Film Review: Enough Said (Max’s Take)

MV5BMjI2MjIwMDk2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTQ1MzQ5OQ@@._V1_SX214_Directed by Nicole Holofcener

Starring James Gandolfini, Amanda Louis Dreyfus & Catherine Keener

With Enough Said, we bid farewell to that great heaving presence that was James Gandolfini. Magnificent as he was in all his wheezing glory, he was never the most versatile actor and he always worked best within his slightly confined wheelhouse of ‘gentle giant capable of terrible things’. But his performance in Enough Said is big hearted and nuanced with real sadness.

As divorcee massage therapist, Eva (Dreyfus) prepares for her daughter to leave for college, she unwittingly finds herself re-entering the dating game. Her new boyfriend, Albert (Gandolfini) is a lumbering, loveable oaf. At the same time, she also acquires a new client, Albert’s ex-wife (Keener). Her relationships with each of them blossom in tandem and she thinks better of letting either of them know about the other. That is until the ex-wife starts to become a ‘tripadvisor of men’, highlighting all of Albert’s flaws.

The pairing of Elaine Benes and Tony Soprano was an interesting one, for such an understated comedy, the two actors might have been haunted by their previous iconic roles, but the characterisation of Enough Said is so strong and so believable, you don’t give it a second thought.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ performance carries an astounding amount of pathos and true-to-life humour. She definitely gives Cate Blanchett’s Blue Jasmine a run for her money. Gandolfini’s character is completely loveable. He’s wry and witty, but vulnerable and immature. Their middle aged, saggy relationship could make for absolutely dire viewing, were it not for Nicole Holofcener’s autobiographical candidness, which lets us share in the universal experience of the messiness of life.

The film never gets particularly deep and it’s shamelessly romantic, so gets a little mushy in places. The storyline has a hint of farce, which is completely delightful. The humour is wry, intelligent and based totally around the pains of middle age and growing old without growing up. Every single performance is totally spot on: Dreyfus, Gandolfini, KeenerEnough Said, really.

4/5

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