Archive for the ‘Please Give’ Category

Please Give – review

Please Give – viewed 5/23/10

It is such a pleasure when you decide to go to the movies, and just happen to randomly pick a picture that ends up being one of the best films you’ve seen all year long.

“Please Give” is the story of two dysfunctional family’s in New York City, who’s lives end up intersecting and having a profound impact on one another. One family consists of two sisters who are complete opposites. One sister is an overly tan, conceited bitch, who could care less about anything except herself. The other sister is a radiology technician who is an introverted woman who spends most of her time caring for sick elderly patients, and her 91 year old grandmother who lives next door to the other family in the story.

The other family consists of a man and wife who make their living by ransacking the homes of elderly people who have just died, in order to find rare furniture and antiques, buy them at dirt cheap prices from their children, and then turn around and sell them for ridiculous prices in their upscale boutique. The wife, played by Catherine Keener, is so ashamed of this glorified grave-robbing that she gives every homeless person on the street she sees money, and attends every volunteer function she can find to subdue the guilt. They also have a daughter who is going through the pains of growing up as a 15 year old girl who feels no one understands her until she meets the two sisters who seem to understand the pangs of youth she must endure.

The film is really about this generation gap that begins with the grandmother, who hates everything and everyone, and trickles down to the married couple, through the daughters, and ending with the 15 year old daughter. It is about the communication barrier between those generations, and also the influence of New York as a main character as well. This cold unforgiving city in which no one seems to trust each other surrounds the families.

What makes the film so great is that you have these six characters that seem to have some sort of personality disorder that makes them seem like lost causes, but over the course of the film, and some of the ridiculous positions they take and dilemmas they encounter, are able to grow and mature and get past these issues. The film takes a negative stance for most of the picture, (in quite a humorous, tongue in check way for the most part) but has these truly poignant moments in which you can tell something shifts towards a positive stance in the characters lives. It is these moments that make “Please Give” a truly remarkable picture. It is a deep, heartfelt, emotional film that works on so many levels.

The film is playing in limited release right now, so if you have the chance to check it out. I strongly recommend it.

Grade: A+