Money Changes Everything

9 Apr

When Friends with Money begins, you’re inclined to sympathize with Olivia, who is the only single member in a group of four women friends, three of whom are rich.

Olivia goes from one dead-end career to another (presently, she’s a maid) and one dead-end relationship to another. She’s so directionless and inert that her friends, when discussing which valuable cause they’re giving their money to, joke that they should give it to her.

In fact, the only real thing she has going for her is that she’s played by Jennifer Aniston.

Friends with Money would therefore have you hate Olivia’s friends because they are all so self-involved with their own lives, and the seeming glory of having a spouse and a house and kids and money, that they are completely oblivious to how unhappy Olivia is.

One of their spouses even says, “She doesn’t look unhappy.”

Well, one of the great things about this movie is that you come to see that the friends are not ignoring Olivia’s predicament at all. Instead, they each have significant problems of their own, from crumbling marriages to anger and resentment.

Thus, you have equal sympathy for all four of the women, and the film becomes a true ensemble piece about what defines happiness and success and friendship.

Real chemistry

Friends with Money is not a sad movie, but it’s about four unhappy women.

There are some sharp and keenly observant lines of dialogue, a few good laughs, and there is great acting across the board. You feel real chemistry between these women, even as their lives are drifting apart. Joan Cusack’s character even admits at one point that she would likely not be friends with Olivia had they just met now, as opposed to years ago.

The ending is a bit of a convenient cop-out that soils what may have been a really fulfilling plot development, and almost stymies some valuable character development. But aside from that, Friends with Money is a very good movie.

I’d highly recomend it, and I’ll award it an A–.

4 Responses to “Money Changes Everything”


  1. A Tale of Two Sweethearts « Martin's Musings - March 12, 2012

    […] can’t get serious or carry a movie — she’s done both in films like The Good Girl and Friends with Money, and to a more limited degree in Marley and […]

  2. Three Movies, Three Amazing Performances | Martin's Musings - January 26, 2015

    […] first solid dramatic performance; she’s been very good in other, less comic movies, including Friends with Money and The Good Girl. But for better or worse, this is one of those movies (like Greenberg or The […]

  3. Guilt Makes Her Give Back | Martin's Musings - May 11, 2023

    […] and directed by Nicole Holofcener (the excellent Friends with Money), Please Give is less story and more character study. The biggest plot point is that Kate and Alex […]

  4. To Tell the Truth? | Martin's Musings - May 24, 2023

    […] the film never quite reaches the heights of some of Holofcener’s other, better work (such as Friends with Money). The premise is stretched a little too thin, so even though the film only runs 93 minutes, it […]

What say you? Leave a comment here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: