FRIENDS WITH MONEY

Frances McDormand, Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack and Jennifer Aniston

I just saw this buddy picture, chick-flick from 2006. Everyone lives in Santa Monica, California. There is no sense of the community. None of the women do yoga. Everyone is married but Anniston, but I have no sense of anyone being married except in the most blasé way. Each marriage is like it came from a book. DAY 1. Here’s what you do. Day 2: Here’s what you do again.

Everyone wants Anniston to get a boyfriend. Scott Caen shows up, and the way he pleads for a second date (because there is nothing going on between them) suggests he need this movie role to advance his movie career. Incidentally, Caen is the most interesting character, McDormand much less so.

Anniston cleans houses for a living. She is so senseless that she takes puppy-dog Caen along to watch her work, and sometime later he helps her clean. They enter the house of an unemployed bachelor; nobody is a home. Caen says, “Let’s f%*!”  “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think so,” Aniston whines as she wonders what to clean first. If Scott Caen devotes all this time to Aniston,  maybe he’ll get the girl. A friend asks her, “How’s the sex?” “It’s fine.” The viewer should never know it because the togetherness time for most of the movie the two are detached. Perhaps Caen and Aniston have coodies.

Conversations and concerns of all the characters never go beyond what anyone talked about in Junior High School. The viewer goes through a teenage morass as characters talk significant complaints and activities. Is the husband of McDormand gay? He meets a man who is married and strikes up a friendship anew. Sounds suspiciously gay, but the film doesn’t show much that friendship and whether the men are straight, gay, bi or trans. Perhaps the basis of the friendship is that both men consider the other gay. Scott Caen has sex (in the bed of another house-to-clean client) with Aniston. That evening Caen dates another woman. Heartbreak. An adult situation. No confrontation but Caen is a bad, mean man. (At least he has done something to get out of this movie!) Keener and hubby are writers, the most improbable writing team. They disagree, not about writing but something juvenile: Her ass is getting big; he has bad breath. They separate, an adult decision based upon insults. This movie is proof that Catherine Keener should never go west of Broadway, New York City to pursue her movie career.

Aniston finds a slovenly guy, who reveals he is rich. He doesn’t like to tell people he is wealthy because he has issues. Aniston admits she has issues. However all issues will be happily resolved because he has the money she will spend to redecorate his house.

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