When their crusty old dad gets a serious illness, three sisters with high-pressure lifestyles must deal with their veiled feelings towards one another while caring for the petulant parent.
Georgia (Diane Keaton), the eldest, is vying for a spot on the Power List as editor-in-chief of her self-titled woman’s magazine. Eve (Meg Ryan) is the daddy’s girl turned responsible middle sister. And Maddy (Lisa Kudrow), is a semi-successful soap actress. Somewhere between “hello,” “goodbye” and “you’re breaking up – I’ll call you back,” they cope with the joy, tears and conflicting emotions that plague their dysfunctional family.
When not squirming in my seat from the pretentious and often, supercilious attempts at humor (while cooking a turkey dinner, the sisters, dressed in Donna Karan, begin laughing hysterically after a baking flour fight breaks out), I questioned, “Is this really what women had in mind when they fought be in the work place?” The high-pressured, always on the phone, never finish a sentence characterizations of the three actresses seems forced and very annoying. These ladies seem dissatisfied, self-involved, or frazzled to the point of mental collapse. They don’t look fulfilled. They just look like candidates for heart attacks. With each finding the opportunity to emote by uttering a misuse of God’s name or that of His Son’s when they lose their temper, they come across as spiritually empty. And once again, Hollywood attempts to tell a woman’s story by eclipsing men. Except for the unconstrained father and a husband who appears in two or three scenes, then disappears without reason, men are not only unnecessary to the film’s plot, but the script deems them unnecessary to life in general. The stars look great, but they are so domestically and romantically challenged, that they come off shallow and unlikable. The film’s one positive note is the portrayal of Middle Easterners. An Iranian doctor and his mother are pictured as caring, sensitive, concerned people. It is a portrait we seldom see in the movies.