Nicole Holofcener’s bittersweet tale examines the evolving lives of four female friends living in Los Angeles: married and financially secure Jane (Frances McDormand), Franny (Joan Cusack) and Christine (Catherine Keener), and their single friend Olivia (Jennifer Aniston).
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Since her first film more than two decades ago Nicole Holofcener's made only four more. But despite the years she's maintained a voice so solid and consistently individual. Well conscious of both the tedium and magic of subject, she only lets her characters talk and talk and talk. I can't think of anyone with an awareness of female personality as specific and sensitive, and wryly honest, as hers.
Lending particular credence to an assessment of the director as 'the female Woody Allen', "Friends with Money" is an assured ensemble piece that expertly juggles serious drama and wry comedy. Portraying the relationships of the four female leads and their partners, the cast is consummately professional and if the film lacks that last ounce of gravitas it is a watchable amalgam of indie style and commercial panache.
The observations of self-justificatory self-deceptions and behind-backs bitching are acute and entertaining after a fashion, but I found Aniston's character unwatchable - her lack of assertion, or boundaries, the way in which she colludes in her own exploitation - argh! Couldn't finish it, just like I couldn't ever finish Tess Of The D'Urbervilles. Insipid victim-heroines make my blood boil.
A little sitcommy and insubstantial, but keenly and believably written. The acting is generally excellent, especially McDormand and McBurney. A very pleasant watch, though it doesn't exactly stick to your ribs - but then, how much of modern life really does? The film seems to be bluntly aware and even proud of its mundanity. I like that.