Enough Said Review

Enough Said

Seinfeld meets The Sopranos, who wouldn’t want to see that crossover?

Jerry would be cracking observational jokes onstage about the Mafia, and then backstage Kramer and Paulie ambush him with baseball bats, whilst George and Silvio stand idly by, debating the merits of a good espresso.

Ok so maybe, despite the pairing of Tony Soprano and Elaine Benes, Enough Said doesn’t exactly deliver on that premise.

Nicole Holofcener’s new film nestles itself in the type of mature rom-com territory which is usually occupied by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton.

The story revolves around Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced masseuse and mother of a daughter on the cusp of her university years.

Eva is reluctantly dragged out to a party, where she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), a free spirited poet, and Albert (James Gandolfini), a divorced father who works in a library for television history.

Eva and Marianne strike up a friendship, with Eva finding herself in awe of her new- found friend’s inner serenity.

Meanwhile, Eva and Albert start to date and share mutual despair at their respective daughters’ impending departure to university.

All’s going swimmingly, but of course there’s a twist.

Enough Said then takes a somewhat familiar trajectory, putting pressure on the characters and script to engage and deliver.

Fortunately, they do.

Holofcener’s script succinctly covers the film’s central theme of letting go of the past and moving towards the future. It succeeds in the admirable juggling act of never being too saccharine, never being too raw and yet never being so polished that it actually feels scripted in the first place.

This is partly down to the cast. Both of the leads deliver their lines with ease and impeccable timing, with Louis-Dreyfus arguably aided by channelling a little of Elaine’s spikiness.

Gandolfini, on the other hand, enjoys his softest role to date, and is here more likely to erase a Krispy Kreme than an FBI snitch.

Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini make an unusual but compelling couple, with the former’s attraction to the latter made all the more believable by her initial reticence.

Eva makes constant, and plausible, references to Albert’s weight and health, which are rendered a little bittersweet by Gandolfini’s subsequent real-life heart attack.

Having said that, Enough Said won’t be everyone’s cup of earl grey.

There’s a lot of sitting on porches and ruminating about loss, sewing blankets, hugging, etc and so forth.

And once the twist is revealed, the story is largely predictable.

Gandolfini’s tragic passing will doubtlessly draw a wider crowd than Enough Said would have originally had, but at least this means his versatility will be showcased to a wider audience.

Conor Brennan

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October 2013
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