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Please Give (2010)

Catherine Keener , Rebecca Hall , Nicole Holofcener  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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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 (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EYVXQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,092 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Please Give" on IMDb

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Behind the Scenes of Please Give
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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!

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Generous in its Many Emotional Insights July 19, 2010
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please Give me back my time December 3, 2010
Out of all movie genres, the one I head to first is the independent comedy drama. If it's that kind that also follows a group of characters in interwoven stories, even better. Please Give had Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt, two people who are often in films that I like. So, this movie had lots going for it. In theory. But if I hadn't looked up the writer/director (Nicole Holofcener) in IMDB, I would have thought this film was her first film. Yet, she also did Friends With Money, which I don't remember being so frustrated by. (Don't really remember it much at all, but at least it didn't leave me with a hugely negative memory.)

Please Give just seemed off. For a while, I was trying to figure out the point of scenes. It was like Holofcener took some pre-existing film template and pasted scenes over the template at the appropriate places, yet, did not have the content, point, or continuity through scenes you need to have a story that is worth making. So we have some fairly well-to-do people who make a living by buying furniture from the children of recently deceased elderly people and selling it to other well-to-do people who don't mind paying exorbitant prices for, say, 60's kitsch. Keener's character is beginning to have angst over this state of affairs and Platt's character tells her to get out of the business then. Okay, this is a decent enough setup, but it is not developed at a professional level. It is as if Holofcener believes that ANY 90 minutes of film strung together in scenes that cut between characters qualifies as a movie. But it just ain't so. The scenes themselves need to be interesting and/or funny or SOMETHING and they need to lead somewhere. If I want a story that has very little point I could film my family from, say, 6:15 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Insights on Guilt and Perfection - June 12, 2010
"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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars but (if this is possible to believe) isn’t always good at it
If ever a film captured the essence of the saying “charity begins at home,” it would be “Please Give,” a
new offering from writer/director Nicole Holofcener. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tom S
5.0 out of 5 stars Life as it is
This film confronts the viewer with some disturbing conclusions on human relationships, but in a gentle and generous way. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Larry Benjamin
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly diverting
Very smart, very enjoyable film, w strong performances, even if we've seen a few of them (Keener's; Hall's) before. (Keener's never looked lovelier. Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. Monstuart
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Enough Said
After watching Enough Said I wanted to see more of Nicole Holofcener's work. This movie had a similar feel. Great characters and dialogue. Entertaining and funny.
Published 7 months ago by Jayson Bjurstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, subtle, smart movie
Holofcener reminds us why movies count as art, as literature, in the way short stories and novels do. Don't miss this.
Published 12 months ago by Sammy Clemens
4.0 out of 5 stars A slice of life piece of reality
Wow what a piece of reality. The crotchety mean old lady who takes potshots at everyone. Two orphaned sisters who have to care for her, the wild child and the dutiful "good... Read more
Published 13 months ago by marriagecoach1
4.0 out of 5 stars another surprisingly better than good movie from Nicole Holofcener
I know that sounds backhanded but this is the second movie from Holofcener that I would never have watched if something else was on and that I found to be a really good movie with... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dwight
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Movie!
Blu-ray great quality and the movie was really quirky which is what I really like. A great story and had me on the floor at times laughing.
Published 21 months ago by Swonny
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner by Nicole Holofcener
Another great story by Nicole Holofcener - the writer/director behind Friends with Money and Lovely & Amazing. One of my favorite director. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dan Steadman
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more interesting than I was led to belive
I thought from the reviews I saw when this first came out that this would be about the lead character's unraveling and randomly giving out money. Read more
Published on October 16, 2012 by Reader
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