The backstory: Please Give is nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards and is also the Robert Altman Award winner.
The basics: A true Manhattan story, Please Give features married vintage furniture store owners Kate (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) eager to expand their apartment by buying the one next door, currently inhabited by a very old woman whose granddaughters (Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall)somewhat reluctantly take care of her.
My thoughts: A quintessential independent comedy that could just as easily be called a drama, Please Give was thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. It's a character-driven story that is a little light on plot, but the characters are so well developed it feels like plot. For me, the film is an insight into these characters' lives. It feels like reality because of its ode to the everyday.
Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall were the highlights of this film for me. Oliver Platt was fine, but I fear he may have been miscast. Perhaps it was the intention of the director, but I wish someone slightly more subdued were in the role.
The verdict: Please Give is part family drama, part comedy, part ode to New York City, part exploration of rich, liberal guilt, and all lovely. If you're a fan of character-driven films with superb dialogue and acting, you're in for a treat.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Length: 90 minutes
Release date: October 19, 2010 (on dvd)
Source: I got the dvd from Netflix
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