Please Give–Movie Review

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3 Stars
Please Give is one of those quirky, character-oriented comedies; the sort of thing that’s amusing to watch even though nothing particularly earth-shaking happens.

The characters are all the sort of Manhattanites who hardly ever leave the city and think it would be a great adventure to drive north and see the leaves change. Kate (Catherine Keener) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) have a business that involves buying the furniture from dead people’s apartments and selling it at a huge markup at their upscale store to the kind of people who think nothing of paying thousands of dollars for used furniture that they know nothing about.

Kate feels terribly guilty about this (indeed she feels guilty about just about everything.) She tries to make up for it by handing large bills to random homeless people, much to the annoyance of her teen-aged daughter (Sarah Steele).

To add to her guilt, Kate and Alex have bought the apartment of the nasty old lady next door (Ann Guilbert) and are waiting for her to die so they can knock down the wall and start remodeling. In the meantime, of course, they have to befriend the old biddy and her two granddaughters. One granddaughter (Amanda Peet) is self-centered and thoughtless. The other (Rebecca Hall) is shy and unassuming. Neither seems to have fully recovered from the experience of being raised by their grandmother.

The movie contains no real surprises, but it could be an entertaining way to spend 90 minutes.