Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jennifer Aniston, Frances McDormand, Scott Caan, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, Cass Asher, Jason Isaacs, Reggie Austin, Ty Burrell, Jake Cherry
Written by: Nicole Holofcener
Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content and brief drug use
Running Time: 88
Date: 01/19/2006

Friends with Money (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Culture Cash

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Four of our greatest sexy/quirky actresses band together for writer/director Nicole Holofcener's Woody Allen-ish examination of four modern women friends. Three (Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand) are married and wealthy, while the fourth, Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), is the movie's centerpiece -- poor, single and aimless, currently working as a maid. Money really does matter here; the richer the characters, the smaller their problems get. Yet Keener is especially potent worrying about a multi-story addition to her luxurious home and its effect on the neighbors. Tellingly, the wealthiest couple of all (Cusack and Greg Germann) has no problems at all. The material is alternately rich or thin, depending on the performers' aptitude for mastering Holofcener's neurotically funny dialogue.

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