Please Give

Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall

Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
April 29, 2010

Bare breasts, young and old, pert and drooping, fill the screen at the start of Please Give, an unnervingly hilarious and heartfelt comedy of bad manners from writer-director Nicole Holofcener. As you'd probably guess from that mammogram montage, the film takes you in directions you don't see coming, which makes it rare and remarkable just for starters. Please Give stars Catherine Keener, as do all of Holofcener's films so far (Walking and Talking, Lovely and Amazing, Friends With Money). The glorious Keener, incapable of a false move or a bullshit line reading, plays Kate, a New Yorker who runs a furniture store with her husband, Alex (a sublimely funny and touching Oliver Platt). "We buy from the children of dead people," notes Alex dryly. Their business is thriving, which makes Kate feel guilty. She doles out money to the homeless in increasingly large bills. Guilt defines Kate's feelings about her job, her insecure teen daughter (Sarah Steele), her roving husband and her neighbor Andra (the comically appalling Ann Guilbert), an old lady whose death will mean that Kate and Alex can annex her apartment and make theirs bigger. Andra's unmarried granddaughters, shy Rebecca (the ever-amazing Rebecca Hall) and provocative Mary (a flinty Amanda Peet), know that is Kate's master plan. A dinner party to melt the frost in honor of Andra's birthday is an uproarious disaster. No fair saying more about a movie that transacts delicate business with such dazzling skill. The pitch-perfect performances help Holofcener stir up feelings that cut to the heart of what defines an ethical life. There's no movie around right now with a subject more pertinent. It'll hit you hard.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

    This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

    More Song Stories entries »