Movies: "Enough Said" | Arts & Culture

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Movies: "Enough Said"
Movies: "Enough Said"

 

I love Autumn.  The weather turns crisp, the lawn doesn’t need mowing every week and the movies become so much better.  Case in point: “Enough Said,” a sweet, funny film about adult relationships, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late (and sorely missed) James Gandolfini.  The movie is dedicated to him at the end.

 

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (“Please Give,” “Lovely and Amazing”), “Enough Said” is set in the pleasant suburbs of Los Angeles, where Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) plies her trade as a massage therapist, hauling her bulky equipment around in a Prius.  

 

She’s the divorced mother of college-bound daughter (Tracey Fairaway).  At a party, she’s introduced to some new folks, Marianne (Catherine Keener), a stylish, successful poet, and Albert (Gandolfini), a burly, bearded fellow whose sense of humor instantly jibes with Eva’s.  Before long, Eva has formed relationships with both -- and that is where the plot thickens.

 

Because even as Eva’s affection for Albert starts to deepen, she’s getting an earful from a narcissistic and resentful Marianne about the flaws of the poet’s ex-husband -- who, unbeknownst to Eva, is none other than Albert.  Hesitant to commit to her new romantic relationship, and in awe of the woman who’s “friends with Joni Mitchell,” Eva lets Marianne subtly undermine her feelings towards Albert.

 

Holofcener’s witty, literate script lets us get to understand all of the key players, whose language and manners mirror decent American behavior in the 21st century.  Moviegoers who may only know Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus from their celebrated TV roles will be surprised to see them here:  he’s a quiet and sensitive sweetheart of a guy, far from the violent vulgarian we saw in "The Sopranos," and she is far less self-assured than she was as Elaine in "Seinfeld" or is currently in “Veep.”  Their humor-filled affection for each other is low-key but heartfelt.  

 

Both are aided by a terrific group of supporting actors, including Toni Collette and Ben Falcone (the air marshal in “Bridesmaids”) as Eva’s closest friends;  Fairaway as her daughter Ellen, clinging to and pushing away from her mother;  and Eve Hewson (real-life daughter of pop star Bono) as Tess, Albert and Marianne’s college-bound daughter, whose resentment of Eva’s budding relationship with her father clouds their first meeting.  

 

“Enough Said” was shot by Mexico’s Xavier Perez Grolet (“I Love You Philip Morris”) and the sprightly  soundtrack is by Marcelo Zarvos. 

 

Although it’s rated PG-13, this is a movie for and about grown-ups, who have loved and lost, and may just love again. 

 

I loved it, and give it an A.

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