Jan 11, 2015

Review: Enough Said (2013)

It's easy to be a fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss if you're a fan of the TV series Seinfeld. With a natural spark for comedy, dialogue or situation-based, she's wonderful to watch and holds her own alongside her three male co-stars without a problem. I've never seen any of her more recent TV works like Veep or The New Adventures of Old Christine, so it was nice for me to have the chance to finally see her in a more modern role.

The other notable thing about Enough Said is that it's one of James Gandolfini's final roles before his passing in June of 2013. He's of course known for his starring role in HBO's The Sopranos and if you haven't figured it out already, I'm not much of a TV guy. So unfortunately I've never seen a single episode of the show. The list of accolades he got for that role speaks volumes of how good he was and I'm familiar with quite a few of his film roles which I've enjoyed for the most part.

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Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
Produced by: Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman, Chrisann Verges
Written by: Nicole Holofcener
Music by: Marcelo Zarvos
Running time: 93 minutes
Production company: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Likely Story
Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Fox, InterCom, etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $8,000,000
Box office: $25,288,872 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Catherine Keener, Ben Falcone, Toby Huss, Anjelah Johnson, Michaela Watkins, Eve Hewson, Amy Landecker, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Tracey Fairaway, Phillip Brock, Tavi Gevinson, Lennie Loftin, Jessica St. Clair

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Synopsis


Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced masseuse with a daughter (Tracey Fairaway) she shares with her ex-husband Peter (Toby Huss). While attending a party with her friends Sarah (Toni Collette) and Will (Ben Falcone), she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), a poet who she takes on as a client. She also meets Albert (James Gandolfini) in what is a bit of an awkward encounter. Against all odds, Eva becomes attracted to him and they begin dating.

Review


Nicole Holofcener finds a way to create a genuine feeling script with its portrayal of how tedious regular life can be, being middle-aged and forming relationships at this particular stage in life. I'm not middle-aged myself, but I do think that Holofcener succeeds in not turning her characters into caricatures and their interactions seem pretty real to me.

The way Eva interacts with other characters is really nice to watch. Whether she's seeing clients or she's meeting new people, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss provides a real spark for Enough Said and is a total pleasure to watch, much more than I ever expected. She's naturally funny and her dramatic efforts comes off as pretty strong as well.

She's also surrounded by some great talent of course. Gandolfini is like a big teddy bear and one can never complain when Toni Collette and Catherine Keener are around. Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfuss craft some really nice scenes together that are naturally awkward, funny and sweet. They're working with a great script that they manage to improve on even more with their performances. I just really can't say enough about their performances together and it's something you just really have to see for yourself.

Enough Said is a conventional story at its base, but it adds on a few more layers to the recipe like Eva and Albert's daughters leaving to go to college and both characters dealing with their exes. (Spoilers) However it does lose a little bit of believability once we discover that Marianne's ex-husband is Albert, but everyone involved makes it an entertaining and amusing development. Eva could have halted the inevitable awkward confrontation once Albert discovers that she's friends with his ex-wife by speaking up, but at least we still get some interesting and funny situations out of it. It's especially fascinating to watch the seeds of doubt grow in Eva's mind regarding Albert. (End Spoilers)

There are some genuinely hilarious moments in Enough Said and even the smaller things in Holofcener's script had me smiling. Take for example the fact that Eva drives a Toyota Prius. She gets into a confrontation with the mother of Chloe (Tavi Gevinson) which is funny enough, but the fact that she drives a Chevrolet Volt, a competitor to the Prius is too rich.

There's no way that Enough Said could've worked as well as it did without Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and James Gandolfini. Nicole Holofcener's script is very well put together though and the dialogue is a big strength as well. Funny at every turn, Enough Said succeeds in painting a really nice love story featuring middle-aged characters that also pulls at the heart-strings at opportune times. 

Rating


7.5/10