Who needs `Friends' with all these issues?

Review C+


There's a self-loathing at the center of Friends with Money that makes it a tad unpalatable, as well as a sameness, a dependence on cliche, that makes it seem trite. All the fine acting, all the carefully observed friendships at its center can't overcome the feeling that something of a dead horse is being beaten here.

Jennifer Aniston, who seems to enjoy playing the outsider with self-confidence issues (see 2002's The Good Girl), is the one with the friends - OK, let's get all the puns about her erstwhile TV series out of the way now - and as the title suggests, she doesn't have much money. Her Olivia recently quit her job as a teacher and has gone into business cleaning homes (and occasionally making use of her clients' sex toys). She is single, without any prospects. She is not a happy person.

Friends With Money (Sony Pictures Classics) Starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack. Directed by Nicole Holofcener. Rated R. Time 88 minutes.

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