Melinda Sue Gordon
EW Staff
February 11, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Hanging Up

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
93 minutes
Wide Release Date
02/18/00
performer
Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow, Meg Ryan, Walter Matthau
director
Diane Keaton
distributor
Columbia Pictures
author
Delia Ephron
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a F

Last fall, we predicted that Matthau could earn an Oscar nomination for his turn as an ailing dad in ”Hanging Up,” costarring Kudrow, Keaton, and Ryan as squabbling sisters. What we couldn’t have guessed is that Keaton’s comedy, scripted by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, wouldn’t be released in time to even qualify for 1999 awards.

In a last-minute reconsideration, Sony postponed this family saga until spring — usually a sign of trouble, but Sony says it was a question of comic timing. ”December was a really crowded market,” explains a Sony spokesman, ”and we think the movie has a better chance when [people] aren’t focused on Christmas.”

There was just as much back-and-forthing by the filmmakers during preproduction: Originally, Nora Ephron was going to direct the film, but then got sidetracked by ”You’ve Got Mail”; Keaton finally agreed not only to star as the eldest sister but to take over the directorial reins as well. ”I knew I was going to be terrified [no matter what],” says Keaton, who videotaped the entire movie using stand-in actors before filming. ”So why not just double-wham it?” BUZZ FACTOR: 7

Go to the official website.

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