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The Movies

Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts from Feb. 18 to Feb. 21

Issue: "Bush: Crunch time," March 4, 2000
Hanging Up $16.1 million | 1 week in release | $16.1 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Meg Ryan , Walter Matthau / Diane Keaton / Columbia Pictures

PLOT
Three socialite sisters reunite on the phone when they discover their self-destructive father is about to die.

MESSAGE
Selfishness can ruin a happy family and break relatives apart.

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CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language and sexual situations.

The Whole Nine Yards $16.1 million | 1 week in release | $16.1 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry / Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) / Warner Bros.

PLOT
A suburban dentist discovers his neighbor is a hit man hiding from the Mob.

MESSAGE
Messing with the Mafia will make you sorry.

CAUTION
Rated R for bad language, violence, and nudity.

Snow Day $14.8 million | 2 weeks in release | $31.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Chris Elliott, Chevy Chase / Chris Koch / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
Rules were meant to be broken, especially if you get out of school.

CAUTION
Rated PG for bad language and action scenes.

Pitch Black $14 million | 1 week in release | $14 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell / David Twohy / USA Films

PLOT
The survivors of a crashed spaceship fight nasty aliens on a desolate planet.

MESSAGE
If you don't work together, nasty space monsters will kill you.

CAUTION
Rated R for violence, gore, bad language.

The Tigger Movie $10.5 million | 2 weeks in release | $22.3 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jim Cummings, Nikita Hopkins (voices) / Jun Falkenstein / Walt Disney Pictures

PLOT
Nobody will bounce with Tigger, so he goes off of in search of his family tree.

MESSAGE
Who needs blood relatives when your real family is in the Hundred Acre Wood?

CAUTION
None, rated G.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Can a dying father's illness bring together his three grown-up daughters? That's the subject of Hanging Up (Columbia; rated PG-13 for bad language and sexual situations), a semi-autobiographical story from writers Delia and Nora Ephron. Walter Matthau is an alcoholic showbiz dad whose illness gets his girls, played by Diane Keaton, Meg Ryan, and Lisa Kudrow, constantly in touch with one another by phone. The dad's disintegration with booze and illness takes him from beloved father to family pariah and back again-a dark twist on Mr. Matthau's standard Cranky Codger persona. What develops is an amazingly upbeat, yet often sad look at a broken socialite family. Critics blasted this film as a family drama shot through Martha Stewart-colored lenses, since the actresses and sets are always pretty and polished. Yet at some points, the movie seems to question the usual Hollywood glorification of stylish people. The eldest daughter turns her dad's pain into a PR stunt and refuses to have anything in her life that won't support her fetish for self-promotion. And the mom (Cloris Leachman) has long ago run off, turning against motherhood and pushing her husband on the road to self-destruction. But the Ephons refused to push the envelope any farther.

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