Hey there, it's Editor L., and I know what you're thinking — Frances McDormand? So random! That may be true, but allow me to explain. While brainstorming my own Summer Netflix Challenge, I realized that two of the movies that have been on my list of must-sees — Friends With Money and Wonder Boys — both include the brilliant McDormand; hence, she's become my subject of choice. So, over the weekend, I dove into Friends With Money.
The film is by director Nicole Holofcener, who completely wooed me with the recent Please Give. While I don't think Friends With Money is quite as good, there are a few common attributes. For one, you have Holofcener's female leads — all flawed and unlikeable, yet incredibly interesting. There's Franny (Joan Cusack), the rich pal with tons of money; Christine (Catherine Keener), the friend who has nice things, but a terrible marriage; Jane (Frances McDormand), the successful but argumentative designer; and Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), the mess of the bunch who works as a maid. Ready to hear my thoughts? Just read more.
I feel like I should forewarn you that this film isn't the grabbiest; instead, it's more of a character study. But in the interactions of the four women you see glimpses of your own friends — a more conflicted portrayal perhaps, instead of the shiny-happy one we often see in chick flicks. Best of all, they get you thinking. At one point, Franny questions whether she and Olivia would be friends if they didn't have history (given their two very different incomes and circles of friends, they don't have much in common any more). While it's a tough question, I think it's one we've all asked ourselves at some point, even if money isn't the issue. But I do have one large complaint: Olivia. Aniston does a nice job with the role; however, I didn't like how they wrote the ending for her character. Watch, and you'll see what I mean, but basically, it's too contrived for such a smart script.
If you're going to rent it, I say watch it for the ensemble. All four actresses (especially McDormand) do a great job in their parts; they're real, honest women without the Hollywood sheen — something you don't typically see at the box office.
Want to review and chat about your own Summer rentals? Join my Netflix challenge group, pick your theme or actor, and get watching! You may see your own posts right here on BuzzSugar.