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Friends with Money

Nicole Holofcener

Friends with Money
This movie would have you believe that itís on the side of its non-moneyed lead, Jennifer Aniston ó thatís her cleaning houses and being patronised by rich friends Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack and Catherine Keener. But the bulk of the film is made up of the nattering of said friends to their husbands, some strangers and each other, and itís not a pretty sight. The hostility that rolls off of these three women (with a little help from Keenerís hubby Jason Isaacs) is so intense and pervasive that it becomes nearly impossible to endure. The idea that these people have friends and lovers at all is astonishing, as none of them can be counted on to say something that isnít angry or self-serving. Aniston is left to float in this sea of fury, with occasional "respiteĒ from the boorishness of lunk head, sort-of boyfriend Scott Caan, and though itís hard not to feel for her, one feels more for oneself. You become grateful even for the gentle moments with McDormandís husband Simon McBurney and a "friendĒ who could be kindling a gay romance ó even though the subplot is stereotypical, itís at least quiet and without malice. As for the rest of the film, itís like being trapped in room full of the most hateful people you know as they complain endlessly about their lives ó even if the talk is as "incisiveĒ as some critics have claimed, itís still being vented directly at you, and after a while you throw up your arms in disgust. Extras include a convivial commentary with director Nicole Holofcener and producer Anthony Bregman, a standard "making ofĒ doc and two short featurettes on the L.A. and Sundance premieres. (Sony)
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