Things have been tough lately for Amelia. Her best friend moved out of the apartment, her cat got cancer, and now her best friend, Laura, is getting married. She copes with things, from the... See full summary »
Ever since she broke up with Nigel, Lena soldiers on through life as best she can with her two kids. She valiantly overcomes the obstacles put in her way. But she has yet to confront the ... See full summary »
Two families, sort of neighbors in Manhattan, cross paths as they navigate marriage, parenthood of a teen, ennui, a first date, and end-of-life care. Rebecca and Mary are sisters; their cranky 91-year-old grandmother's neighbors, Kateand Alex, run an upscale retro-furniture business, and will expand into her flat after she dies. Rebecca is quiet, without a boyfriend until a patient at the clinic where she works introduces her grandson. Mary is acerbic, stung by a recent breakup. Kate looks for meaning in her life, wondering if she should volunteer. Alex, too, is at loose ends. Their daughter, Abby, has zits and teenage moods. What does it mean to be good? Written by
Kate is shown reading a book, 'Assassination Vacation', by Sarah Vowell. That author appears in a brief but credited role as a shopper. The actress playing Kate, Catherine Keener, is also a featured voice in the audio book of 'Assassination Vacation'. See more »
Nicole Holofcener and Catherine Keener mark their fourth collaboration* with "Please Give", showing the contrasts in a New York couple's life. Kate (Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) run a furniture shop selling objects that they have collected at estate sales. In the apartment next to theirs, elderly Andra (Ann Guilbert, better known as Millie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show") has moved in with her granddaughters, the benevolent Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) and the mean-spirited Mary (Amanda Peet). As Kate, Alex, and their daughter Abby (Sarah Steele) get to know Andra, Rebecca and Mary, Kate begins to have doubts about how her own family lives its life. Kate always makes an effort to give money to the homeless, while Sarah doesn't seem to appreciate everything that she has.
The movie does a great job with character development. From the start, we immediately know that Andra always says exactly what she thinks, and that Mary doesn't have a care in the world. Specifically, there's the dichotomy in Kate's attitude towards things: she does everything possible to be a good Samaritan, but eagerly awaits Andra's passing. Is Kate really the person who she sees herself as? All in all, I highly recommend "Please Give". It just might help you realize your own flaws. Also starring Kevin Corrigan and Thomas Ian Nichols.
*I actually haven't seen any of Holofcener's other movies. I guess that I'll have to.
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