Volume 22, Number 52 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 7 - 13, 2010
Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Please Give” (+)
Good news: This is a delightful movie. Some critics have referred to it as a comedy, but it is much more than that. It lays out relationships in a realistic manner involving humor and sorrow which, after all, is what the human experience is all about. Watching the characters interact with one another is like watching the performance of a fantastic theater troupe. There are no minor characters. When actors are called front and center to do their turn, they perform superbly — as though they were the principal character.
Now to the story. We meet Kate (Catherine Keener), her husband, Alex (Oliver Platt), and their teenage daughter, Abby (Sarah Steele). Abby is a little heavy and suffers from acne, which causes her anxiety. She satisfies her plight by buying expensive clothes, e.g., designer jeans costing over $200.
The family lives in a Manhattan apartment building next door to an elderly woman, Andra (Ann Guilbert), who has two granddaughters: Rebecca (Rebecca Hall), a mammogram technician, and Mary (Amanda Peet), who gives facials at a spa. Another character is Eugene (Thomas Ian Nicholas). He’s quite short — shorter than Rebecca, whom he asks for a date.
All of these characters interact with one another, providing the audience with a range of emotions — including smiles and laughter as well as tears and remorse. Their experiences make us recall incidents in our own lives when we have been selfish and unkind to others. All in all, the story and acting in this film will delight you.
Rated R; 90 minutes. At City Cinema 1, 2, 3 (1001 Third Ave. at 60th St.).
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