The 2014 film
- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- So much of Nina's character is left open to interpretation, since we never meet the real woman. Claire's hallucinations are all we have to go on, suggesting she may have been a Stepford Smiler. It's never even stated what caused her chronic pain or why she chose to kill herself. Claire even wonders if she had second thoughts about the suicide. It's even possible that Nina could have changed her mind at the last minute but fell by accident.
- Becky either stole Claire's purse, taking advantage of her generosity. Or she just took the money that Claire said she would give her - $100.
- How much of Silvana's attitude is just her being an Extreme Doormat? Or does she not want to leave Claire without anyone? Is it possible that Claire was much nicer to work with before the accident - explaining why Silvana cares for her?
- Award Snub: There was buzz about Jennifer Aniston getting a potential Oscar nomination, and many were disappointed when she wasn't. She did at least win three other awards for the film however.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Jennifer Aniston appeared alongside Emily Blunt to discuss the film for Vogue's 'Actors on Actors' series. Only a year later, Emily herself would star as a very similar character in The Girl on the Train. And the film would also feature Jennifer's Friends co-star Lisa Kudrow and her boyfriend Justin Theroux.
- Jerkass Woobie: Claire is rude to so many people and treats her housekeeper pretty badly. But she's a woman who lost her son in a car accident, is partially disabled and has just lost another friend to suicide. Once you find out the full extent of the situation, it's impossible to not feel some sympathy for her.
- Nightmare Fuel: Anna Kendrick shows that she can be pretty darn creepy when she's appearing as a hallucination. Her first Dead Person Conversation with Claire is terrifying.
- One-Scene Wonder: There's a few of them:
- Felicity Huffman only has three scenes as The Pollyanna head of the support group. However the part where she accepts an apology gift from Claire - but makes her put it on the floor rather than handing it to her - is one of the film's funniest moments.
- William H Macy has one scene providing a lot of Mood Whiplash as the man who killed her son.
- Lucy Punch as Claire's perky doctor.
- Britt Robertson as a runaway teen who attempts to steal from Claire and gets roped into baking her a cake instead.
- She Really Can Act: Jennifer Aniston had proved her dramatic credentials with The Good Girl but critics really heaped her with praise for this film. In the words of one reviewer:
"Aniston makes you believe in Claire's pain. She makes you believe this character is at her lowest point and only she can pull herself out of it. There is no Oscar scene. There is no massive crying fit. It's a complete performance from beginning to end and she deserves the appropriate accolades for it."
- Stoic Woobie: Silvana puts up with a lot from Claire, and she works very hard for very little money. But she keeps on trying to get Claire to put her life back together.
- Tear Jerker:
"I was a good mother."
- Claire confronting the man who killed her son. She ends up attacking him on the driveway and then looks around in horror when she sees that Casey has seen everything.
- Claire's last Dead Person Conversation with Nina - where she finally forgives herself. Jennifer Aniston conveys so much pain with one line.
- A low-key scene earlier in the film retroactively becomes this. After having sex with Arturo, Claire gives him a box of toys to give to his own children. Silvana stops him from taking the box and puts it away in her own closet, next to two more boxes. We later find out that these toys belonged to Claire's son. Silvana can't bear to see her giving the toys away.
- The Woobie:
- Nina of course was one before the film starts. In Claire's hallucinations she seems like a Genki Girl, but was clearly hurting on the inside and chose to kill herself for whatever reasons.
- Her husband Roy is a huge Woobie too, considering he has to raise his son by himself and cope with his wife's sudden suicide.
- Jason, Claire's husband, when you think about it. He lost his son as well and his marriage has fallen apart due to his wife's grief.