Follow Us on Twitter

Enough Said - Review

Enough Said

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

NICOLE Holofcener’s Enough Said may now be notable for featuring one of James Gandolfini’s final performances but it also serves as a delightful reminder of how the writer-director crafts emotionally resonant films that are as heartfelt and authentic as they are consistently amusing.

Like Friends With Money and Please Give before it, Enough Said places real people front and centre and then places very real and entirely engaging stories around them.

On this occasion, the film’s focus falls upon divorced massage therapist Eva (Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who is contemplating the imminent departure of her daughter to college. Encouraged by her friend (Toni Collette) to try dating once again, she subsequently meets fellow divorcee Albert (Gandolfini) at a party and feels drawn to his sense of humour and easy-going manner.

But matters become complicated by the discovery that her newest client, Marianne (Catherine Keener), just happens to be Albert’s ex, who is not backward in coming forward when it comes to criticising her former husband.

In different hands, Enough Said could have been a clumsy comedy that opts for easy, even crass laughs. But Holofcener’s astute screenplay remains emotionally aware even when tackling issues such as sex and weight.

The conversations between the characters feel genuine and there is an obvious warmth between Eva and Albert that makes time spent in their company utterly engaging, and the inevitable complications all the more heart-breaking.

It’s impeccably performed, too, with Gandolfini delivering a sublime turn as the sensitive but witty Albert (thereby playing against type), and Dreyfus superb as the often hapless Eva, who projects confidence yet is riddled with insecurities. These two deliver one of the most memorable on-screen double acts you’ll see in a long time, especially within the romantic comedy genre.

There’s notable support, too, from Collette and Keener, as well as Tracey Fairaway and Eve Hewson as, respectively, Eva and Albert’s daughters.

The film’s ability to catch you off-guard emotionally is also exemplified in a particularly poignant moment late on where Eva has to say farewell to her daughter. Yet the film never becomes mawkish or overly sentimental and thereby effortlessly captures your heart.

It is, without doubt, one of the best films of the year – charming, witty, heartfelt and unmissable. And it’s a great way to remember just how brightly one of its leading lights could shine.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 93mins
UK Release Date: October 18, 2013