Friends With Money (2006)
My Rating : ***.5
Nicole Holofcener’s first two films, 1996’s WALKING & TALKING and 2001’s LOVELY & AMAZING, were intelligent looks at modern-day relationships between friends and family. Continuing her one-movie-every-five-years schedule, 2006’s FRIENDS WITH MONEY follows that tradition of smart screenwriting, excellent acting, and careful direction. FRIENDS WITH MONEY focuses on four female friends examining their relationships with their significant others and themselves–and not always liking what they see. Frances McDormand stars as Jane, a successful dress designer who has taken to wild public outbursts, stops washing her hair, and is married to a kind man who might be gay (Simon McBurney).
Joan Cusack is Franny, a multimillionaire who appears to have the perfect life with her husband (Greg Germann) and kids. Catherine Keener plays Christine, who is building her dream house and writing a screenplay with her husband (Jason Isaacs) as their life together is crumbling. And the youngest of the foursome, Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), is a pot-smoking ne’er-do-well who works as a maid, stalks her ex-lover, and has a thing about not paying for certain high-end cosmetics. As they prepare to attend a major fundraiser for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), they all take stock of their lives, reaching some very difficult conclusions. Holofcener has again created the kind of fascinating, complex characters, insightful and believable dialogue, and wholly realistic situations, crafting an adult look at life and love in the 21st century.