Who's in It:
Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack
The Basics: Aniston, playing seriously against type, is a depressed stoner maid with three rich, self-absorbed friends. There's not much plot beyond them all talking. And they talk a lot. Fortunately, what they say is funny and puts a very specific type of well-off person under a microscope.
What's the Deal? Director Nicole Holofcener can take people you'd normally want to set fire to rich white people with perfect houses, successful careers and obnoxious SUVs and make you care about their well-being. As a filmmaking trick, that's even more difficult than getting you to believe that Tom Cruise can successfully battle aliens and outrun fireballs. And that's why her movies are cool.
Was Nicole Holofcener Ever Truly Poor? Because she gets the whole scam-free-stuff aspect of budget living just right in the scenes in which Aniston goes from one cosmetics counter to another scooping up free samples of expensive beauty products.
But She's Also Actually Acting: It was shot right after the whole Brangelina stuff broke, and therefore, Aniston is nailing the My-Life-Sucks face. I submit, however, that she's best when she's playing dissatisfied. Check her out in The Good Girl if you don't buy that.
Scene-Stealer of the Cast: McDormand's rage-filled fashion designer character is so deadly accurate that it's like she's been lurking around parking lots and clothing stores in a disguise, just watching for the kind of entitled angry person that overpopulates Los Angeles.