Please Give

2010

Please Give

Critics Consensus

Nicole Holofcener's newest might seem slight in places, but its rendering of complex characters in a conflicted economic landscape is varied, natural, and touching all the same.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 139

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,567
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Movie Info

Kate has a lot on her mind. There's the ethics problem of buying furniture on the cheap at estate sales and marking it up at her trendy Manhattan store. And how much markup can she get away with? There's the materialism problem of not wanting her teenage daughter to want the expensive things that Kate wants. There's the marriage problem of sharing a partnership in parenting, business and life with her husband Alex but sensing doubt nibbling at the foundations. And, there's Kate's free-floating 21st century malaise -- the problem of how to live well and be a good person when poverty, homelessness, and sadness are always right outside the door. Plus, there's the neighbors: cranky, elderly Andra and the two granddaughters who look after her.

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Critic Reviews for Please Give

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (43)

  • Keener has become Holofcener's artistic alter ego. In Please Give, the sharp-eyed filmmaker sends her vibrant representative out into the world to explore what it means for a woman to be lucky and still feel itchy.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Nicole Holofcener, who writes the most interesting female characters in the movies, delivers another dazzling role to her muse, Catherine Keener, in Please Give, a delightfully dry dramedy about guilt.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Life-goes-on movies usually don't electrify the senses, but this one stimulates moral imagination.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • It sparks laughter by crossing the wires of human motivation, letting you see the hazards that exist in trying to be a good person.

    Jun 24, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Nicole Holofcener's lovely Please Give is a small, modest movie, full of the sort of characters we might know, or be.

    Jun 18, 2010 | Rating: 4/4
  • Three dimensional characters, direct no nonsense dialogue and a dry sense of humour combine to create an understated thoroughly enjoyable feel-good film that leaves viewers with an invisible glow.

    Jun 17, 2010

Audience Reviews for Please Give

  • Nov 07, 2011
    Here you have a one trick pony - something perhaps better suited as a TV sitcom... and it plays like one, sad to say. There's very little character development with each character a cardboard bit of archtype, providing very little tension as it slickly moves from predictable plot thread to predictable plot thread. In a nutshell, you have a New York couple who deal in "reclaimed" furniture. The big secret is how they get said furniture. You see, the couple, aptly played by Platt and Keener swoop in on estate sales and the like, taking advantage of those in mourning or those just unaware; picking up prime pieces for peanuts and then later selling them at huge profits. The one trick pony is that Keener is feeling guilty. How very un-capitalistic of her! Of course she realizes that if she and her husband weren't doing it, someone else would be (as the film shows in one of the few bright scenes, where another dealer takes advantage of Keener's feeling of guilt, getting a table for 4k which he then sells at his own shop for 7 - ain't America great?). Thrown into the mix is the totally superfluous role of the 15 year old daughter - who has no real purpose, but somehow the director decides to make into a major character anyway (the repeated riff on the 200 buck pair of jeans is boring and repetitive - and to end the film with her receiving the holy grail attempts to give this not so subtle statement about consumerism far more weight than it should. Of course even here, the message is mixed, as it could equally be argued that you get what you pay for. After several attempts at cheaper jeans (which don't fit), the daughter finally wins out when the expensive pair fit her better - and give the daughter a much needed boost in her self esteem (ooh, another message!). There is attempted black humor as Platt and Keener are waiting for the 90 year old woman next door to die so they can buy her apartment and tear down the walls to make their place larger. The old bag is direct to a fault, ha ha, and when you add in her two granddaughters, one a mouse who cares for grandma, and the other a shrew who predictably ends up bedding Platt, you get the kind of plotting and script that might last a full season as a "real life" sitcom. But as a feature film.... You have every right to expect more. I walked away from this film without an ounce of caring for any of the characters - the film played so trite and felt so scripted and melodramatic that I simply cannot believe all the wonderful reviews this high school play has received. Unreal and phony - if this is what "in the know" New Yorkers think is real - I'm eternally grateful I live on the opposite coast. In over 300 films reviewed, this one ranks near the bottom - not because it's spectacularly bad, but because it pretends to be art and a look at real life - and delivers neither one.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2011
    I think that Nicole Holofcener has my kind of humor, that sort of mean-spirited, abrupt, non sequitur kind where you laugh really hard and then immediately afterward feel really bad for laughing. And I also like that there's always a tint of melancholy spotted in every stretch of dialogue, no matter what the mood. It brings you down to earth, somehow.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2011
    This "comedy" is far from funny or interesting in any matter. The characters are boring, the plot goes nowhere at a slow pace, and I could not even finish the film before turning it off.
    Shawn E Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2011
    I lreally like Nicole Holofcener movies, but this one fell a little bit short. It was still decent and an engaging to watch, but it was missing something. It could have been so much better, in my opinion.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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