Title: Enough Said
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson
Screened at: Fox, NYC, 9/12/13
Opens: September 18, 2013
“Enough Said” is the kind of movie that Woody Allen would write and direct if our greatest director of comedies dealt with suburban families rather than urbanites. The humor is relatively dry, which is good—meaning that it’s far from the mindless sit-coms on TV like “Mike and Molly” where in the “audience” laughs every twenty seconds. The dialogue may be interpreted as conventional, but meandering may be the better word: that’s a compliment. Director Nicole Holofcener, whose “Friends with Money” in 2006 dealt with a woman who quits her lucrative job and wonders about her future, especially about her continued relationship with wealthy friends, hones in on two divorced people who don’t especially look for new soul-mates but who luck out, getting to consider a rosy tomorrow.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a terrific comedian whom most people would know from TV’s “Seinfeld,” performs in the role of Eva. Eva is a successful masseuse who makes the rounds of her customers in upper-middle-class California. At a party, she tells her friend that she is not attracted to anyone, a complaint echoed by heavyset Albert (James Gandolfini). Despite their differences in weight and social class, the enjoy a first date together, her taste in men questioned when she coincidentally begins massage therapy with Marianne (Catherine Keener), who is Albert’s ex, and who badmouths the man as a slob. Marianne overlooks Albert’s good qualities: his dry wit and his easygoing demeanor, qualities that make Eva comfortable with him from the beginning.
True to Woody Allen’s style, the happy couple discuss their philosophies of relationships, specifically why one man and one woman would opt for divorce while the same two people would fit quite well together with new partners. Some of these questions are brought up as well during Eva’s discussions with her friend Sarah (Toni Collette), and even the college-bound teen daughters of Albert and Eva are brought into the confabs as though they were adults. Comic thrusts involve Sarah’s brittle relationship with her Latina cleaning woman (Anjelah Johnson-Reyes), who doesn’t take crap from her employer but tells her boss that she disgusts her.
One may wonder who Marianne, a poet with published books, can afford her lavish home, particularly since people after divorce tend to be financially poorer, and we’re not dealing here with ambitious people in the field of finance or law. Southern Cal is shown in its opulent splendor by Xavier Grobet’s lenses.
In a film dedicated to him, James Gandolfini in one of his last roles shows his ability to play the laid-back sweetie-pie despite his fame as a gangster in “The Sopranos” on TV. He and Louis-Dreyfus share a palpable chemistry despite their physical differences, and the ensemble serve as background with aplomb.
Rated PG-13. 91 minutes © 2013 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – B
Acting – B+
Technical – A-
Overall – B+