November 22 2013 at 10:06am By Theresa Smith
DRY, YET charming, Enough Said is a bitter-sweet romantic comedy with a grown-up outlook.
And here, a movie for adults does not reference sexual content, but maturity of dialogue, well-constructed characters believably working as an ensemble, and a storyline concentrating on divorcees in their early 50s.
This is one of the last films James Gandolfini worked on, which makes for a rather poignant moment, but a good way for him to be remembered. He plays Albert, a divorced father of a teenager who is about to go to college.
Albert starts a relationship with Eva (Louis-Dreyfuss) who is also a divorced mom of a teenager about to go to college.
Things start off well, until Eva – who is a masseuse – realises that when her new client Marianne (Keener) is talking about her sad sack former husband it is actually her new boyfriend, Albert.
Although the plot veers many times towards the absurd, it never goes for the cheap laugh, though there are laughs to be found.
Louis-Dreyfuss and Gandolfini as well as Keener, Toni Collette and Ben Falcone flesh out their characters with the little details that make us human.
Keener is a poet who really needs a good friend more than she needs a good masseuse, while Collette and Falcone are married couple Sarah and Will, best friends to Eva, who add a deliciously acerbic touch with their bickering which borders on this side of nasty.
Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfuss both have impeccable comic timing and share a warm chemistry which settles somewhere between messy and comfortable, but always remains totally genuine.
Louis-Dreyfuss contains the neurotic side we have come to associate with her TV roles, to create a character struggling to trust again. Eva’s got a bit of a martyr complex, but is trying to get beyond that so we can forgive the nastier side of her personality.
While Gandolfini got typecast as the brutish yet charming type because of his popular Tony Soprano character, more recently he had been able to step beyond that character with roles like this.
In Albert he creates an engaging, middle-aged man with a believable vulnerability, bit of a slob, but honest about it. Solid, but with a twinkle in the eye.
The grown-up part lies in the way the story doesn't go for an easy fix – people make stupid, hurtful comments and don’t make up their beds and wear the wrong things.
Each character uses the little things to show us their disap-pointment in the banality of their lives, but the emotional responses are what we can empathise with, making the story ring true.
The film is all about pers-pectives, how what is adorable to one person is abhorrent to the next. It is also about how some-times we make mistakes that we just cannot wish away.