Monday, May 2, 2011

Please Give

Every now and then a good comedy comes along to remind us that a movie doesn't have to be stupid and juvenile to be funny.  I admit, sometimes I do enjoy stupid, juvenile movies, but if there were more movies like Please Give we wouldn't have to waste our time with bad comedies.  Please Give reminded me a bit of Woody Allen's movies, only funnier and with more of a story, or of Gigantic

Cathy and Alex have a used furniture store in New York.  They buy furniture from the children of people who have died.  Cathy feels bad about marking up heirlooms, profiting from the children's ignorance of the furniture's value.  They have also bought the apartment next door to theirs.  As soon as the 91-year-old tenant moves out, they'll tear down some walls and expand their living space.  Cathy feels bad about waiting on their neighbor to die.  Their moody teen aged daughter (is that redundant?) offers her wry observations and helps the couple keep some grips in reality.  Alex struggles with being bored in their marriage, while Cathy tries to figure out how to assuage her guilt by giving money to street people or volunteering at a nursing home.
Cathy insecurity and Abby's precociousness make for some entertaining mother/daughter talks.
This is one of those great family comedies (by which I don't mean appropriate for all members of the family, but comedy about a family) in which there are not earth-shattering issues, but in which we can laugh at them while laughing at ourselves.

Bottom line, 3 stars.

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