The Marks family is a tightly-knit quartet of women. Jane is the affluent matriarch whose 3 daughters seem to have nothing in common except for a peculiar sort of idealism. Setting the tone of vanity and insecurity, Jane is undergoing cosmetic surgery to alter her figure, but serious complications put her health in real danger. Former homecoming queen Michelle, the eldest daughter, has one daughter of her own and an alienated, unsupportive husband. Elizabeth, the middle sister, has an acting career that is beginning to take off, but is timid and insecure, and habitually relieves her trepidation by taking in stray dogs. Only the youngest sister, Annie, an adopted African American 8-year-old, stands a chance of avoiding the family legacy of anxious self-absorption. If only her intelligence and curiosity will see her through what promises to be a confusing adolescence. Each of the women seeks redemption in her own haphazard way. —IMDb
With her penchant for autobiography and assured grasp of the humor underlying quotidian existence, writer-director Nicole Holofcener has avoided the pitfalls of trite sentimentality in crafting her genuinely funny and moving films about the complex bonds between women.
The daughter of a stage-actor father and set-decorator mother, Holofcener grew up in New York City and Santa Monica, CA. Through her stepfather, Charles Joffe, Holofcener landed her first job in the movie industry as a production assistant on Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982). Her aspirations solidified by her stint as an apprentice editor on Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Holofcener got her graduate degree in film at Columbia University in the late ‘80s, where her sly student short Angry already presaged her ability to turn her personal experiences into smart comedy.
It took Holofcener six years, however, to make her first feature. Based on her conflicted emotions over her best friend’s impending… read more
Although this film has been criticized for lacking a solid plot, I have to disagree. This film was never, ever boring to me. I didn't watch this movie for a long time because I always figured it to be her weakest film due to reviews I had read. How wrong was I! I think this is one of her strongest! Emily Mortimer gives a great performance in this as well. I never really cared for her until this film.