Friends With Money

A Film Review By Jeff Fro

Starring: Jennifer Ansiton, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener
Directed By: Nicole Holofcener
Rated: R for language, some sexual content and brief drug use.
Review Posted:May 5th, 2006

Final Grade:

Jennifer Aniston is trying really hard these days to make you forget “Friends”. Her characters in her movies recently have varied from a cheating discount department store clerk to a criminally inclined seductress. All of them having huge emotional flaws. All of them so needy in one way or another. Rachel from “Friends” would have hated each and every one of them.

Adding to this list is her most recent role as Olivia in Friends with Money. Yet again we see Aniston play someone who just can’t have a real relationship with a man. In this film she is obsessive about a married man, submissive to the only guy who pays her any attentions, and in the start of the film we are supposed to believe that she uses a client’s vibrator she stumbled upon when she was there to clean the house. See Aniston plays a maid since she quit her job as a teacher at a high class private school. She is also a rumored “pot smoker”. Basically the other characters in the film feel bad for her and constantly gossip about her…..well they gossip about each other too.

Last year I reviewed Match Point and made a comment about how all the “pretty people” end up living privileged lives. Well not in this film!

Aniston is still a knock out. But her friends (the ones with all the money) are not the most attractive bunch. See in this film, the more money you have – the less attractive you are.

Francis McDormand is a clothing designer of over-priced gauzy blouses and dresses. She is at an emotional and mental crisis in her life and has gone to not washing her hair, even though her very wispy (is he gay or not) husband owns a shampoo company. And isn’t it ironic…..don’t cha think?

Her character is rude and confrontational and basically has no filter in her mind to stop her from saying anything she thinks of at any time. Sometimes it’s funny to hear what she says, and other times it is sad because we can see she is clearly not a healthy woman.

Catherine Keener is in a bad marriage to her business partner husband. They are both screen writers. When her character finds she can no longer work with her husband, she also sees that she can no longer live with him. Sure they have a big huge house and just started to build a second story on it, but its not on a good foundation. They have fights in place of conversations.

And last is Joan Cusack. She is married and has lots and lots of money. We don’t really know where all this money came from, but she has it. She also has a husband and basically the most normal life of all of the women. She wants to help them all, but acts as if all the money she has keeps her isolated from the others and not able to really get involved more than to just be a confidant.

If the Sex in the City girls lived in LA and were married with children, this would be their show.

We leave the film with more questions than answers. We seem like we’re just getting to know each of the women and see all of their problems, but then we have no clue if any of them solve anything to a satisfactory resolution. It’s like having lunch with your friends and hearing all of the bad things that are happening to them……and then never hearing from them again.

I enjoyed many parts of this film, but wanted more closure. And no! I am not asking for a sequel!

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