Friends with Money: Boston Globe paragraphs

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Hilary the Touched
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Friends with Money: Boston Globe paragraphs

Post by Hilary the Touched » Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:42 am ... _sunshine/

...The 2006 edition of the Sundance Film Festival is wrestling as every edition does with notions of bigness and smallness, of Hollywood celebrity and do-it-yourself independence. It was possible to go from seeing a little film (by studio standards) like ''Friends With Money," in which Jennifer Aniston plays a pot-smoking loser housemaid, to watching the paparazzi sprint up Park City's Main Street after Aniston's limo while crowds gawked for a look. And it was possible to witness a filmmaker like first-timer Dito Montiel become inarticulate with happiness at the sight of audiences applauding his rough-hewn coming-of-age-in-Queens movie ''A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints."

There are 120 feature films in this year's Sundance -- chosen from 3,148 submissions -- and they span all levels of ambition and impact. ''Friends With Money" is the new film from the gifted indie writer-director Nicole Holofcener (''Walking and Talking") and the closest thing to a Hollywood movie she has made yet. Set in Los Angeles, it centers on a group of mostly married yuppies: mismatched screenwriters Catherine Keener and Jason Isaacs, rich and complacent Joan Cusack and Greg Germann, and mad-at-the-world Frances McDormand and her husband (played by actor-playwright Simon McBurney) who everyone thinks is gay. Aniston's character is their odd-woman-out pal, and if it sounds like a 40-something version of her old TV series, you're not half wrong. (''Friends With No Budget" might be a better title.)

Holofcener has an an ear for the way people really talk, though, and ''Friends" is at its best extremely funny and painfully acute about middle-age growing pains among the comfortable classes. Besides, few other filmmakers would give its leading actresses such three-dimensional roles.

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