|Friends with Money
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- What was this??
I like Jennifer Aniston, so that was why I wanted to watch this movie. I did not get this movie at all. Jennifer Aniston was a cleaning woman, and her freinds were rich with marital problems. Apparently, Jennifer Aniston was a two month fling for some married guy that she kept crank calling. Then, she puts up with this other guy who just uses her for sex, and ask her for half her cleaning job money after they have sex in the houses that she cleans. They end the movie with Jennifer Aniston's fat sloppy client (his house was a mess) telling her that he was rich and didn't have to work, so she sleeps with him, too. She wants to help him buy new furniture for his house, and then, the movie is over. Is she stupid or what? I kept waiting for the story to start, and the next thing I knew, the movie was over. Urg? What did I miss? What was the story about? What was the point of the movie?
- The Slow Descent of Jennifer Aniston
Any movie headlining Jennifer Aniston should have been warning enough, but oh no! I decided to take a chance on her anyway, and needless to say, after almost two hours of the useless "Friends with Money", I was left wondering exactly why Aniston even has a film career. What is so special about her? I loved her as Rachel on "Friends", but seriously, its as if she plays that very same role here, except with a different name.
Anistons' pathetic acting skills are not the only thing wrong with this film. I blame the horrendous script. Whoever wrote the script should give up any dreams of A-List Hollywood stardom. Most of the text looks like its directly from some half-hearted off-Broadway play (and not in a good way). The most stifling and contrived lines are presented to us - only you or I would probably never meet people who speak this way. In his attempt to 'humanize' the L.A wealth-club, the director only succeeds in making them look even more cartoonish and inaccessible.
The four women in this story are all self-centered, but in the classic "Waiting to Exhale" tradition, we are expected to sympathize with all of them and blame their husbands instead. In fact, I personally thought that all of the male characters were painted very negatively. One woman is supposedly married to a closeted male, and I thought this particular storyline was handled in the most ridiculous possible manner. The woman is on the verge of a nervous breakdown possibly because she suspects her husband is in denial about his sexuality. Only we, the audience, and everyone in the cast is already well aware of his sexuality. The poor woman should have just moved on with her life. Instead, they end the film still together - I don't see how this could have even been possible in the real world unless both people in the relationship were completely in denial and also deranged. Still, this is a movie, and if I can buy rats cooking French nouveau cuisine in "Ratatouille", I may as well accept this.
Jennifer Anistons' character actually doesn't have much screen time. She looks terrible here, even more dogged than usual, as if she didn't bother taking care of herself anymore. In an attempt to make her life seem 'real', she is placed in some very idiotic situations (her first date, for example), and eventually the guy she ends up with is supposed to warm our heart - only he looks like a serial killer / axe murderer all rolled into one, so when the end credits rolled I was quite worried for the Aniston character.
Granted this is not a happy movie. Its not a sad one either. In fact, it is about nothingness. And if the director intended it to be this way, by all means she has done a fantastic job. The worst decision the film crew made was to cast Jennifer Aniston as the lead character. I remember watching "Derailed" and so wanted to give Jen another chance, but she let me down there. Here, she is as neurotic and Rachel-y as ever, and it does not do anything for the character.
"Friends with Money" is one of those independent films that you should skip. There are far better independent films out there, more deserving of your consideration and your time. In the meantime, thanks to the filmmakers for opening my eyes to the fact that Jennifer Aniston can and never will be a good actress. As much as I liked her in "Friends", this was the final nail in her acting coffin. Watch it to understand what I'm talking about.
Two Generous Stars. And I think both of them should go to Joan Cusack who is just luminous. She alone rises above the tepid subject matter, though she gives her character far more personality than a film of this low caliber deserves....more info
- best film in recent years about growing up and how people change
As we get older our differences become more pronounced. This film, while not exactly indicative of the east coast world I live in, still has many truths. These people may not be people I know but the situations, the subtleties, the feel of the film is all honest.
The film says all the things that we all do and say and sense in others. Sometimes the conversations I find myself or often times others around me embroiled in as an adult just stuns me. Furniture, film tastes, kids, money, paving my driveway. It's funny. It can also be a bit sad. This film captures this dynamic so well. While no masterpiece it is still a simple gem.
It was also nice to see a film about women for a change. As a guy I can say it was refreshing. Seems women go through the same stuff guys do after all. ...more info
- Jennifer Aniston a maid? Yeah, right.....
We all know that Jennifer Aniston the actress is attractive, classy, and glamorous. The character she plays in this movie is pretty much the same thing. This begs the question: how the heck would someone like that ever end up having to clean other people's toilets for a living?
You keep waiting for a credible explanation--perhaps she suffers from severe neuroses, some oddball personality traits, maybe she suffered some horrible trauma as a child that has rendered her a total basket case...anything that would explain why she does not avail herself of the opportunities readily available to people like her.
But no. All we see is a tall, slim, good-looking white woman with great hair and clothes who walks and talks with the poise and confidence of the privileged upper middle class. We're supposed to believe that someone like this can't find any other job and has to compete against non-English speaking immigrants to find houses to clean for a living? The premise is simply not believable, and the whole thing falls flat as a result.
There are plenty of glamorous actresses who play against type very effectively (Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway, to name a couple recent examples). But that ain't happening in this movie.
- The Curse of Jennifer
Is it just me, or is every movie that Jennifer Aniston is in cursed? From the Good Girl, through The Breakup, to Rumor has it - every good concept turns into unwatchable mush once she enters the screen. i don't think she's neccessarily a terrible actress, but somehow she just manages to choose material she seems completely unable to connect with. Here, she plays a poor girl who can only find jobs cleaning houses to survive. Yeah, right......more info
- 88 minutes I will never get back
Probably the worst movie I have ever been forced to watch. I cannot think of anything positive to say about this film.
- Satisfying slice-of-life about 40 somethings
"Friends with Money" is a slice-of-life drama about a group of female friends who no longer have much in common but nevertheless are tied together by their long-standing friendship.
Many plot threads are begun but few are resolved so the film leaves you feeling somewhat up-in-the-air - it almost feels like a pilot to a TV series. Despite all this "Friends with Money" is strangely satisfying. A mature film for an "adult" audience. This film will particularly resonate with 30-40 somethings.
- Where is this going?
Bad. Not a good movie. I feel like to get the point across, the 4 principal's performances could have been slightly more vacant and detached. Shopgirl-esque, n'est pas? It just goes on and on, scenes upon scenes that don't really build upon anything or each other, and then it ends implausibly. Don't waste your time on this one....more info
- Another Jennifer Aniston sad sack movie
This reminds me of "The Good Girl," though that was a better film, in which Aniston also played a semi blue collar type. This one makes her a little more upscale, but still playing someone poor. All I could picture was the mansion she lived in with Brad Pitt. The cast is stellar here, and the script is serviceable. It's a pleasant enough indie diversion, but the Earth won't move for you as you watch it pass by....more info
- Another good film from Nicole Holofcener
Wow, are the reviews split on this one.
For those of you looking for a stronger plot line, a comedy along the lines of 'Friends,' or for an asteroid to blow up a la Bruckheimer Hollywood, it's not going to happen in a Nicole Holofcener film.
But for those who appreciate movies and characters and dialog that closely hew to real life, then you're going to love Ms. Holofcener's work. While 'Lovely and Amazing' is definitely the better effort, 'Friends With Money' is very well done. And for those who say 'that's not real life,' Holofcener is actually poking fun at the ridiculousness of the way things work in LA. [Watch the "Behind the Scenes" featurette and take note that each of the actors and actresses were attracted to the screenplay because they felt like Holofcener had pegged LA's absurdities perfectly.]
The standouts here are Frances McDormand (a very real portrayal of a perimenopausal woman...they never utter that phrase directly in the movie, but you get the idea; McDormand confirms the obvious in the featurette), Catherine Keener (the centerpiece of all Holofcener films) and Simon McBirney as McDormand's husband (the standout guy in a film which centers predominantly on the women)....more info
How come these friends with money didn't get their friend without money hooked up with something that allowed her to become a friend with money? What kind of friends allows friends to clean houses, when they themselves have house maids? Shouldn't she have at least worked for her friends with money? All I know is, before you can figure that out, Olivia, played by Jennifer Anniston, marries a rich fat guy and the movie ends happy as can be. By the way, I have a hard time believing someone as exquisite as Jennifer Anniston, would either have a problem finding descent men or end up with a fat guy. The most realistic character in the movie was the menopausal Jane, played by Frances McDormand; she gets mad and lashes out, but no one seems to know why? All in all, the world portrayed in this movie seemed a bit superficial. Wealthy people and those who live amongst them are always portrayed as rich and happy, but guilty about being rich and happy. It seems like the same old story, unhappy socialites socializing about their status quo discomforts....more info
- What's the point?
What a disappointment! Jennifer Anniston is capable of so much better! This movie had a good beginning, great characters, lots of potential in the plot lines - that went no where. Pointless. At least I can say now that I've seen it. That's a couple of hours of my life I'll never get back.
Oh, I would not recommend this movie for a date. Way too much to argue about in it.
If you want to see Jennifer in a good movie, see Bruce Almighty. Much better usage of time.
Bruce Almighty (Widescreen Edition)
- A great cast and interesting characters, but the plot does not measure up to them
Watching "Friends with Money" turned out to be a disappointment, mainly because my expectations were so high given the quality of the cast. A movie that brings together Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, and Jennifer Aniston is going to get your attention, and what I was hoping for was something like the first season of "Desperate Housewives," not so much in terms of plot or characters, but simply in terms of having the sort of performances where four actresses are all competing for the same acting awards. But "Friends with Money" is not that kind of movie and the trailer certainly does not suggest the sort of movie you end up seeing.
This 2006 movie is about four women who have been friends for pretty much forever. Jane (McDormand) is in the throes of what might be described as pre-menopausal angst, which has her reading the riot act to people who take her parking spot or place in line at the checkout counter. Jane is married to Aaron (Simon McBurney) and she might be the only person who does not think Aaron is gay. Franny (Cusack) is concerned with how much money is being spent on shoes for her growing daughter, which appears to be the most significant event in her life, along with the upcoming charity event (for ALS and not the homeless). She is married to Matt (Greg Germann), who can explain why growing children need substantial support for their feet. Christine (Keener) writes screenplays with her husband David (Jason Isaacs) in tag-team fashion, but the fight their characters were having has shifted to their own fight while construction works are building an audition to their house.
All of these characters are married and rich, and that makes Olivia (Aniston), who is single and relatively poor, stand out like a sore thumb when they all get together. Olivia used to teach high school juniors at a school in Santa Monica, but that was not her calling, and now she is working as a maid, although she is thinking about becoming a personal physical therapist. Olivia still gets to hang out with her friends on fancy occasions, who are worried about her, and with good reason. When she is not calling the phone of the married man with whom she had a two-month affair and hanging up with his wife answers, she is spending time with Mike (Scott Caan), who tags along with her when she is working and figures he deserves a cut on the money she makes.
"Friends With Money" was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, who is not able to build upon her previous successes, 1996's "Walking and Talking" and 2001's "Lovely and Amazing," both of which starred Keener. When the credits starting rolling and you realize this is only an 88-minute film, that limitation looms large in trying to put a finger on why this film is not all it should be. Half of the four women come to significant crossroads, while a third might be close to one if certain implications bear out. That leaves one woman for whom the lack of crossroads might serve as a contrast to what is happening with the rest. So there is some sense of having come to a point where the movie can end, but I am still convinced that there should have been more. Listening to the special features on this DVD you can see how excited these actresses were to play these roles only brings me back to the high expectations I had for this movie in the first place and I cannot help but think that if this had been the pilot for a television series I would think more of it, because that would have the attendant promise of there being more. ...more info
- imposible to overcome gag reflex
I bought this dry chic flic in the cut-out-bin for $1, and that is about what it is worth. Happily, Francis McDormand delivers her usual good performance, but this is an aimless and pointless film that ultimately simply ends without resolving its various threads. My wife hated it. Joan Cusack just comes off as shrill all the time, and no one else offers a performance of great distinction. It reminded me of the "Annie Hall" line "la de da" but re-written "blah blah blah."
The story follows a disjointed range of relationships among four middle-aged long-time girlfriends and their spouses or slampieces, while the narrative spine concerns money (or its absence). Apaprently it dawns on middle-aged women that money is important, after they spent their youth in fads and coolness. The Poor Clair is Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), a drop-out teacher-turned maid for folks who only appear slight better off than herself, but retains her affection for expensive ungents and creams for which she spends an improbably large amount of time trying to get free samples of. Her friends Franny (Joan Cusack), Christine (Catherine Keener), and Jane (Frances McDormand) are ladies who lunch and kvetch and never appear to do a real lick of work (what little work there is shown is in "the business" and she is on the "creative" side of things, writing dialogue for the endless maw of the television sludge bucket. All have "minime" personal crises ("boo hoo, my husband may be gay" "he is NOT") While the film aims for humor and melancholy no one ever seems to *do* anything, only reflect on what is happening to them passively. This isn't really story telling as much as "examining lives in various states of disarray" of aimless folks who are breathing and eating (and defecating) but not living. Which all reminded me of the world's worst independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom. Yes, this is that bad....more info
- Glimpse into the lives of friends with money......
Not a bad movie, not a great one either. Good acting by the cast. Story line could have had a better ending instead of the one that leaves you hanging.
The movie contrasts three married couples with "money" to that of a single female without money..... all of them are friends.
This movie's main focus seems to be that no matter if you are rich or poor, you still have problems and that money doesn't solve everything. With the rich folks, their problems just don't involve money! They just have problems that are different from their single, female friend!...more info
All I can say is that I was incredibly disappointed in this movie. It lacked content worthy of a film so badly. I am a big fan of both Jennifer Aniston and Joan Cusack and I was psyched to see them together in a film, but both of their characters bored me. I found it to be a very forgetable story....more info
- Humorous, enjoyable, and not a bad way to spend 90 minutes
Friends With Money is exactly what it says in the title. A story about a group of friends, centered around Jennifer Aniston's character, Olivia. Though all of her friends have successful careers, Olivia is working as a maid and supplementing her meager income with free samples from department stores and filched items from her clients. Olivia is the only unsuccessful member of a group of friends made up of three sets of power couples, and she stands out like a sore thumb. As one friend is quick to point out she is unmarried, a pothead, and a maid. She neglects to add: a pushover, unmotivated, and lonely.
I liked this movie, but I didn't love it like I did Holofcener's previous film Lovely and Amazing. There was enough star power behind this film including Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, and Catherine Keener, that I expected a bit more than what I got. The story was cut apart and pasted together in a way that made it difficult to get to know any of the characters really well and the story seemed unfinished to me.
However, I found McDormand's character, a clothing designer who is getting misanthropic in her old age, refreshing in a sea of people who are constantly upbeat and happy. Her breakdown in an Old Navy store alone is worth watching this movie. Also, this is the only Aniston film I've seen in awhile where she wasn't playing Rachel again. If you've seen Rumor Has It or Along Came Polly, I think you know what I mean. Overall, I found Friends With Money humorous, enjoyable, and not a bad way to pass an hour and a half. Still, if you're looking for something with a bit more substance from this wonderful director, I'd recommend going with Lovely and Amazing....more info
I bought this movie because I like Jennifer Aniston. I took it to a friend's house so we could watch it together. Needless to say, we both hated it and I threw it in the garbage as soon as I got home. What a waste of my time....more info
- You and your friends
In spite of something a little incoherent (or not tight enough) in the film's messages I enjoyed this movie tremendously and can only explain to myself that its main aim was not necessarily to deliver a complete message but to capture a very familiar situation. The issue is first and foremost the friends and not the money - which only heightens the situation and makes it easier to see the gaps that have developed between the friends over the years. I think that although money is always an issue these gaps are not always money-connected but can also be different ways of thinking about life and the ways it should be led.
For me it was the everyday, typical situations that make this film so familiar and thus so enjoyable. The "ungrateful" parents of another child, who do not even recognize your face after their son has spent hours in your house.....dinners together... analyzing the other guests on the way home. Husband and wife relations, when each one wrapped in its own thoughts... the gossiping circles (what is wrong with other people's life... trying to justify my own)... and above all the very strong loyalty and love that bonds the friends together. Another feeling was that you never really know about someone else even if he is a really close friend.
Christine (Catherine Keener) is the first one to mention that Aaron (Simon Mcburney) is gay. It seems that she is the one to realize his true nature when she is in a time of need and finds out that maybe he is more of a man then all of the other husbands. I liked this moment of small understanding or seeing things from a different perspective. I liked the gestures and nuances of behavior between the friends and the couples such as the "you were the prettiest one there" between husband and wife.
Frances McDormand is always a reason to watch a movie (I think everything she does is Oscar material). The rest of the cast is also great, especially Joan Cusack that manages to deliver a very warm character. Jennifer Aniston is always nice to watch although not in the same caliber and Simon Mcburney stands out among the men characters.
- not maulik friendly
If you're purchasing this DVD to see extraordinary actor Maulik Pancholy, you might want to save your money. He is onscreen for under 30 seconds and has just one line of dialogue. ...more info
- Wake me up when it's over
Please tell me there aren't really people like this in the real world. Not one likable character in the lot.
Seniors standing in line waiting to order at McDonald's are more interesting that this. Does anyone have a coupon?
- Not funny
The trailer made it appear like this is a comedy. It is not a comedy. It is all drama....more info
- Not So Lovely Or Amazing
Set in Los Angeles, Nicole Holofcener's third movie (also Walking and Talking,1996 and Lovely & Amazing, 2001) examines the lives of four women friends who are approaching early middle age: married and financially secure Jane (Frances McDormand), Franny (Joan Cusack) and Christine (Catherine Keener), and their single friend Olivia (Jennifer Aniston). Despite the financial security and families, the wealthy women get so tired, loud, and miserable that broke and single Olivia (Jennifer Anniston) seems a normal person in comparison. Olivia used to be a teacher at one of the prestigious high schools of Santa Monica but she got frustrated with the arrogance and mean jokes from her privileged students. She left teaching and became a maid. Her love life is non-existent and she is a pothead. Becoming a maid did not make her happy as well as money and wealth did not make her friends happy and optimistic either. Olivia's story was the most interesting one, and as it is supposed to be in romantic dramedy, Olivia may meet the right man (or will she?) and even become a friend with money, too.
As in many modern independent movies, the characters of "Friends with Money" examinine their lives, the insecurities and fears of getting older, the relationships with their spouses, and they often feel sorry for themselves and unfulfilled. Money can't by you love or happiness or feeling of belonging - we all know that and sadly, the movie did not say anything new or original on the old subject. While the acting is uniformly good (and we would not expect something different from the cast like this), the story is weak, the characters are often irritating and not convincing at why exactly they are so unhappy. It applies first to wonderful Frances McDormand's Jane, the very successful clothes designer whose husband loves her and wants another child with her. Jane is obviously suffering from depression to the point that she does not wash her hair for weeks, and we've been reminded about this fact over and over. I feel that it could be an interesting story here but it just went nowhere. Catherine Keener, Nicole Holofcener's regular actress, (they've made three movies together) is lovely and amazing as usual. I love her acting ability, her screen presence, the irony that covers her character's sadness, and disappointments, but she did not help to elevate this movie to above average level. Neither Joan Cusack did, another amazing talent, great combination of comical and compelling. Three excellent actresses did not have much to work with in this material. There are some funny moments but "Friends with Money" is rather forgettable movie.
- just aight
trying to make this film into a 90 minute version of 'Sex in the City" doesn't fully work. the lives of the Women are interesting,but the Problem is that the film isn't written well enough to fully develop everybody's role&there full being. this film leaves alot of unanswered Questions. Frances mcdormand does her best Dennis Leary Impersonation here.. Jennifer Aniston is cute,but her acting is wack.nothing new there. the film just throws things out there,but has no real meaning or anything strong to tie it all together. this film wanted to be the "ordinary People" for it's time period, instead it's a mis-guided attempt at being all things to some people&coming up empty in the big picture. ...more info
- "Why don't they just give the money to the poor!"
When Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) goes out to dinner with her three long-time best friends, Franny (Joan Cusack), Jane (Frances McDormand) and Christine (Catherine Keener), it always seems as though she's a bit of a fish out of water. Olivia is the only one that is single and lacks enough money and financial security to make her life really comfortable.
Her friends sort of know that she is constantly strapped for cash and that she now works as a maid, cleaning the houses of the wealthy Westsiders after she left her career as a schoolteacher because she just "couldn't handle it any more."
In Friends With Money, the wonderful new movie written and directed by Nicole Holofcener not much happens to Olivia but it doesn't matter because she - as well as well as her friends - are so well defined, funny and interesting. Does the amount of money you have really lead to happiness? Although, Olivier's yuppie friends are rich and the quality of their marriages differ, are their situations that different from Olivier's?
While Christine (Keener) and her husband and writing partner David (Jason Isaacs) spar over home renovations, fashion designer Jane (McDormand) has stopped washing her hair and seems to be going through some kind of forties mid-life crisis, wondering whether this is all there is. She spews hate at other drivers and at store managers, but her anger is often aimed at her sexually ambivalent husband Aaron (Simon McBurney) who seems to prefer the company of men to her.
The bourgeois comforts of Christine's career success appear to be breaking apart: is it a coincidence that David's petty insults about her weight gain and the neighbours' chilly reaction to their view-blocking annex escalate at the same time? Christine's tensions contrast with the parental bliss shared by her sympathetically affluent chum Franny (Cusak) and her wealthy husband, Matt (Greg Germann) who are about to donate two million dollars to their kid's school, even though the school probably doesn't need it.
Obviously, they all have money, but these self-obsessed, hard working people certainly have a lot issues to work through. Yet it is Olivia who seems to anchor the group. She's a wonderfully quirky character who goes from cosmetic counter to cosmetic counter in order to collect enough free samples to keep her complexion looking great. And when Franny hooks her up on a date with her luggish personal fitness instructor (Scott Caan) things don't work out exactly as Olivia planned.
The actresses are all phenomenal, the writing is pitch-perfect and the direction is crisp and droll. Poor Olivia - her large-living friends don't quite know what to make of her, or what to do for her. They obviously love her, but are driven to constantly ridicule her lack of ambition and her lack of income. And the fact that she smokes pot and has been carrying on an affair with a married man is a constant source of discomfort for them.
Aniston, especially shines, she's absolutely charming and very likable without dominating the film, which divvies up the goods with great equability among its idiosyncratic and often argumentative characters. Friends With Money is such an "LA" movie, and Holofcener, to her credit, has really managed to capture all the insecurities, petty quirks and foibles of this very upper-middle class Westside set, in all their self-congratulatory and pretentious grandeur. Mike Leonard August 06.