REVIEW: “Enough Said”

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“Enough Said” is an interesting romantic comedy/drama from writer and director Nicole Holofcener. It’s one of those films that has magically latched onto critics who were giving it rave reviews. It has one of the highest aggregate scores on Rotten Tomatoes and it has found its way on numerous Top 10 lists from well respected critics. But what is it about this movie that has earned such high praise? Here are a few things that come to mind: charm, wit, an intelligent script, and two very strong lead performances.

The true magic of “Enough Said” starts with two fine leads. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a divorced single mother and self-employed masseuse. Her life is in a repetitive rut at least until she meets Albert played by James Galdolfini in the first of his final two roles before his death. He two is divorced with a young daughter. The two decide to go on a date which launches a very unlikely relationship. In some ways the two couldn’t be more different. She is a fit and attractive middle-aged woman while he is an overweight middle-aged regular Joe. The film points out these physical differences on numerous occasions and I feel it’s for a specific reason. At first Eva may be desperate to fill a void in her life but soon she sees beyond physical appearances to what really anchors a relationship.

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“Enough Said” develops one of the purest depictions of an adult relationship you’ll see on screen. For years Hollywood has been fixated on divorcees when it comes to depicting relationships. That has fascinated and at times frustrated me. But here it is very pertinent to the story and more importantly to the characters themselves. Dreyfus and Gandolfini are fantastic and have a remarkable chemistry. You do root for them to make it and overcome their faults and past mistakes. Dreyfus has always had this infectious wit that I’ve been attracted to, and Gandolfini shows a brilliant range that many of us didn’t realize he had.

Holofcener’s script is smart and authentic but I have a few quibbles with it. There are a handful of subplots that are vaguely introduced but never really explored. A couple of them do reflect on our two main characters but others feel tacked on and unnecessary. There is also a twist with a character named Marianne (played by Catherine Keener). She and Eva become friends and they have some good moments together, but I couldn’t really buy into the overall idea behind the twist. I can see where it would work in a film a little more focused on straight comedy. But here it felt like a stretch.

Still, “Enough Said” is an intelligent and refreshing alternative to the bulk of what passes for romantic comedies these days. It’s mature in the sense of its middle-aged focus and it’s grounded in its portrayal of fallible and believable characters. But the biggest treat is watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini effortlessly embody these two characters. Both are fantastic and they are the real heart of the film. And for me, it’s their performances that are the biggest draw.

VERDICT – 4 STARS

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19 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Enough Said”

  1. It’s a very sweet and rather pleasant movie, but is so sad because of the reality that yes, Gandolfini is gone from our lives and yes, he was a presence to love on screen. Good review Keith.

  2. I loved this movie. I agree that it was certainly has two of the purest performances we get to witness on screen. The chemistry is great between the leads, and it felt like one of the most authentic on-screen performances I’ve gotten to see in a romantic comedy in ages. Nice review, Keith.

  3. great review keith. I really enjoyed this and felt it portrayed a seemingly real relationship. Very sad about JG, but to have this as one of his final performances is a great way for us to remember him by

  4. Great review Keith, sorry I’ve been away from your blog for so long. I really enjoyed this movie. I thought the script was very sharp, although I recognise some of the flaws you highlight. What really makes this one shine for me though is the strength of the performances. Louis-Dreyfus is having a glorious come-back (I adore Veep). And this one really shows us what a talent Hollywood has lost in Gandolfini. He will not be forgotten.

    • Oh I like her a lot too. She’s so funny and peppy. But she’s also always believable and brings so much to her roles. I wish she would catch on as a bigger mainstream Hollywood movie actress.

  5. I really liked Enough Said. I felt I could have gotten into it more had I had a few more life experiences that brought me up to speed with some of the emotional depths that were being mined here but like you said, it’s just nice to have a different romantic-comedy offering from the typical Kathryn Heigl-type stuff.

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