Now, this is another article of mine that has something to do with the 90s. I shall refrain making 90s references in the future, because I don’t want to overdo them. But for now, here goes.
Until globalisation hit India, we didn’t have many Hollywood releases. We would have something like a seven-year gap between the American release and the Indian release of a film. That’s the reason Sony releasing their films a day early in India is a telling tale of the equality we have reached today. This gave a tremendous leeway to scriptwriters of the decades preceding the 90s.
Today, when a millennial sees a horror film and points fingers at how the script’s lifted from some Hollywood horror film, I wish to inform them that when that particular Indian horror film hit theatres at ₹2 per ticket, only a minuscule percentage of Indians even knew what Hollywood was!
But that time has left a bitter memory for the Indian film fan. People are so riled that they talk about how script writers flicked scripts and ideas in the 70s and 80s, so what would happen if they found out that Bollywood was at it even today – that they were still getting ‘inspired’ by Hollywood films?
Of course, Bollywood has grown up. Not only do they no longer steal, they even take pains to adapt Hollywood films. There’s one that really needs to be adapted, seeing how India is so much about gender equality.
So, this film is titled “Friends with Money” and if you didn’t look at the poster, you’d think this poster would be about three Caucasians and one token African American man wearing sharp suits, with the background somehow spelling M-O-N-E-Y, right? Well, that’s the surprise. This film is about four people who just happen to be women. These women are played by Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand and Marin Hinkle. Out of these, Jennifer Aniston plays someone who’s hardpressed for money and love, and her friends are her support group. As Jennifer Aniston’s character tumbles in and out of a relationship, they ladle her out.
This is one of the most emotionally heavy romantic comedies I have ever seen. Let’s be frank, I have recently developed an interest for ‘rom-coms’. So, as I wait for “Ocean’s 8”, I have watched films like “13 Going on 30”, “The Wedding Dress”, “27 Dresses”, “Bridesmaids”, “Erin Brockovich” – hell, I even check out the WWE women’s division when I can. What makes it work is that the film isn’t about love or a wedding, but about how society doesn’t let people – specifically women – live in peace if they don’t toe the line that society has ordered them to.
Along with the main transcript – of a young woman wanting to find love, there’s more about a couple who are breaking up and they can’t really talk about why. Another thread is about a woman who’s tired of living life the way she is and worried that her husband is gay, so on and so forth.
“Friends with Money” is sugary sweet, saccharine with strawberries. But nowhere does it say that this is a light film. No, the writers decided to actually make a film about the problems that society creates for women – not ‘women problems’. Oh, and somehow, somewhere, because Jennifer Aniston’s character plays a maid in one scene, she comes across as a ‘sexual massage device’.
You know where this is going. “Friends with Money” is now streaming on Netflix.