I saw the matinee show of “Enough Said” with two elderly couples sitting close by. The film, starring Julia-Louis Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini, is evidently aimed at an older and more divorced demographic. Writer-director Nicole Holofcener comes up with a great premise plagued by a mediocre script and underdeveloped characters that are brought to life quite nicely by the two leads. In his last film, Gandolfini steals the show by playing Albert, a guy with a heart of gold, a far cry from the heart of Tony Soprano. If you’ve seen Dreyfus’s “New Adventures of Old Christine”, then just copy and paste that character here.
“You think they’re having threesomes?”
Eva (Dreyfus) is a divorced mother of an 18 year old. She is a masseuse who lacks romance in her life. To reverse that, she goes to some fancy-shmancy dinner party where she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), a divorced poet who could use a good massage at some point. Eva then becomes her masseuse and confidante. Later at the same party she meets Albert (Gandolfini), a divorced father who works at a film library. They begin to date soon afterwards.
Here’s the kicker, Marianne and Albert were married to each other. As Eva dates Albert, she also hangs out with Marianne more frequently and is told all about Albert’s flaws. When she realizes the connection, the question becomes what is she going to do?
“Why do I feel like I just spent the night with my ex-wife?”
Unfortunately, that’s all we’re left with. The script lacked a resolution for these characters, but maybe that was the point. To me, it just felt incomplete. I liked these characters but they didn’t make me care enough about their problems. Maybe it’s because I’m 30 years younger, I’m not a divorced parent of a teenage girl, and I’m not a woman. Regardless, Dreyfus didn’t really break new ground with her character. I’d seen her play that role enough times. Yes, she was sometimes funny, but it definitely wasn’t a laugh-out-loud type of humour.
I was much more invested in Gandolfini’s character. Maybe that’s because I’ve seen all of “The Sopranos” and Tony was played perfectly by good ol’ James. Albert is not Tony Soprano to say the least. He looks like a lumberjack and has a sensitive side, and Gandolfini played him with success. It was a nice last role for him given his career was full of playing tough guys and macho men. It is not a particularly memorable role, but one that says a lot about Gandolfini himself – a divorced father who seems like the nicest guy ever.
“I’m a poet….and I’m a dreamer”
There’s really not much to the rest of the movie. This little indie flick had a beginning and middle, although the journey between the two was lacklustre. It had a tiny inkling of an ending, but fell flat on its face. Cinephiles are warned to stay buried in their French New Wave and German Expressionism. The film is for people who love popcorn flicks.
Meh. This movie won’t really do anything substantial for Dreyfus’s or Holfcener’s careers simply because it is not a substantial film. Gandolfini plays a great character but it’s really not that much better than Dreyfus’s or Keener’s performances. Also, this film is certainly not for the under 50 crowd, keep that in mind.