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Friends With Money - Preview

Friends With Money

Preview by Jack Foley

JENNIFER Aniston has thus far failed to impress with her film choices post-Friends given selections such as Derailed and Rumour Has It.

But her latest, an ensemble feature called Friends With Money, could well be the film to reverse her fortunes, especially since it was chosen to open the Sundance Film Festival (2006), where it received favourable reviews.

The film marks the third feature from director Nicole Holofcener (after Walking and Talking and Lovely & Amazing) and co-stars Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand.

It follows the friendship between four LA women of varying means, picking up roughly where Lovely & Amazing left off and making its central subject matter their struggles to live authentically without surrendering to pessimism. It also considers the issue of how money can make or break relationships.

The film is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, who immediately recognised the quality of the work and agreed to finance it.

A statement issued by the company said: “This is a terrific story about modern couples perfectly cast with a director we have wanted to work with ever since her very first film. Nicole Holofcener is a major independent American filmmaker and the mastery of the screenplay of Friends with Money bears this out.”

Holofcener, of course, is no stranger to working with strong female casts, having enjoyed much of her success on TV where she has successfully directed shows such as Sex & The City and The L Word.

But thanks to the quality of Friends With Money’s cast, as well as its profile at Sundance, this could be the independent feature that boosts her career in terms of the big screen.

Among those to sing the film’s praises at Sundance was The Hollywood Reporter, which described it as “a pitch-perfect ensemble comedy that burrows deep into the mind-set of white, upper middle-class Angelenos, anxious to strike the right balance among career, family, love life and money but never quite pulling it off”. It adds that ‘Aniston and Holofcener were made for each other’.

While Variety noted that it ‘offers an agreeable grazing menu of smart dialogue, wry observational humor and bright characterizations’, even though it doesn’t satisfy as much as it might.

Given the buzz and the quality of the cast, however, it should well be worth keeping an eye on as it heads our way over the coming months.