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Friends with Money (2006)
Comedy,Drama,Romance
USA / English
A drama about three married women, their husbands, and their lone single friend.
Catherine Keener Christine
Jason Isaacs David
Timm Sharp Richard
Joan Cusack Franny
Greg Germann Matt
Hailey Noelle Johnson Tammy
Simon McBurney Aaron
Frances McDormand Jane
Jake Cherry Wyatt
Jennifer Aniston Olivia
Bob Stephenson Marty
Marin Hinkle Maya
Scott Caan Mike
Troy Ruptash Brad
Elizabeth Keener Lancome Saleswoman
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Producer: Anthony Bregman
Writer: Nicole Holofcener
Go for Aniston, stay for Keener
"Friends With Money" seems like an incomplete film. It's as if writer-director Nicole Holofcener either got tired of her characters and simply ran out of ideas. I don't mind films where nothing much happens or there is no narrative conclusion. But there seems something awfully unfinished and undeveloped about this movie.

On the other hand, what makes it watchable are the performances.

Jennifer Aniston does her best work since "The Good Girl" (2002). She still has the best chance of the "Friends" cast to have a sterling film career, if she continues doing work like this - at least playing characters like Olivia. She should stay away from playing femmes fatale - her performance in last year's dismal "Derailed" was ample proof she's not ready to venture into Stanwyck or Fiorentino territory, yet.

But Aniston has a fine sense of finding that line between comedy and drama without pushing either one too far. Her Olivia is a believable person who just has incredibly lousy taste in men - thus far. Watching the hurt and disappointment on Aniston's face when Mike's (Scott Caan) true character comes out shows this woman's got talent.

Mike actually might be this film's most intriguing and interesting character. Caan's very good in the role and just when you think you like him, he does something despicable.

Holofcener's film centers around a group of friends, most of whom are affluent, if not stinking rich. The exception is Olivia. And throughout the film, Holofcener unveils their pains, insecurities and flaws.

Joan Cusack plays the guilt-ridden wealthy woman well and Catherine Keener, again, proves why she remains so incredibly under-rated. Here's an actress who can take small moments in a film and turn them into unforgettable ones. Keener's so completely compelling and honest in her performance. Christine's discussions with her husband, David (Jason Isaacs), never ring false thanks to two strong performances.

The weak link in the film really is Frances McDormand's Jane. This isn't the wonderful McDormand's fault. Trouble is, Holofcener paints McDormand's Jane as such a one-dimensional person - a woman who turns her suppressed rage into a rather annoying persona. Holofcener never bothers to penetrate the surface of Jane's problems. We just know she's angry and that's all we see of her. It's a shame because a woman of McDormand's infinite acting talents deserved a much richer character.

"Friends With Money" seems rather superficial at times because, unlike Holofcener's previous two films, this one simply skirts the surface of the characters. With the exception of Olivia and, to a lesser extent, Christine, we never see other sides to these people.

There's more to their stories. Much more. But Holofcener shows no interest in going there.

Personal
Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:DVD
Loan
Movie
Imdb rating: 6.2
Musician: Rickie Lee Jones
Running time: 88 min
Technical
Subtitles: Svenska
Audio tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 [English]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-18 22:31:3