“Nicole Holofcener is reunited with her regular collaborator Catherine Keener, who plays a New York antique dealer and would-be philanthropist in her new comedy-drama Please Give. The film’s humor is gentle and understated, which makes a refreshing change from the multiplex broad-comedy, but PLEASE GIVE is unlikely to breakout of the indie mould in which it’s built. Still, the film provides many pleasures regardless of its box office potential (which is mid-range for it’s indie stripes). It may take some time but Nicole Holofcener’s latest effort gradually grows on you. Partly it’s her obvious affection for her oddball collection of characters; partly it’s the performances of the likes of Keener and Oliver Platt as her wayward husband.”—Richard Mowe, Boxoffice Magazine
“Like Holofcener's previous pictures, PLEASE GIVE derives its narrative energy less from a series of plotted incidents than from its keenly observed interplay of clashing personality tics and worldviews.”—Justin Chang, Variety
Kate (Catherine Keener) 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 (Sarah Steele) 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 (Oliver Platt) 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 (Ann Guilbert) and the two granddaughters who look after her (Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet). As Kate, Alex, and Abby interact with the people next door, with each other, and with their New York surroundings, a complex mix of animosity, friendship, deception, guilt, and love plays out with both sharp humor and pathos. PLEASE GIVE is writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s perceptive—and devastatingly funny—take on modern life’s contradictions, good intentions and shaky moral bearings.