Enough Said, 2013.
Written and Directed by Nicole Holofcener.
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Ben Falcone and Toni Collette.
A divorced and single parent, Eva, spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her daughter’s impending departure for college. She meets Albert – a sweet, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest. As their romance quickly blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne, her new massage client. Marianne is a poet who seems ‘almost perfect’ except for one prominent quality: she rags on her ex-husband way too much. Suddenly, Eva finds herself doubting her own relationship with Albert as she learns the truth about Marianne’s ex.
While the above synopsis may not sound like the plot of a particularly sweet or funny film, somehow it really is. Enough Said is a touching look at middle-age and love, and is a rom-com with more than a few laughs in it.
First off, you can’t help but praise the excellent cast as they make this film something slightly different. Whether it’s Ben Falcone’s beleaguered husband or Louis-Dreyfus’ kooky massage therapist, everyone is perfect in their role and all bring a warmth and sincerity that can often get overlooked in this genre.
The most pleasant surprise was the late James Gandolfini. Playing completely against type, we see him as cute and affable man with a heart of gold and an abundance of humour. From the moment we see him, we can’t help but like him as he cracks little jokes and seems almost puppy-like in his way of moving across the screen.
This is wonderfully refreshing after seeing him in the role of Tony Soprano for so many years and at the same time slightly saddening. Seeing him in a role like this only leaves you wondering that if he hadn’t passed away prematurely, what other parts he could have surprised us with?
Like I said though, he’s not the only actor on top form and we shouldn’t overlook anyone as they are all truly fantastic.
They are of course helped by a marvellous script that regularly supplies a healthy dose of laughter through almost the entire picture. Every character gets at least a moment to present us with a small insight into who they are or what they think and as a result, we end up feeling more connected to them all.
I’ll grant you that it may not be the most original of stories but there’s plenty of perfectly judged humour and compassion that helps you overlook any formulaic plot turns. Additionally, in the latter scenes you may even surprise yourself with how attached you’ve become to the characters and some of you may need a tissue or two for any escaping tears.
All in all, this is a well-judged romantic comedy with a perfect blend of awkward situations, big giggles and heartfelt sentiment. I can also happily say that even though you may initially be a smidge sceptical of the story and its familiar path, by the end you won’t care as you’ll be too busy trying to contain the beaming smile on your face.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Ozzy Armstrong is a Stargate and Rocky superfan. Follow him on Twitter.