Parents' Guide to

Hanging Up

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

A real shame that this isn't a good movie.

Movie PG-13 2000 94 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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This movie is unfortunately formulaic, inauthentic and manipulative, despite the best efforts of an irresistible cast. There are movies where the writer and director focus on the emotions of the characters. Then there are movies like HANGING UP, where they make the mistake of trying to focus on the emotions of the audience, and you can almost hear them saying, "A party at the Nixon library! And an old guy who tells dirty jokes and who wants to have sex! That will make them laugh! A parent dying! That will make them cry!" But it doesn't. It doesn't even earn our sympathy, much less our interest. We never really care about these selfish, charmless, and superficial people.

Sometimes the loss of someone we love is not as painful as the loss of our hope for what that relationship could have been. The three sisters have to understand that their parents are never going to be the loving, wise, supportive people they want them to be, but that they find that elsewhere, even in each other. In the movie's best scene, Eve meets with Ogmed Kunundar (Ann Bortolotti), the mother of the doctor whose car she has crashed into. Ogmed is just the loving, wise, and supportive mother of everyone's dreams, and she salutes Eve for her bravery and her grief. She shows Eve the gifts that she did get from her father and gives her permission to "disconnect." That scene just shows us that it is a real shame that that this isn't a good movie. It tries to deal with issues that deserve better.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 18, 2000
  • On DVD or streaming: June 4, 2002
  • Cast: Diane Keaton , Lisa Kudrow , Meg Ryan
  • Director: Diane Keaton
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Female actors
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 94 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language and some sex-related material
  • Last updated: July 3, 2022

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