Friends With Money -- Now available on DVD
“Friends with Money” is a terrific, dialogue-driven, character-study. It was written and directed by a woman (a very accomplished woman with a long resume of good films about women for women). It is about women. And it was made for women. It is an independent film, and received very little publicity when it was in theaters earlier this year, though it is very good and very well done. This is probably not a movie that DH will enjoy, however, so keep that in mind. But I recommend it to you nonetheless ....
Rated R - not for kids! (They would be bored anyway)
And if you like this one, let me know ... I can recommend another movie like it, that you will enjoy even more ...
Here are the details:
“Friends with Money” is about a group of four women from Los Angeles, who are friends. Three of them are married and successful, and one of them is single, working as a maid, and overly fond of the reefer. The friend who is single is named Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), and she used to teach high school and date a married man, until she had a breakdown of some sort and quit her job. Her friends aren’t sure what to think about her any more.
The other women suffer from varying degrees of hyperkinetic lunacy. Christine (Catherine Keener) and her husband David (Jason Isaacs) work together as a team of screenwriters, and are in the process of adding a second story to their house (without considering how it will be in the way of their neighbors’ ocean view). Jane (Frances McDormand) is a successful fashion designer (the type that sells evening gowns for thousands of dollars a pop), who is in her 40’s and is having a mid-life crisis. She is also excessively outspoken and overly confrontational with strangers. Christine thinks that Jane’s husband, Aaron (Simon McBurney), is gay. And the third couple is Franny (Joan Cusack) and Matt (Greg Germann), who live off Franny’s family fortune, have full-time help with the kids, and spend their days donating to charities. They are deliriously happy, so obviously something must be wrong with them as well.
The couples (and Olivia) get together for dinner, and they talk and laugh and enjoy a pleasant evening catching up. But it’s in the cars afterward, as the couples go their separate ways, that the real dirt starts flying. “Did you see what she was wearing?” “Don’t you think he’s gay?” “Did you know they haven’t had sex for over a year?” With friends like these, you don’t need enemies, although I think this group of friends really does care deeply for one another, in their own petty little ways.
“Friends with Money” was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, and provides a slice-of-life look at four middle-aged women living in LA. I think all four women represent Holofcener’s view of the modern upscale American woman, living at various points of the self-esteem spectrum.
The bad news for audiences of this movie is that very little happens in the movie. In fact, the only things that happen in the movie are things that don’t happen: Olivia doesn’t like the way her boyfriend (who Franny set her up with) treats her; Christine and David realize they don’t like each other very much; Jane doesn’t wash her hair, apparently as a byproduct of her midlife crisis. About the only thing that does happen is that they all get dressed up to go to a charity function thrown by Franny. How about that for a thrill-ride!
The good news for audiences of this movie is that, while very little happens, the dialog between the characters is realistic and spot-on, nuanced and insightful. All four actresses deliver intelligent, sensitive and balanced performances, which is critical to this movie’s success.
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