Friends With Money

I walked out of this movie feeling like I didn't really get it. Maybe I'm just a little too stuck in the traditions of American film. You see, normally when you go see a movie like this one, you expect that there will be some sort of crisis for one or more of the characters, things are or will become complicated, and somewhere in the course of the movie the character(s) will grow or change or have some sort of revelatory moment, after which the crisis is resolved. This movie really didn't follow that pattern. It certainly sets things up that way--three of the four "main" characters are at some sort of turning point in their lives--but nobody really changes in any meaningful way. That is, while all of them change their circumstances, there's no real personal discovery for any of them, no admittance of any fault or change in character. What resolution there is seems unsatisfying--to me, at least--because it's either accompanied by a revelation that seems insincere or because it's only accomplished by sheer dumb luck. My guess is that this was intentional on the part of writer-director Nicole Holofcener, that it's a sort of postmodern challenge to traditional film notions, an attempt to make art imitate life a bit more accurately. And in that respect I guess it succeeds--Juliette, especially, found it to be a very truthful story. It was pretty good in the execution as well--the acting and dialogue were very natural, and the pacing, if a bit plodding at times, seemed to fit the rhythms of real life pretty well. I'd say I liked the movie, but I didn't connect with it well enough to give it a fourth star. I had a similar reaction to Holofcener's previous film, Lovely & Amazing, but, despite that, I find her work intriguing enough that I'm curious to see what she's going to do next.

Viewed: 4/28/2006 | Released: 1/28/2006 | Score: 3

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