Short Takes: Enough Said
By Violet Lucca
(Nicole Holofcener, U.S., 2013)
Enough Said is truly a bittersweet movie for anyone who loves bears. Hollywood’s finest big, hairy, handsome man—gone far too soon at age 51—proves that he could’ve been the next great romantic comedy leading man in this, his final role. Sans Joisey accent, James Gandolfini oozes sensitivity and warmth as Albert, a divorced dad pre-paring to send his daughter to college while starting a new relationship.
Refreshingly, his match is the age-appropriate Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who is also divorced and struggling with a soon-to-be-empty nest. The tenderness of Eva and Albert’s early encounters (a clumsy all-bagel brunch, their first kiss) is starkly contrasted with a dinner party at which, prematurely annoyed with every one of his quirks, Eva drunkenly goads and humiliates him in front of her friends.
The core of the film is very real and immediately felt: the way in which a relationship can be wrecked by doubt and a hasty focus on the other individual’s personal flaws. Nicole Holofcener’s script is not her strongest, too reliant upon a plot contrivance (reminiscent of that in her previous film, 2010’s Please Give): Eva is a masseuse who accidentally takes up Albert’s ex-wife (Catherine Keener) as a client and a friend, and soon becomes privy to her complaints about him. Yet the story contains grains of truth—and Gandolfini’s shining eyes throughout.