Enough Said (2013)


Director:  Nicole Holofcener
Cast:  Julia Louis-DreyfusJames GandolfiniCatherine Keener, Toni Collette
Plot:  A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband.

Genre:  Comedy / Romance / Drama
Awards:  Nom. for 1 Golden Globe - Best Leading Actress (Comedy / Musical)
Runtime:  93min
Rating:  PG13 (ought to be NC16) for crude and sexual content, comic violence, language and partial nudity.

Enough Said could have been 'one of those', but its indie credibility helps it to stand apart from the crowd.  It is a romantic-comedy drama made for adults, and I don't mean that it is sexually explicit, but that it needs a mature audience to appreciate what goes on onscreen. 

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said has enough sharply-written material to probe our understanding of the issues related to lovers and ex-lovers.  It also sets up incredibly awkward scenarios, but therein lie the funny moments that illuminate the conditions of inadvertently dating your friend's ex-lover.

Enough Said stars the late James Gandolfini (his penultimate film), who gives an exceptionally restrained performance as Albert, who meets Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) one day and falls in love.  They are both divorced and have daughters who are leaving for studies in another state, causing anxiety and thoughts of being lonely. 

They seek companionship in each other, but little did Albert realize that Eva is a personal masseuse for his ex-wife.  The complication is set up nicely, but while it drives the narrative, it is not the focus.  The focus, however, is on implications rather than revelations, and that is the strength of Holofcener's film.

The chemistry between Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus is solid enough to last the entire movie, and just maybe Gandolfini may get a posthumous Golden Globe acting nomination; the Oscars however is a far longer shot judging by the strength of the male acting pool this year. 

Louis-Dreyfus is also worthy of praise as she carries much of the film on her own, or more specifically, through her interactions with her supporting cast, in particular Toni Collette who is solid as always, with this being her second indie film of note this year after the acclaimed The Way Way Back (2013). 

Enough Said ultimately works as a dialogue-heavy piece, backed by fine performances that almost never strike a false note.  There are sweet and touching moments, but the film also pursues a reality that is not entirely far-fetched, even if the plot centers heavily on a circumstance that very rarely occurs in real life. 

The emotions and reactions are keenly observed, and it is fair to say that this is a movie about adult relationships that doesn't trivialize what it attempts to seek – that is to find clarity through the identification with one another, and in turn we as viewers gain a little bit more insight, perhaps even a tiny bit of wisdom about the human condition.

Verdict:  Engaging performances all round in this sharply written film about lovers and ex-lovers.


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