*/**** Image B Sound A- Extras C+
starring Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Walter Matthau
screenplay by Delia Ephron & Nora Ephron, based on the book by Delia
directed by Diane Keaton
by Bill Chambers In Hanging Up, only Eve, the middle child between two sisters, accepts responsibility for their ailing dad, and we wish that he--and his eldest and youngest daughters, for that matter--would die already so that Eve could go off and lead a life actually worth making/watching a movie about. As Eve, Meg Ryan is in typical perky-panic mode. What's got her whipped into a tizzy this time? Well, a Nixon exhibit that she, a party planner, is hosting (a nod to co-writer Nora Ephron's first husband, Watergate whistle-blower Carl Bernstein?), the impending death of her dementia-addled father (Walter Matthau, Dick Clark's opposite in that he has always looked 80 years old), the fallout from a car accident, and the realization that her sisters (Diane Keaton and Lisa Kudrow) are complete and utter parasites are all converging at once. Eve juggles her responsibilities over the telephone, through convoluted multi-line conversations that give the film its title as well as its raison d'être.