Such a wonderfully likeable film. Holofcener is a master of the comically mundane and Friends with Money, for all the privilege of its protagonists, is shot through with a lot of recognisable situations. The film resolves itself a little too neatly but it is largely satisfying. Also a reminder of how sorely underused the great Joan Cusack is.
Disappointment. My expectation was high, I have to admit. Why? There are top four female actresses on stage together and the result is: poor. Unfortunately this movie promises to say more, but never goes further than giving small observations of modern urban life. The script is not good, there is no plot but a lot of banalities instead. 2,5 stars.
The reason I generally don't watch movies with movie stars I hate is that they tend to ruin things. Anniston is like Paltrow, in that they can only be that one thing, and it's the same person. Superficial. She was surrounded by great actors, but she just drags the thing down into the 'I just don't care' zone.
Sharp rendering of privileged ennui balanced w/ downwardly mobile banality. A+ cast. Various side plots w/ the non-Aniston characters weren't all equally compelling, is how I'll put it. Love Jen in this. A+ portrayal of stoned uncertainty mixed w/ palpable desire for something (anything!) meaningful in this damn life. Ends w/ the funniest deux ex machina & it's the glue that holds the critique of this film together.
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.
Great cast, just a shame that the whole thing feels made up. I had a brief look on Rotten Tomatoes and found this line from Nick Schager: "Fails to feature protagonists who boast more than a figurative purpose." Says it all really. The cast do their best and there are some deliveries given the script (Keener in particular is very good) but the film as a whole just doesn't ring true. Kind of unsettling.
Some interesting things going on, but overall not that great. The only arcs were Keener's divorce and Aniston finding a rich boyfriend (which, after all, is what all single gals want). I liked the ensemble cast of women, but they were all horribly wasted in something with no real substance, or depth.
Not Holofcener's best, I'd say that would be Please Give, but the way this just goes through a few people's lives without much in the way of life lessons and instead just going through situations was interesting. Must say though I never thought I'd see Simon McBurney cast as the lusted after by other men silver fox but points for inspired casting!
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.