Review: Please Give DVD

Please Give DVD boxSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Nicole Holofcener | CAST: Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet, Rebecca Hall, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Sarah Steele
RELEASE DATE: 10/19/10 | PRICE: DVD $28.95, Blu-ray $34.95
BONUSES: featurettes, Q&A with the director, outtakes
SPECS: R | 90 min. | Comedy/drama | 1.85:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French, Korean, Thai, Mandarin and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

In Please Give, writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s (Friends With Money, Lovely & Amazing) latest entry in her series of films about females struggling with romantic, social and financial conflicts, Catherine Keener (Capote) and Oliver Platt (Frost/Nixon) star as an upper-middle-class Manhattan couple who own a trendy second-hand furniture store.

They befriend the two daughters of an elderly neighbor, whose apartment they hope to acquire when she passes away. One is a caring X-ray technician (Rebecca Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), and her sibling is a no-nonsense spa worker (Amanda Peet, 2012) who is more interested in having an affair with Platt than her ill mother.

The movie touches on many interesting issues and offers fine performances from its cast, but it never resolves any of the problems it presents in a fulfilling fashion. In fact, the denouement, involving Keener and Platt’s daughter’s desire for expensive jeans, seems just the opposite of what the film is trying to say.

Still, Please Give will find a following on DVD, particularly with female audiences looking for less fluff than Sex and the City and independent film fans familiar with the movie’s actors and filmmaker.

The small supplemental package on the DVD is led by a nine-minute-long Q&A with director Holofcener, whose thoughts on the movie would have been given a more effective forum had there been a commentary track.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.