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Please Give

3.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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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

Special Features

Behind the Scenes of Please Give
Outtakes
Q&A Clip #1
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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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003EYVXQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,427 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Please Give" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
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 girl". Then there are the neighbors, Catherine suffering traditional liberal "white guilt" who goes around giving money to homeless people but can give her time even though she goes to several different shelters and aid centers, she just can't give of herself. The bored husband who wants some passion again has a fling with the wild child who has been hurt by her boyfriend dumping her. Then there is the 15 year old teen girl who plays it spot on through all the adolescent emotions and body image issues.

The reason that I gave it a 4 was because it was all too realistic and it felt almost voyeuristic. It was a little too much reality to be truly entertaining.
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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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Format: DVD
This film confronts the viewer with some disturbing conclusions on human relationships, but in a gentle and generous way. We encounter a successful couple, one of whom is uncomfortable with how they make their living. A kind and empathetic woman who is overly generous with homeless strangers, but unable to meet her daughter's emotional needs. Two sisters who deal with the burden of caring for the elderly grandmother who raised them in different ways - one doesn't hide her impatience at the grandmother's refusal to finally die, while the other hides those feelings out of guilt. Two people stumble into an adulterous affair almost by accident. Finally, a teenage girl is happy for a moment when she finally is given a pair of expensive jeans.

The point of the movie is that even if people are shallow and thoughtless, in superficial and unfulfilling relationships, nevertheless, they still feel life as intensely as any poet or philosopher. This may be all we have, and it isn't much, but it's all there is. The fact that the limitation is within ourselves makes it even more tragic.

Beyond that, the movie is well-paced and devoid of the second act problems that often plague "serious" films.
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Format: DVD
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.)

The standouts for me are Platt and Peet. Platt seems to always give the same performance, but not here. Much more nuanced, more intelligent. Certainly more sympathetic Peet, too, gets repetitive, but not here. Much more nuanced, more intelligent. Certainly more sympathetic.

Both grandmas are great, the kid is great too, the jeans angle really smart. And one of the more believable preposterous affairs you'll ever see on film.
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Format: Amazon Video
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. The film stars Catherine Keener, who appears in
much of Holofcener’s work, perhaps most notable her film “Friends with Money.” Keener and co‐star
Oliver Platt play a New York City couple (Kate and Alex) who own a vintage furniture store. Kate is
constantly trying to help the homeless wherever she goes, but (if this is possible to believe) isn’t always
good at it. She tries to give a man her leftovers from dinner out as he stands on the sidewalk near a
restaurant. He glances at the leftovers and responds “I’m waiting for a table.” Awkward!
Kate is also not very successful at finding a volunteer opportunity despite her trying. She cannot
understand why she must maintain an almost Pollyanna approach to the residents of a nursing home.
And in one of the most moving scenes in the film (or really any film) she cannot stop crying as she tries
to work with mentally challenged young people.  
In an attempt to be charitable closer to home, Kate invites her elderly next door neighbor and her two
granddaughters to dinner. Kate and Alex have already purchased the elderly neighbor’s apartment with
plans to expand their own when she dies. This makes for tense moments during the dinner party to be
sure. The grandmother and one granddaughter are despicable creatures almost beyond belief, but the
other granddaughter, Rebecca, is a gentle soul (played masterfully by Rebecca Hall—probably best
known as the lead in Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”).  
This has got to be one of the most subtle films I’ve ever seen.
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