By Sandra Kraisirideja
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini give hope to single, divorced men and women everywhere in their new movie, “Enough Said.”
Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (“Friends with Money”), the movie tells the story of two divorced, middle-aged single parents who cautiously allow themselves to feel love again. The movie is the most accessible of her projects and is sure to appeal to a broad audience with positive word-of-mouth.
With exceptional performances by both Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini, “Enough Said” gives both actors a chance to show a broader range of emotions. Louis-Dreyfus, best known for physical comedy, gets to show her sweet and nurturing side, as well as quick wit.
Gandolfini, who was so convincing in his role as the ruthless crime boss, Tony Soprano, comes across as so lovable and sweet in “Enough Said” that it’s hard to believe he could ever be so menacing. Gandolfini’s performance is particularly bittersweet since he died of heart failure in June. There’s no telling what other romantic leads he would have been offered after this movie.
When Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (Gandolfini) begin dating after a chance encounter at a party, they find themselves falling into a relationship much easier than both expected. Both have college-bound daughters who will be leaving the nest in the fall so they find comfort in each other’s company. Complicating matters is Eva’s friendship with another person she met at the party—Albert’s ex-wife, Marianne, (Catherine Keener) although she only figures this out after she’s already in deep with Albert.
While Marianne speaks freely about all of her ex-husband’s bad habits, Eva can’t help but let it affect her feelings toward Albert. Even though she knows she should come clean with them both she feels compelled to continue learning about all of Albert’s faults, with the assumption that she can then avoid being hurt in the end.
Toni Collette and Ben Falcone play a husband and wife who are friends of Eva. While they are still married it’s the kind of marriage that makes you wonder how they ever got along and what it is that keeps them together. It’s an interesting counterpoint to the relationship with Eva and Albert, who seem to sincerely enjoy each other.
Holofcener’s skills as a director really shine in “Enough Said.” The premise doesn’t compel the audience to root for Eva, but Holofcener is able to present the situation in such a way where it’s possible to understand why Eva is trying to get as much inside information as possible. It’s as if Eva thinks the relationship is too good to be true and too easy, and listening to Marianne brings her back to reality. Of course she realizes too late that in her haste to protect herself she missed out on something that was truly great.
Louis-Dreyfus really seems to understand what it’s like to be a divorcee who has put all of her focus on her child and is now at a loss as to what to do when that child leaves.
What really sells the movie is the rapport between Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini. Together they embody the kind of relationship that everyone hopes for in the end: a person you can feel comfortable in your own skin around, who finds you funny, and who loves you despite your faults.