My friend has a large plant in a pot outside. It has loads of small bright mauve blooms that look a bit like monkey flower, but the foliage has many small leaflets on a stem, and the flowers each have a thin stem about two inches long. The whole plant has an airy, dainty look to it. Beautiful.
Identifying a Plant
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The leaves you describe, with many leaflets on a stem, are known as "pinnate":
Most flowers that look similar to monkey flower are in the plant order Lamiales. One of the few plant families in Lamiales with pinnate leaves is Bignoniaceae, so perhaps your friend has one of those plants. Here are some examples: