April 13, 2006

"Friends with Money"

From my film review in the upcoming American Conservative:

"Friends with Money" is an astutely observed ensemble film about four West Los Angeles women, one single and struggling (Jennifer Aniston) and three married with children and prospering (the terrific trio of fortyish actresses Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, and Frances McDormand). The "Sideways" of chick-flicks, this low key comedy balances on a knife-edge between excellence and inconsequentiality, drawing wildly varying reactions depending on the audience's mood. My wife liked it so much she saw it twice. While Saturday's crowd roared with laughter, Sunday's gaped impassively.

In Aniston's sit-com "Friends," the question, "How they can afford that Manhattan apartment?" was seldom even raised, much less answered, but the low budget "Friends with Money" is more realistic about how wealth matters.

In real life, Aniston, the former Mrs. Brad Pitt, has, I should hope, all the money she'll ever need. So, to establish herself as a serious film actress, she worked cheap in this indie film's deglamorized lead role as a depressed former schoolteacher reduced to toiling as the last Anglo maid in LA. Her character desperately needs both money and a man. A rich boyfriend would be ideal, but she's too glum to put up with an aggressive go-getter.

Aniston is now 37. An actress' career typically peaks between 35 and 40, but that's also when her biological clock is ticking loudest. Her vastly publicized divorce from Pitt last year apparently involved, among other causes, his desiring children and her wanting to act. (So, Angelina Jolie will soon bear Pitt's first-born.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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