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with Jesus

Please Give (2010)Please Give (2010)

Writer and director Nicole Holofcener has created a nuanced portrait of five women from four generations who each struggle in their own way to make moral sense of family life in New York City. Kate and her husband Alex run a "vintage" furniture store that thrives because they buy low from distressed customers and sell high to status-conscious New Yorkers. Kate feels uneasy about that formula, she frets about the homeless, and surfs the internet at night for volunteer opportunities that might add meaning to her life. Their fifteen-year-old daughter Abby whines for $200 blue jeans ("you buy them for yourself," she tells her mom), obsesses about her admittedly horrible acne, and does a lot of truth-telling. In the apartment next door is a crotchety ninety-one-year old widow who is angry at the world and cared for by two granddaughters in their late twenties whose mother committed suicide — Rebecca is a saint who has no life of her own and knows it, while Marissa is a bitch who thinks she has a life but doesn't know it and later finds out. No one has it easy in this film, and we love each character for the way they try, well or poorly, to negotiate the moral complexities of very ordinary lives.

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