN), who wants nothing to do with her former family.

As the sisters stay in touch via phone and Eve gets some moral support from a local doctor, Omar Kunundar (DUKE MOOSEKIAN) and his wise mother, Ogmed Kunundar (ANN BORTOLOTTI), they recall times gone by while hoping and waiting to see if their father will be okay.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and some sex-related material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MEG RYAN plays the middle sister who must contend with her job, family and the fact that her sisters believe she should care for their ailing father. As such, she worries a lot, finds their behavior exasperating, and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • DIANE KEATON plays her older and mostly self-absorbed sister who's more interested in the success of her magazine than anything to do with her father.
  • LISA KUDROW plays the youngest sister, a soap opera actress who also believes her life and career are too busy to deal with their father.
  • WALTER MATTHAU plays the sisters' father, a cantankerous man whose failing health and progressive senility often make him belligerent and confused toward others. We also learn that he was an alcoholic in earlier years.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this drama/comedy hybrid that's rated PG-13. Profanity is rated as heavy due to several uses of the "f" word, while other profanities and colorful phrases are also present. A few sexually related, but non-explicit comments also occur, included repeated references to a famous actor's genitals.

    A great deal of tense family scenes are present, involving three daughters' differing reactions to their father's ailing health as well as a visit with their estranged mother who wants nothing to do with her former family. As such, some bad attitudes are present from various characters. A tiny bit of drinking occurs, while in a flashback a character shows up drunk and belligerent.

    Beyond that, the film's remaining categories are mostly void of any other major objectionable content. Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Confused about where he is, Lou asks if they left the keys for the mini-bar during his stay in the hospital.
  • We hear some recorded comments from President Nixon about Elvis Presley's drug use and that it was okay because they involved prescription and not illegal drugs.
  • In a flashback, Eve finds Lou acting somewhat loopy and asks if he's been taking his pills again. He reports that he had some Scotch.
  • Lou shows up at Jesse's birthday party drunk and demands a drink.
  • The sisters have some wine while making dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Georgia and Maddy have some of both for not visiting their father in the hospital (until guilt or a turn for the worse gets them there).
  • Lou is often belligerent toward others, but that's at least partially due to him losing control of his mental faculties.
  • Instead of making other arrangements, Maddy brings her large dog over to Eve's so that she can take care of him and give him his many daily pills.
  • We learn that Georgia took Eve's recipe idea and had it printed as her own, and later she does the same in a speech where she pretends to have been caring for her father when it's been Eve all along.
  • In a flashback, Lou shows up drunk at Jesse's birthday party, disrupts the proceedings and frightens many of the little kids with his drunken and belligerent demeanor. Lou then tells Eve that her mother stated about her birth that they should have thrown her back. In turn, Eve calls him a bastard and orders him to leave.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Seen in posters for several films (a John Wayne one featuring nothing but an oversized pistol aimed at the viewer and Bruce Willis holding one for "Die Hard").
  • Oversized prop bullet: Seen in Lou's room (and given to him by John Wayne).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "The hell with her," "Bitch" (said several times by Eve while venting about her sister), "Screw" (sexual), "Creep," "Bastard," "Piss off," "Nut case" and "Shut up."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Several "f" words, 1 "s" word, 1 slang term for sex ("screw"), several slang terms for male genitals ("p*cker"), a few hells, 2 craps, 1 ass, 1 damn, 14 uses of "God," 10 of "G-damn," 9 of "Oh my God," 5 of "My God," 4 of "Oh God," and 1 use of "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Eve wears a tank top that's just transparent enough that one can partially see her nipples through it.
  • Lou comments that John Wayne had "a small p*cker" and made up for it with big guns (but that didn't prevent him from being a real "he-man"). Other comments (using that same term) are then made about Wayne's privates.
  • A woman pushing Lou's wheelchair asks if he'd "like to get in bed now" (his hospital bed). He responds, "Not with you," although he then does "goose" this woman's rear end.
  • Thinking that Eve is another woman, Lou tells her that he thinks she's beautiful and sexy and "You know, we never got it on. But I want you, Cleo. I would love to make love."
  • In a flashback, the girls arrive at Lou's house only to find him in bed with a woman (although there's no nudity or activity). Lou, however, later says about that woman, "She's a great lay."
  • When Eve gets a call that her father is missing from the hospital, she tells the caller to check the beds of all the female patients.
  • In a drunken state (in flashback), Lou tells Joe (about a woman at a party), "I know you'd like to screw little miss mousy."
  • SMOKING
  • We see an old photo of Lou with a cigarette in his mouth.
  • Georgia poses for a magazine cover holding an unlit cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Eve must care for her ailing father and worries that with every call she's going to hear that he's died. Her sisters' lack of involvement in helping out also creates strain between them (with some scenes of yelling at one another and other fighting), but they all eventually come together upon their father's turn for the worse.
  • Eve has a flashback memory of her parent's fighting when she was a little girl.
  • In addition, we learn that Lou is long divorced from the sisters' mother, Pat, and when Eve visits her, Pat states that she doesn't really want anything to do with them and that motherhood didn't really "take" with her (Eve is upset about that and her parent's not being together).
  • In a drunken state, Lou tells Eve that her mother stated about her birth that they should throw her back. In turn, Eve calls him a bastard and orders him to leave (and Joe commands that Lou shall never set foot in their house again).
  • The sisters must deal with their father's progressively failing health.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Caring for one's parents when they become older and can no longer do that for themselves (such as when their health and mental faculties begin to fail).
  • The sisters' differing reactions to that.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Eve mindlessly backs out of a parking space and has her truck hit by a car driven by Omar.
  • In a flashback and while drunk, Lou purposefully knocks over a lamp with his bag.
  • Eve violently yanks all of the phones from the walls (and other places) in her house.



  • Reviewed February 11, 2000 / Posted February 18, 2000

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