So much said so well
By any means necessary, those who love relationship-based movies should hunt down “Enough Said,” a remarkably entertaining movie about two divorcees working out the awkward but delectable kinks of trying to find love again. The film is witty, charming, hilarious and bittersweet—sometimes all at the same time; there is also a sadness all its own apart from the story of the film.
The film stars James Gandolfini (HBO’s “The Sopranos”) in his final starring role before passing away a few months after the film wrapped. Though his character is quite distant attitudinally from the mobster boss that made him famous, if you ever wanted to know what the fuss was all about, his teddy bear warmth and likeability here as Albert will convince.
Albert is a self-acknowledged slob, a guy still stinging from his divorce (Catherine Keener is fab as always as ex-wife Marianne) and protective of his sharply snooty daughter Tess (a terrific Eve Hewson).
But when Albert meets Eva (irresistibly idiosyncratic Julia Louis-Dreyfus), herself a recent divorcee – they decide to give it a go. From the first date on, writer-director Nicole Holofcener allows her actors plenty of space, and boy do they deliver.
You know you have a great script when it feels, well, unscripted. Albert and Eva – funny, breathtakingly real and marvelously middle-aged, play off each other like they’ve been doing it for years. That is, until Eva falls into a situation where she is going to learn a lot more about Albert than expected and from a source that can’t easily be dismissed.
It’s the kind of a twist that doesn’t seem manipulative or contrived in the least. We care about the characters even more after we learn their train could be destined to arrive at Heartbreak Hotel.
The supporting characters (Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Tavi Gevinson, Tracey Fairaway) are the perfect kind – never a nuisance – and provide the icing on a thought-provoking cake that proves Holofcener (who showed promise with her previous work “Friends with Money” and “Please Give”) could be THE filmmaker who brings a women’s perspective to Woody Allen’s domain. She proves capable of rewarding anyone who enjoys intelligently exploring the foibles of human intimacy.
“Enough Said” also proves two irrefutable facts: Gandolfini was just beginning to demonstrate his mettle on the big screen, and Hollywood has really missed the mark by assuming Louis-Dreyfus’ many gifts were only worthy of the small screen.
“Enough Said” says plenty, beautifully and effortlessly.
Rated PG-13 for adult themes and language including some sexuality.