Friends With Money

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/05/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Enjoyable ensemble drama with a strong cast and a thoughtful, funny and frequently surprising script.

What's it all about?
Already destined to be known as The Film In Which Jennifer Aniston Wears a French Maid's Outfit, Friends With Money details the shifting relationships between a group of four female friends. Aniston plays Olivia, the only one in her group who is still single and who doesn't have any money.

However, her friends have their own problems. Fashion designer Jane (Frances McDormand) is having a midlife crisis, despite the love and attention of her possibly gay husband (Simon McBurney); Christine's (Catherine Keener) relationship with her husband (Jason Isaacs) comes to a head over a planned extension to their house; and Franny (Joan Cusack) worries over whether or not to lend Olivia the money she needs for a course.

The Good
The performances are excellent. Aniston ditches her perky romcom persona and delivers a downbeat but likeable and surprisingly moving performance that anchors the film. Keener is her usual wonderful self and there's terrific support from both McDormand (who nabs all the best lines) and McBurney, as well as Scott Caan, who has an amusing role as Olivia's loser boyfriend.

The sharply observed script examines the decisions and compromises that have to be made within friendships and relationships. There's also a lot of humour in the film, not to mention the aforementioned French maid's outfit.

The Bad
It's fair to say that if you're after the sort of drama where everything's wrapped up nicely by the end, then this probably isn't for you. As a result, it occasionally feels unstructured, although this also lends the film a chaotic realism that is somehow appropriate.

In addition, Joan Cusack is sadly under-used, to the point where they might as well have divided up her lines between her co-stars.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an enjoyable, occasionally moving and frequently amusing drama with a terrific ensemble cast. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Friends With Money
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Content updated: 20/11/2019 01:32

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