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
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