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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Married antique-dealers, Kate and Alex (Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt) plan on gutting the apartment they own next door to expand their own pad once Andra, the cranky, elderly widow (Ann Guilbert) who lives there, finally dies. When Kate, conflicted with her own guilt, befriends Andra’s granddaughters (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet), the results are anything but predictable in this devastatingly funny comedy that examines life and death… and everything in between!

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The aspirations of an upper-middle-class Manhattan family collide in Nicole Holofcener's caustic Please Give. Catherine Keener's Kate, who runs a vintage furniture store with her husband, Alex (Oliver Platt), covets the apartment next door--she and Alex aim to expand their living quarters--but the current occupant, elderly sourpuss Andra (The Nanny's Ann Guilbert), isn't anxious to vacate the premises. Andra's granddaughters, Mary (Amanda Peet) and Rebecca (Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Rebecca Hall), look in on her more out of a sense of duty than affection. Kate tries to befriend them, but her acne-obsessed daughter, Abby (Sarah Steele), has better luck. After Kate invites the trio to dinner to celebrate Andra's birthday, Alex finds himself attracted to Mary, a narcissistic salon worker who shares her grandmother's sharp tongue (her sister works as a radiology technician). While Alex makes excuses to visit her salon, Kate gives twenties to the homeless, worries that there's something unethical about the way they obtain her merchandise--from the estates of the recently deceased--and struggles to find a volunteer activity that will assuage the guilt she feels about her good fortune. In other words, Holofcener, who has also directed episodes of Sex and the City, returns to the concerns that bedeviled the women in Friends with Money. Their knack for saying exactly what they think doesn't always make them pleasant company, but it does make them funny and real, and Holofcener's versatile ensemble rises to every awkward challenge she throws their way. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


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Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Keener, Rebecca Hall
  • Directors: Nicole Holofcener
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Cantonese, Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EYVXQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,827 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Please Give" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rustin Parr on July 19, 2010
Format: DVD
Eternally bitter, cynical but never toxic and always with a hint of beautiful humanity, Nicole Holofcener is always a distaff alternative to Woody Allen's neurotic obsessions. Her works, deemed as 'vagina movies', are no less assured, and even surpass the works of her male counterparts; whereas, Allen's works nowadays are consistent in their inconsistency, Holofcener's works organically evolve to correspond to the reality that we live in, and, as response, the people that we become. Her first film, "Walking and Talking" back in 1996 is a thoroughly charming and affable film, with concepts of loneliness, abandonment and feeling lost explored, but the pervading anxiety and bitter humour that have long since been her staple from her second film thereafter, are kept at bay, for most of the time. Her characters continually grow. Now, circa 21st century, and being caustic seems to be a natural trait. Still, Holofcener uses that to great effect; bitterness never overshadows, but merely used as a launching pad to explore the quiet beauty hidden amidst the toxic and the unpleasant.

In her fourth film, "Please Give", she tackles capitalism, displaced guilt, physical appearances, infidelity and death amidst a chaotic, arbitrary world that is rather nihilistic, but only in a gentle, breezy, free-wheeling meaninglessness that does not feel like a discourse on an Ingmar Bergman's nothingness, but more akin to Eric Rohmer's affable meandering that is no less understatingly hurtful and quietly emotional.

Set in rumbling New York City, Kathy (Catherine Keener) and Alex (Oliver Platt) own a furniture store, set by the couple's practice of buying furnitures at very low prices and put them up with high markups.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on June 12, 2010
Format: DVD
"Please Give" is a film expertly directed by Nicole Holofcener. It is full of realistic portraits of complicated human foibles and yet shines a light on what is important in life.

Kate (Catherine Keener) is a guilt-ridden mother who runs a successful second-hand furniture store in down-town New York with Alex (Oliver Platt), her husband and business partner. They also are feeling that their apartment is too small and plan to knock down a wall when the apartment they own next door becomes vacant. Andra (Ann Morgan Guilbert), their strong-willed elderly tenant seems to be planning to stay and Kate and Alex realize they have to wait for her to die. Evicting her has become out of the question. Abby (Sarah Steele) is their 15 year old daughter who has acne and a determination to buy a $235 pair of designer jeans.

Kate and Alex feel that it is awkward not to be friends with their elderly tenant and invite Andra over for a birthday party, along with her two granddaughters, Mary (Amanda Peet) and Rebecca (Rebecca Hall). Andra is crotchety and not that interested in birthday parties or presents. She comes to the party but is ornery and full of snarky comments about the cake and present she receives.

Kate and Alex are also dealing with Abby's teen-age angst. Kate also feels guilt making profits on vintage furniture from estate sales and Alex has guilt issues from a recent fling with Mary.

Overall "Please Give" is profound, full of funny insights on guilt and imperfection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ray Light on March 25, 2015
Format: DVD
No one will confuse these two characters (played by Catherine Keener & Oliver Platt) with a glamour couple such as Jolie/Depp in the Tourist, but I’d much rather spend time with these two wonderfully imperfect characters. @kmptop10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amit Talpade on January 8, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
This is another movie which has gained a lot of acclaim in 2010. A film about New York, I think would appeal mostly to people living in the big cities but should not prevent you from enjoying it. It deals with six principal characters for most of the movie and their interactions.
Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener are antique art and furniture dealers. They somehow manage to sell furniture, mostly antiques with the help of the living relatives of dead people. Their marriage is great but somehow they have become friends instead of lovers. Platt is okay at with the ethics of the business but Keener is troubled by it, so much that she is forever trying to make amends to get rid of her guilt. They have a daughter who is going through a teenage phase in her life. They had recently purchased an apartment in the building that they have lived in for many years but the only problem is that it is occupied by a woman and her two nieces, who care for her. Over the course of a get together with these people, Platt and Amanda Peet, one of the nieces bond and have an extramarital affair. That really is the gist of the film, and may not appear interesting to many people, but trust me it is. I feel that the director did such a fantastic job in bringing this film from paper to film, that you just have to see it to appreciate. It was a Woody Allen film vibe in this for me, four stars. 11/9/10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Sanberg on October 31, 2010
Format: DVD
I didn't much care fore this director's previous "Friends With Money." And though I do like this better, I'm not certain why. Both films have non-plots, but here I found a bit more to hold on to. Certain aspects, such as Keener's guilt concerning the core premise of her business, which is to profit from grief, are up front. But what of Platt's Alex having an affair with Amanda Peet? And the daughter's open disrespect for her parents? The argument over a $200.00 pair of jeans. That there is such a thing as a $200.00 pair of jeans makes my skin crawl.

Maybe this is where I part ways with the film. It's well written and very well acted. There is not a weak performance in entire 90 minutes. But I just have a hard time feeling any sympathy for these people. The one exception would be Rebecca Hall. She is a genuinely decent person and as her shot at love seems to become more real, I felt good for her. But on the whole I thought these people needed a jolt of reality.

This is a good watch. Probably more three and a half stars as opposed to the three I gave it, but it probably won't change your life.
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