Enough Said

Enough Said photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgThe late James Gandolfini makes one of his last appearances in director Nicole Holofcener’s rumination on divorced empty nesters looking for love. Eva, a single mom (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), braces for her daughter’s upcoming departure for college. Albert, a single Dad (James Gandolfini), is likewise coming to terms with his daughter leaving home. Eva spends her days working as a masseuse but dreading her daughter’s impending farewell. She meets Albert (James Gandolfini) – a lovable, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest. They bond unexpectedly over their similar circumstances. Then there’s Catherine Keener who plays Eva’s newest client, Marianne. She is a divorced woman whose own dissatisfaction in her previous marriage begins to weigh on Eva in her current relationship.

Director Holofcener is recognized for her tales of modern, professional women. Her 5th effort, Enough Said unsurprisingly features a delightfully gentle performance from Julia Louis-Dreyfus. More surprisingly is that it spotlights a meaningful and nuanced role for a man – James Gandolfini.  She is pretty and petite. He is a big bear of a guy. Yet he encompasses a heart larger than his belly. Enough Said evokes a couple other flicks. I hesitate to invoke the name of Marty, one of my favorite films of all time, but there is a vague similarity with that story with respect to James Gandolfini’s character. Conversations form much of the narrative and the script handles the awkward interaction between these two unlikely lovers with a deft skill. There’s a somewhat Woody Allen-ish mood to the proceedings as well. That’s not surprising given that Holofcener’s stepfather produced Woody Allen pictures when she was growing up. The two principals interact frequently and their courtship is disarmingly tender and engaging.

Enough Said is a fairly slight production, a plot that owes a major reveal to sitcom humor and conventions. Nonetheless that should in no way to take away from the thoughtful work from Gandolfini and Louise-Dreyfus. They take a good screenplay and make it great by breathing life into characters that feel as real as anyone you might actually meet.  It’s nice to see people in their 50s represented in movies. The audience who bemoans the lack of non-teen romances needs to check this out. Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus are a delight. Their interactions as a pair will have you believing they really have fallen in love with each other. Both exude a sweetness rarely seen from these actors. I must admit Gandolfini’s passing lends the matters an added level of poignancy, but he is charming regardless. It highlights a depth of sensitivity contrary to which The Sopranos star is normally known – a fitting capper to an esteemed career.

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12 Responses to “Enough Said”

  1. martin250 Says:

    am looking forward to this.

    the casting choice of Gandolfini and Dreyfuss is a pleasant surprise. have always found them charismatic regardless of their common image.

    was never really interested in the Sopranos, but Gandolfini does have a tender side that can be seen.
    And Dreyfuss has always been pretty and charming, despite her clownish character in Seinfeld.

    • They’re both really good in this. Can’t say I watched The Sopranos either, but I know enough about the show to ascertain this is a departure for Gandolfini. Even Julia Louis -Dreyfus is sweeter here than the self absorbed character she played on Seinfeld.

      A welcome change of change of pace from both stars.

  2. Very good review, Mark! I’m a fan of Holofcener so I’m very keen to check this out. Also want to see Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini as a couple.

  3. This was such a cute movie. Although you could tell it was from the point of view from a woman, I still enjoyed it a lot. Julia and James were very likeable and relatable characters. 3 1/2 stars.

    • Yeah, when Albert gets his feeling hurt at dinner because Eva kids him about his inability to whisper, it felt overly sensitive. I didn’t think he would react that way.

  4. Very much looking forward to seeing this film. I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about it AND its performances. James Gandolfini was a talented actor and it’s great to hear that one of his final roles solidifies that legacy.

  5. Nice review. I’m one of Gandolfini’s biggest fans and I can’t wait to see this.

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