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Friends with Money

Indie filmmaker avoids preachiness and formula
By PETER KEOUGH  |  April 5, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars
FRIENDS WITH MONEY: Simon McBurney and Jennifer AnistonAfter Walking and Talking and Lovely and Amazing, bright and ambitious indie filmmaker Nicole Holofcener focuses on the root of all evil, Friends with Money. Like her first two films, this one interweaves the stories of related characters who are miserable but know how to be amusing about it. The endowed friends: Frannie (Joan Cusack) and Matt (Greg German), a couple who pay $10,000 for tables at benefit dinners for the homeless; Christine (Catherine Keener) and David (Jason Isaacs), a scriptwriting team whose failing marriage is embodied in the “second story” they’re building for their house; and Jane (Frances McDormand), a clothing designer who yells at waiters and doesn’t wash her hair, and husband Aaron (Simon McBurney), a maker of boutique shampoos who everyone thinks is gay. Odd girl out is Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), who’s a maid. Holofcener jibes class and materialism without getting preachy and avoids formula with wit and compassion.
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