Review: Friends With Money (2006)

Friends With Money, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, is a drama that centers around four longtime friends, all with personal problems and approaching middle age.

 

Three are married and well-off: Christine (the always fabulous Catherine Keener), whose marriage is crumbling faster than the new house addition can repair it; Jane (an excellent Frances McDormand), who handles middle age by not washing her hair and with pure rage; and Franny (Joan Cusack), who is incredibly wealthy and just wants to see everyone happy.

Christine, Jane and Franny focus most of their attention on their lone single friend, Olivia, played by Jennifer Aniston, who has thankfully returned to indies. Olivia works as a maid, smokes pot, lacks ambition, and she cannot find a decent boyfriend. But while they try to help Olivia, the group cannot see the faults and problems within their own lives.

Any movie starring Catherine Keener AND Frances McDormand should be a guaranteed hit. Throw in the talents of Joan Cusack, Jennifer Aniston, and their male counterparts, Greg Germann, Simon McBurney, Scott Caan, and Jason Issacs, Friends With Money should be great period.

Despite a great cast, an entertaining script, and lovable, quirky characters that aren’t forced into a typical Hollywood mold (Frances McDormand is probably the sloppiest fashion designer you’ll ever see on screen), something is missing. Most scenes lack depth and the characters quickly fall flat. Specifically, Joan Cusack’s character becomes lost and frequently forgotten throughout the movie.

Nevertheless, Friends With Money is a delightful picture about success, self-worth, marriage, and most importantly, friendship. Many memorable scenes and the ensemble cast, highlighted by superb performances from Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand, make it worth seeing.

Updated October 11, 2010

5 thoughts on “Review: Friends With Money (2006)”

  1. Thank you for the review. I’m impressed that you can derive so much from a film.

    I would think that from the cast, the movie would be an instant hit. But that’s not always the case (see Ishtar and Heaven’s Gate.)

    I’ll check it out…

  2. It’s definitely worth checking out but there are some obvious holes. I still managed to like it, even though I was slightly disappointed towards the end

  3. I really like Joan Cusak. I thought she was great in School of Rock. That would be me main reason for seeing it, but again, no theaters near me are playing it.

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