A curious quartet


Title: Friends with Money

By: Nicole Holofcener

It’s easy to dismiss Nicole Holofcener‘s films as serious chick flicks – strictly beheno maate. But if you take the admittedly self-centered view I do – that women’s issues are hardly about women, they are all about saving men from patriarchy – you’ll enjoy her movies. And none more so than Friends with Money, her rumination on friendship, class, womanhood and yes, masculinity.

What makes Friends with Money unusual is that it has a curiosity-inducing cast. It has some very solid acting power in Frances McDormand, who I believe to be America’s best actress, and Catherine Keener, who is sex on legs. But the other friends in this quartet are rounded off by Jennifer Aniston, who has got to be the most gossiped about actress on the planet, and Joan Cusack, who used to be really funny before her groan-inducing US Cellular campaign blanketed the nation.

The four women work astoundingly well together in this thoughtful and moving drama that is also surprisingly funny.

Holofcener chooses her parameters wisely. She allows her pace to reflect the lives of her characters. She doesn’t try to cover a lot of ground in terms of diversity. Both McDormand and Keener are so confident and mature as actors that they underplay their roles to perfection, goading strong performances out of both Aniston and Cusak.