Review: Enough Said
PLOT: Eva, a divorced single parent, strikes up a relationship with a man who, while not her type, appears to be a perfect match. But when she inadvertently becomes friends with his ex-wife, Eva must decide if she wants to know all of her new boyfriend's secrets.
REVIEW: As if the too-early passing of James Gandolfini wasn't sad already, here comes ENOUGH SAID to remind us what a tremendous screen presence the man was. Capable of so much more than tough guy bluster, Gandolfini reveals in this terrific dramady a sweet, funny and thoroughly vulnerable side that is so engaging I felt quite devastated when the movie ended. You'll want to spend a lot more time with Gandolfini's Albert.
You'll also want to spend more time with Eva, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the focal point of the film, which is a superb examination of adult relationships by always on-point writer-director Nicole Holefcener (FRIENDS WITH MONEY). Eva is a divorcee preparing herself for her daughter impending departure for college; with a trying job as a masseuse and a barely existent social life, Eva is not likely to handle empty nest syndrome well. Just in the nick of time she meets Gandolfini's Albert, a self-described slob who is not exactly Eva's type, but still an amusing and likable man who is also about to lose his daughter to college life. Eva lets her guard down for Albert, and the two quickly strike up a romance.
Almost at the same time, Eva gets a new client in the form of famous poet Marianne (Catherine Keener), yet another divorcee whom Eva can relate and talk to. But wouldn't you know it, Eva eventually learns that Marianne is actually Albert's ex-wife - thus she finds herself in the awkward position of hearing the inside scoop on Albert's tics and bad habits. And according to Marianne, he has plenty of both.
This sounds like a somewhat contrived setup, and Holofcener actually doesn't shy away from some of the sitcom-y opportunities that arise, but the plot is just a foundation for the characters to stand and shine on. What Eva does with her newfound intel is of less importance than the way her relationship with Albert evolves; from the first dates to the awkward sex (he asks if she's able to breath while he's on top of her), to the first instances of annoyance and resentment (There's a drunken dinner scene here that will have you cringing and laughing simultaneously), ENOUGH SAID takes an honest and earnest look at two middle aged people attempting to press the reset button with each other. It's pretty refreshing to see a comedy that is actually mature.
It never forgets to be funny, however, and that's thanks to a combination of Holofcener's cutting dialogue and the splendid performances of its two leads. Gandolfini's charm was always effortless, but the ease with which he slips into Albert's affable persona is just remarkable. Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva a bit broader, utilizing her vast array of quirky expressions to underline Eva's sardonic but spirited personality. But we also get to see her play some deeper notes of longing and confusion; it's a very impressive and enjoyable turn by the actress.
And oh how you wish you could watch this relationship keep growing. Holofcener does't give us a Hollywood ending, concluding her film on just the right beat of bittersweet ambiguity. It's another truthful and moving moment, one you'll be hard pressed not to applaud.
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