Enough Said (2013) Directed by Nicole Holofcener. With Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Tavi Gevinson and Tracey Fairaway.
After moderate success with films such as Friends with Money and Please Give, Writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s study of middle-age and relationships continues with Enough Said, a peak into the life of Eva (Julie Louis-Dreyfus), a freelance masseuse who one night at a party meets Albert (Gandolfini), which has the whiff of potential romance about it.
Holofcener’s writes with maturity and is backed up by performances that compliment her style, most centrally Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose grounded portrait of a happy-go-lucky, middle-aged woman is both funny and endearing. Then there’s the impressive presence of James Gandolfini, still trying to escape the the shadow of Tony Soprano – arguably one of the greatest characters on TV, and an integral part of the revolution that has seen a migration of Hollywood actors, screenwriters and directors, drawn to the small screen. Here, Gandolfini is excellent again, playing a recently divorced man, comfortably adrift in his life, almost waiting for someone like Dreyfus’ character to enter his world.
Like its central character, the overall tone is easy-going and aims to warm the heart. The script has a subtext that moves to dispel divides between generations, and what is conventionally attractive – subtly saying that underneath the bullshit, we’re all dealing with issues. Its saying that aesthetics are often misleading, an example of which being Dreyfus hanging out with her teen-daughters best friend – a young, cute Scarlett Johnassony-blonde, who in most other films would be roundly portrayed as the ‘hot chick’. Here, she’s a proper human with actual feelings, problems and a soul.
Aside from it being smart enough to not bash you in the face with its messages, one of the things that stands out about Enough Said, is that all of the characters are mostly likeable, and slightly irritating, like (let’s be honest here) most human beings really are. In part, it’s an undercurrent of what the film is about – as well as how essentially, we all need each other, yet there are times when people dumbfound us with their little annoyances. These things are only amplified in relationships…especially the long-term ones. 4/5