Flick Chick 

Nicole Holofcener

Wednesday, Apr 19 2006

It’s not a big stretch to imagine some upstanding filmgoer in Kansas — or, for that matter, East L.A. — coming out of a Nicole Holofcener movie muttering, “Can you believe those asshole narcissists?” Holofcener, whose third acid-laced chick flick, Friends With Money, was just released to mostly favorable reviews from female critics, ought to be crowned unauthorized filmmaker to Los Angeles’ Westside. She has a light and musical sense of place; every film is insistently local and specific — the Farmers Market on the Third Street Promenade, a sprawling home in the Palisades, midrange eateries and shopping malls — and her characters speak Topangan and Santa Monican. Like many women directors, Holofcener writes what she knows, and very likely who and what she is. Obsessed with body image and money, her characters hover precariously between failure and success, unsure of what counts as either. In Lovely & Amazing, Holofcener’s enraged alter ego, Catherine Keener, rents decidedly down-market and hawks miniature chair sculptures around trendy boutiques; by Friends With Money, she’s selling screenplays from a fancy house, struggling to save a drowning marriage and trying not to succumb to depression. Liberated from the earth-mother niceness clamped on them in the average women’s movie, every Holofcener woman is insecure, competitive, endlessly watching her friends to see who’s up and who’s down. Creatively speaking, Holofcener is quite the bitch: She gives no quarter, but she’s also loyal and tender to apparent losers — like Jennifer Aniston’s pothead maid in Money ­—­ others would roll their eyes at and dismiss. Episodic, relatively plotless, chronically incomplete, her rambling films drive a lot of men up the wall. But we know, don’t we, girls, that these are the days of our lives.

click to enlarge Photo by Kevin Scanlon
  • Photo by Kevin Scanlon

Related Stories

  • Santa Monica Hood 23

    Read 'em and weep, Angelenos: As many of you probably already well know, just because you live far from downtown Los Angeles doesn't mean you're safe from big-city crime. Some of America's most dangerous suburbs are right here in L.A. County. Real estate website Movoto used FBI police reports from 2012 (the latest data...
  • 2776, a Comedy Space Opera Made By a Crazy Number of Famous People

    At first one thinks it's the shrooms — because only a noise like this can be manufactured psychedelically. Then you think "Nah, I’m just waking up from a weird dream and the radio is on." And before you can pinch yourself into reality, you realize "No, I’m wide awake and...
  • Marry, People 2

    After the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California last summer, people started getting their vows on pretty much right away. See also: Gay Marriage in California: What Happens Next? But California law still contained antiquated language that defined marriage as "a personal relation arising out of...
  • Japanese Romance Apps Hit the U.S., and They're Amazing

    Tucked inside the exhibit hall at Anime Expo was a small, pink booth. Inside, there were two cosplayers standing under soft lighting as people queued up to take photos with them. The guy with the fox ears and long, blonde hair is supposed to be Miyabi, a lead character in...
  • Glove Law Repealed

    Remember six months ago or so when it looked like everyone from your friendly neighborhood barman to your favorite sushi chef was going to remind you more of a surgeon than someone providing hospitality? That's because on Jan. 1, a law went into effect requiring plastic gloves for all hospitality...
Reach the writer at etaylor@laweekly.com

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Scenes from the O.J. Simpson Circus
    In the months after O.J. Simpson's arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the summer of 1994, the drama inside the courthouse riveted the masses. But almost as much mayhem was happening right outside the building, as well as near Simpson's Brentwood home. Dissenters and supporters alike showed up to showcase art inspired by the case, sell merchandise, and either rally for, or against, the accused football star. Here is a gallery of the madness, captured by a photojournalist who saw it all. All photos by Ted Soqui.