Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Aniston is Money in "Friends with Money: (Happy B'day, Jennifer Aniston)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 196 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Friends with Money (2006)
Running time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
MPAA – R for language, some sexual content, and brief drug use
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Nicole Holofcener
PRODUCER: Anthony Bregman
EDITOR: Robert Frazen


Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Greg Germann, Simon McBurney, Jason Isaacs, Scott Caan, Ty Burrell, and Bob Stephenson

Set in present day Los Angeles, writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s bittersweet movie, Friends with Money follows the lives of four women in their late 30’s and early 40’s. Jane (Frances McDormand) is a financially secure designer of a popular clothing line, but she’s emotionally insecure and a bit shaky mentally. Her husband, Aaron (Simon McBurney), has little tolerance for her antics. Franny (Joan Cusack) is rich, and she and her husband, Matt (Greg Germann), spend lavishly on gifts and give generously to charity. Christine (Catherine Keener) and her husband, David (Jason Isaacs), are a husband and wife screenwriting team whose marriage and creative partnership is on the rocks. Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) is their single friend who is still struggling to find herself, while Jane, Franny, and Christine struggle with the complexities and annoyances of married life.

For many moviegoers, Friends with Money must be a shock to the system, being that it is a well-cast drama with skilled actors portraying adults in real life situations. Holofcener mines the film’s humor from that generous vein we know as human foibles. Not all of the characters are interesting (Franny and Matt are dullsville.), and some of the characters come across as standard oddballs added just to be oddballs (Scott Caan’s Mike, for instance). Overall, the film works, although even at 88 minutes, it tends to meander.

Jennifer Aniston makes this movie. Whenever she’s onscreen, Friends with Money springs to life like a J.V. football player who just learned he’s made the varsity squad. There’s something in Aniston’s performance as Olivia and in Holofcener’s writing for that character that makes both the story appealing and the rest of the characters relevant mainly in the context of Olivia’s struggles. I’m not ready to call her a great actress, but Aniston is pretty darn good. See this flick for her.

7 of 10

Wednesday, September 13, 2006



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