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.
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"Holofcenter has a sharp eye for the oddities in contemporary relationships, and there are many funny, observant moments in this Los Angeles roundelay."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Stacey Farber (03/01/2006)
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Smart, witty and alert....The film is a field day for actresses. And their teamwork is a thing of beauty....It touches a nerve."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (04/20/2006)
"There is, indeed, a discernible clarity to the actual filmmaking here, and an attractive feminine wit evident in the artistry." -- Grade: B
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (04/14/2006)
"[G]reatly appealing....Ms. Holofcener writes wonderful, recognizably real characters..."
New York Times - Manohla Dargis (04/07/2006)
"[P]iercingly observed, achingly perceptive....FRIENDS blends empathy and a great sense of comic timing with the richness of Holofcener's trademark take-no-prisoners observations..."
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (04/07/2006)
3 stars out of 4 -- "FRIENDS is well-crafted, intelligent, genuinely adult fare."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (05/01/2006)
"The film is likable, with some funny moments and recognizable human conflicts....Sharply observed and cleverly written..."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (04/07/2006)
4 stars out of 5 -- "Holofcenter refuses to judge her characters, letting us decide for ourselves which of her impeccable ensemble deserves our attention and sympathy."
Total Film - Neil Smith (07/01/2006)
"[T]he performances are engaging, and the dialogue has precision and verve..."
Sight and Sound - Hannah McGill (07/01/2006)