Wednesday, October 16, 2013


"Enough Said," starring Julia Louis- Dreyfus, Catherine Keener and James Gandolfini, opens in wide release today.  This unique independent movie is Gandolfini's final film performance and is truly a wonderful representation of his skills as an actor.  Pairing him with Louis-Dreyfus and Keener along with providing the cast with smart, creatively complex dialogue that keeps you not just interested, but emotionally connected with the characters makes this film a film to see.
Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced mother making her way in the world as a massage therapist.  At a party, she is introduced to Albert (Gandolfini), who both acknowledge they are not attracted to anyone there.  Naturally (?), they begin to date.  Eva also meets and begins to see a woman named Marianne as a new client.  Their friendship develops out of this working relationship and the successful poet finds comfort with Eva as Marianne complains about her ex who coincidentally happens to be Albert.  Uncomfortable with owning up to this sudden revelation, Eva begins to see Albert through different eyes-- specifically, Marianne's eyes.  Inside knowledge, as Eva puts it, is like having a "human Trip Advisor."  Wouldn't you use it?  The awkward situations begin to snowball, creating an avalanche of problems.  The premise of the story isn't anything out of the ordinary, but the understated comedic value in everyday situations and misunderstandings makes this film stand out among all the other romantic comedies. 

"Enough Said" is a clever and unique story about a very common situation:  divorce, dating, and kids.  What makes this story different is the realistic dialogue in believable situations while still maintaining a sense of humor.  Although the story-line revolves around Eva and Albert, it still conveys so many peripheral stories about mothers and their daughters as well as outside relationships.   Eva's daughter is about to go off to college on the other side of the world; at least that's how Eva feels.  Heading out from California to the East Coast, Eva is struggling with her daughter leaving.  From a mom's point of view that just went through this situation, it couldn't have been any more real.  The preparation in sending her off and the emotions that accompany this are complex and revealed perfectly.  Be prepared to shed a few tears.  Eva's friends, Sarah and Will, played by Toni Collette and Ben Falcone, support Eva with such humor in their perfect portrayal of typical married life that you might suspect someone was eavesdropping in your own home.  

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a natural in her role as Eva.  In fact, I even questioned whether or not the mother-daughter pair was truly just that in real life.  They are not, but the naturalness in their movements and body language is convincing.  Gandolfini's performance is exceptional.  This role allows him to show yet another aspect of who he can be.  From the mob boss in the Sopranos to a sensitive caring father in this film, Gandolfini's abilities give you the sense that there is significant complexity not yet revealed.  Tracey Fairaway plays Eva's daughter to a "t."  The emotions of a daughter going off to college can be a roller coaster of a ride and Fairaway found profound momentum in this character.  The supporting cast is amazing, always finding the right beat and the right delivery to give complete life to the characters and situation at hand.

"Enough Said" is not your typical romantic comedy.  It's funny in relatable ways.   It's deep in emotion and heart.  It's thoughtful and realistic, but still finds a way to entertain.  The unique dialogue just emphasizes the creative writing.  And then the acting pulled it all together to give you, the viewer, an even  higher level of entertainment. 

3 1/2 st

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