Friends with Money Nicole Holofcener

This movie would have you believe that it’s on the side of its non-moneyed lead, Jennifer Aniston — that’s 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 it’s not a pretty sight. The hostility that rolls off of these three women (with a little help from Keener’s 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 isn’t angry or self-serving. Aniston is left to float in this sea of fury, with occasional "respite” from the boorishness of lunk head, sort-of boyfriend Scott Caan, and though it’s hard not to feel for her, one feels more for oneself. You become grateful even for the gentle moments with McDormand’s husband Simon McBurney and a "friend” who could be kindling a gay romance — even though the subplot is stereotypical, it’s at least quiet and without malice. As for the rest of the film, it’s like being trapped in room full of the most hateful people you know as they complain endlessly about their lives — even if the talk is as "incisive” as some critics have claimed, it’s 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 of” doc and two short featurettes on the L.A. and Sundance premieres. (Sony)
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