Monday, January 10, 2011

Disappointment in Please Give

In a way, I would expect to have liked a film like Please Give, the original story written and directed by Nicole Holofcener.

I typically am a big fan of these types of small films with small moments and intersections of characters in community. Yet this film left me very dissatisfied.

I felt like whatever Nicole Holofcener was attempting was hurt my disjointed story lines and characters. And read my sentiments correctly, the problem was the disjointed-nature of the characters. The creation of her characters was intriguing, but since every character was so unique in their own way the film failed in it's own originality.

Amanda Peet as a vein and awful person, Rebecca Hall as a sentimental homebody, Catherine Keener as a introspective woman searching for a chance to redeem herself of personal guilt, Oliver Platt as a man with no shame, Sarah Steele as a self-conscious teen, and Ann Guilbert as a cankerous woman on the edge of death.

I think what makes matters worse is the films title (Please Give) and it's central character (Catherine Keener) seeking out opportunities to give back. There are a couple of scenes that are tossed in, particularly at a nursing home and a non-profit for disabled students that simply seem out of place and while I can imagine a few ideas behind what Holofcener was attempting to do in this film, I believe she has failed because those ideas you see developed seemed lost in a shuffle.

I watch this film and ask...why did Rebecca Hall's character have the boy friend story line? Why was the affair with the Amanda Peet character neccesary?

The other thing about this film is that there were a few choices that were made that quickly pushed this film into R-rated territory, when I would have loved to have seen this film re-written and created as a strong PG-13 film, but instead these decisions that were made (Hall's job as a mamographer technician and unneccesary F-bombs) that I feel weakened what could have been a sentimental or moving quality to this film.

These are the types of films that make me want to write my own screenplays because I watch it, and see the ideas there, but see the failure for some peer review that could have really taken this film to another level.

1 comment:

James D. said...

I am glad someone sees it for what it is. I thought I was in bizarro world.

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