Please Give—Movie

In a movie season full of 3-D, bullets, arrows, and gross-out humor, a good script and fantastic acting still has the power to stop you dead in your tracks. Say “hello” to Please Give, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener.

Full of witty dialogue, Please Give tackles serious topics…guilt, death, adultery…in a darkly funny, mean-spirited, snarky and deliciously entertaining manner.

Please Give revolves around Manhattan middle-class couple Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) , daughter Abby (Sarah Steele), the crusty old grandmother, Andra (Ann Morgan Guilbert) who lives next door and her two granddaughters, Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) and Mary (Amanda Peet).  Kate and Alex own a high-end vintage home furnishings store, purchasing most of their stock from the estates of the recently deceased. They own the grandmother’s apartment and are basically waiting for her to die so they can knock through the wall and expand their apartment.  Abby is a typical teen, concerned about her weight, skin, and the search for the perfect pair of jeans…no matter how much they cost. Andra’s granddaughter Rebecca lives a shy, quiet life as a radiologist and looks after her grandmother in her spare time, while her attractive, extraverted sister Mary works in a spa.

Each actor is great in his and her role, but Catherine Keener and Amanda Peet have to be singled out. Keener, long Holofcener’s muse, has never been better or looked worse. She’s racked by guilt over making money from dead people and it shows in every fiber of her being. Amanda Peet proves that she’s much more than just a pretty face. She has some of the sharpest dialogue and really delivers.

Give your ears a time-out from the sounds of bullets and crashes and your nose a break from those 3-D glasses. A movie as good as Please Give doesn’t come around often enough to be missed.

4 nuggets out of 4

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