Olivia (Jennifer Aniston) finds her friends, Franny (Joan Cusack), Christine (Catherine Keener) and Jane (Frances McDormand) are moving on without her. Franny stays at home with her two kids, while her husband (Greg Germann) works. Their relationship is good and their biggest decision is where they should make a large donation. Christine and her husband, David (Jason Isaacs) are screenwriters who work together, argue a lot and have decided to put a second floor extension on their house. Jane is a well-known fashion designer who loves her husband Aaron (Simon McBurney), who everyone thinks is gay. Olivia, on the other hand, cleans people's homes, having quit her job as a teacher at an exclusive school because the kids were making fun of her. She has trouble finding her place in life when all around her; everyone seems to be doing much better.
Nicole Holofcener's ("Lovely and Amazing") new film "Friends with Money" has some richly observed moments and some good laughs about adult friendship.
Olivia is Jennifer Aniston's best character since "The Good Girl". Unmotivated, slightly depressed and confused, Olivia clearly doesn't want a lot of pressure or obligation in her life, working as a maid in various people's homes. After she spends her day cleaning for others, she goes home and pines for the man she once loved, a married man who had an affair with her. Franny fixes her up with Mike (Scott Caan), her trainer, and they begin a relationship which doesn't seem to give Olivia a lot of joy.
As we watch Olivia wade through her pot-hazed life, Aniston portrays why this woman would feel this way, giving us a rich portrayal of a woman who doesn't do much. But we get why she would begin a relationship with Mike. We get why she calls her ex-boyfriend every night and hangs up. We understand her feelings of abandonment when she hangs around her once very close friends.
Really, with a supporting cast including Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack how could the film go wrong? Each is great as a very different friend to Olivia. Frances McDormand is the standout as Jane, the fashion designer who just turned 43 and seems to be experiencing a mid-life crisis. But Keener and Cusack are both very good as well. Each has their personal problems and problems with their relationship, but they are unique enough to be different.
There are some truly funny moments, the type of moments Woody Allen used to create for his very similar films. The dates between Olivia (Aniston) and Mike (Caan) are funny, unusual and painful to watch. Jane (McDormand) steals many of the scenes she is in, as she plays a fashion designer who is losing control. Unfortunately, I find myself getting annoyed at many of the same things her character does. I hope I can prevent going off the deep end. I'm getting close, but I hope I can watch stem the tide.
"Friends with Money" depicts a moment in these characters lives. The film is rich with detail, but spends time depicting their actions, their interactions and the results of their friendships. It doesn't move at a fast clip, but because we are watching the relationship unfold, we get the sense we are watching a group of real people. Like we are eavesdropping.