Writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s film Friends with Money analyzes a very particular dynamic—that of being a luckless and careerless lonely girl (Jennifer Aniston) in an L.A. circle of friends (Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand, and Joan Cusack) who are all married and rich. Seems preposterous, given the casting, but nobody in this country uses as sympathetic a microscope as Holofcener when examining the conundrums of modern women, and Aniston is convincing and sad. With Jason Isaacs.
Nicole Holofcener’s chick flick depends absolutely and generously on the verve and candor of Catherine Keener and Anne Heche, as lifelong buddies negotiating their own mutating friendship as one faces marriage and the other faces loneliness. The film has the easy rhythm of a three-hour girl talk phone call, and all the actors run like linebackers with their unpredictable and witty (but not too witty) characters, including Liev Schreiber. Keener is particularly radiant and raw in a way that justifies the whole movie—a dozen emotions can register on her face all at once. Watching her come up with something to say in an embarrassing situation is like watching a Japanese table-tennis pro play himself.