x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Please Give

The touching observational comedy Please Give gets its DVD release.

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: Catherine Keener, Oliver Plett, Rebecca Hall

***

Please Give is a touching, amusing, observational comedy with a bittersweet edge. The film excels in its refusal to sugarcoat the minutiae of the everyday existence of its flawed, contradictory and very real characters and the sharpness with which their discontentment with life manifests itself. As with director Holofcener's previous film, Friends with Money, Catherine Keener is the lynchpin. She plays Kate, a middle-aged, New Yorker who runs a successful business selling vintage furniture with her husband Alex (Oliver Platt). As he bluntly puts it, to do this they "buy from the children of dead people" and then sell for a hefty profit. This causes neurotic Kate considerable guilt, which is exacerbated by the fact the couple have bought the apartment next to them from the grouchy, elderly Andra (Ann Guilbert), and are eager to expand, but cannot do so until she dies. Alex and Kate's daughter Abby (Sarah Steele), meanwhile, reminds us that growing up is often a struggle; a shopping trip ends with a mother-daughter shouting match in a changing room that will no doubt make a few viewers squirm in recognition.

Holofcener has a talent for capturing socially awkward situations perfectly. In Please Give, she does this satirically but with a kind eye and the result is an enjoyable, entertaining, film.