Friday, 25 June 2010

Please Give


It’s such a relief to see that intelligent European-style slice-of-life dramas are still being made in the U.S.

Please Give is a brilliantly-written and acted film by Nicole Holofcener. It’s the story of two families and one apartment building in New York City and you just know that every minute is authentic. The characters in the film are all vulnerable and flawed and struggling to overcome feelings of guilt (about a wide variety of things), betrayal and loneliness. Because it’s real, the film is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes painful and sometimes heart-warming. Each of the six central characters is so well-acted and well-developed that you could spend hours afterwards discussing what each one was experiencing and learning in their struggle towards a fuller humanity. Great stuff! If I had time, I would go into detail, but I’m taking a coffee break to write this as it is.

But be warned: If you’re looking for Hollywood glitz, stay far away. You won’t find any of it here. On the other hand, if you appreciate intelligent quiet independent dramas as much as I do, then this is for you. A very solid ***+. With my glowing review, you are right to ask why the film doesn’t rate ****. I can only respond by saying that while I enjoyed watching every minute of it, it didn’t grab me the way a four-star film needs to grab me.