Caregiving and Siblings
Poor Meg Ryan. She's ministering to her ailing father's every need while running a family and a business. Her older sister, a celebrity, is far too busy to help out, although she manages to lecture Meg by cell phone from her empire at a vapid women's magazine. The youngest sister also watches from the sidelines: She's obsessed with perfecting the soap opera character she plays on TV. Naturally their father, an irascible old guy, has only praise for the absent daughters and plenty of criticism for the one taking care of him. Eventually Meg falls apart; the negligent sisters mend their ways, and hugs are distributed all around as Dad breathes his last.
It's only a movie -- the film "Hanging Up" -- and if it sounds like a silly romp through one of the most emotionally wrenching experiences on Earth, it is. But for all its banality, the film flags a troubling issue: It is often one sibling, and one alone, who takes on the lion's share of caring for an older parent.