Please Give

O Nicole Holofcener! Another gem to add to your resume! Another worthy companion of Lovely & Amazing and Friends with Money.

I never knew what people saw in Amanda Peet. But I’m starting to get it now. Peet makes me crave neurotic women. Scary, orange women. Rebecca Hall is beautiful and level-headed as always. And Catherine Keener continues to get more gorgeous with age.

Cast and crew aside – you tackle some very interesting thematic territory. In a depression era, I’m excited to see someone interested in charity and excess. That is, grotesque charity and grotesque excess. If all your cruelty, spite, your mean-spirited sarcasm, your lack of pity, your warped sense of charity, your pessimism, your grim portrayal of aging, your grim portrayal of marriage & parenting, and your obsessive attention to the imperfections of the body made me laugh like a manic hyena – does that make me a bad person? No, I mean really laugh – mouth contorting, eyes tearing, balled-up fist slapping the thigh and such. I don’t think anything this year has tickled my funny bone this superbly. Maybe Greenberg. Nah, not even Greenberg.

But I’m not sure about the last scene. There’s a mixed message about money and I think you land on the amoral side (i.e. if you have money that’s great because you don’t have to eat TV dinners, and it’s okay to buy yourself some happiness i.e. $200 jeans). I guess I don’t mind the message so much but why end there? Why end on a point so blatantly derelict? Don’t get me wrong – you are thoroughly un-PC the whole journey and I love you for it. I’m just not sure in that last scene if you’re still interested in parody or if you’re trying to be sincere. Are you trying to be sincere? Sincerity is not your strength. Maybe you were short on ideas and decided to reach for the nearest cathartic experience. I don’t blame you. You never claimed to have all the answers. A lot of fantastic films get fatigued at the end and just can’t finish. Just look at Eyes Wide Shut. Or A.I. And Stanley Kubrick was the greatest director who ever lived!

All in all I have to say I’m impressed that movies like you are getting made . . . $9

If you heart Please Give:

Recommendations by DJ Cheet
The Savages
Broken Flowers

And though it’s not a movie . . . How to be Good (book) by Nick Hornby.

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