Nicole Holofcener's Please Give is like her two previous films, Lovely and Amazing and Friends With Money, a wryly observed social commentary.
Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt are a New York couple, Kate and Alex, who make their living selling antiques and older furniture that middle-age people are willing to part with cheaply after their parents die. The pair then sell it to younger hipsters.
Kate and Alex, in turn, are waiting to be rid of Andra (Ann Guilbert), a living antique next door. They have tentatively bought her apartment and plan to expand theirs when she dies. This will give them not only more space but some psychological breathing room from daughter Abby (Sarah Steele), a sullen 15-year-old.
In the meantime, the couple uneasily wait. As a way to assuage their guilt in hoping the process moves along more quickly, they help out Andra, who has two 30-something granddaughters who live nearby.
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One, Rebecca (Rebecca Hall), is mostly pleasant but reserved and borderline depressed. The tanned Mary (Amanda Peet), who works in a spa, is the brassier of the two but has more of an alcoholic's personality.
Kate invites the granddaughters to a 90th birthday dinner for Andra. With Abby and Alex also there, it becomes one of those evenings when people say things they will regret.
From Abby to Andra, Please Give shows the generational faces of women. They are a bit inscrutable at times, with aspects of their sometimes thorny personalities revealed in bits and pieces. In a way, the film is about shadings — women grappling with similar problems at different stages.
Kate is the most fully drawn of the lot, and who better than Keener to show her doubts, fears and attempts to grow.
Please Give retails for $28.95 or $34.95 Blu-ray.