This is a very interesting movie, with two big layers we can dig in. The first one is the classic movie layer: so Friends with Money is a movie about life and marriage. It focuses on long-term relationships and how they affect not only the dynamic between the spouses but also their personalities. If you’re in a similar situation you’ll be in familiar territory. Especially if you’re embedded into the society via work, kids, or something else.
The second layer is juicier and it concerns the viewer and its perception of what’s going on the screen. Since it is critical and subversive, the very people it’s trying to enlighten will find it difficult to watch. And even if they watch, they will probably discard it. Mostly because to acknowledge it fully is to admit that there’s something wrong with you. And your life, and ultimately, the world around us.
Is this the place you really wanted to be? Is this partner the partner you’re willing to spend your life with? Does it even matter? You can go deeper and deeper, examining yourself, people around you but most of all the system of values imposed on you. Most of the people just accept it matter-of-factly, never questioning it.
With several couples in various life-stages and our single and sexy next-door-girl Jenny, you can see how life might look like for you if you take a certain path. Was it the right decision to have children this early? To have children at all or even tie the knot? The concepts of right and wrong go out of the window when you start analyzing things this way. There are explanations but they are too lengthy for this review, so we better get back to the movie. This is a well written and constructed movie, highlighting the end of the American Dream and its most important revelation: when you finally reach it, you will have to wake up.
Meet Olivia, a single maid trying to make ends meet in the big city of Los Angeles. Her three best friends are all rich and married, so Olivia, a former teacher, is now the outcast of the group. On the outside, that is. Once you dig a little deeper into their lives, you find out that things are not so great. And eventually, you start to wonder, who has it better?
The first thing you’re going to notice about Friends with Money is how sharp and witty dialogue is. The next thing will be the performance by an all-star cast, with Keener and Anniston stealing the show with their honest and strong performances. McDormand was also great and gave us an opportunity to see her in something with almost the same vibe as Fargo but with a different story.
I almost forgot to mention that this is not one of those “female only” movies. I think that by now, you already know my taste and that I usually don’t watch those melodramatic emotional masturbation movies. Fucking indy dramas, right? This is not one of those movies, it’s very deep and yet interesting to watch. Something that’s a very difficult thing to accomplish. Another thing that might be interesting is to gauge your own life in relation to the lives of these four couples. So, if you’re up for some introspective fun, check out this great movie.
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack, Greg Germann, Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand
Fun Facts: This was Jennifer Aniston’s first film after a very public breakup with Brad Pitt.