Enough Said written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (Fox Searchlight Pictures, Likely Story, PG-13, 93 min)
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, and Catherine Keener.
Everyone’s favorite target market is the 18-35-age range. They are the youth that carry culture, start fashion trends, and usually spend money on themselves. When it comes to popular culture, this age range becomes the focal point of just about everything. Most trendy musicians sit in that range. Most movies circle around the difficulties of young adulthood.
In particular, the romantic comedy funnels the 18-35 into a predictable narrative about a search for love and that perfect partner. Kate Hudson made a career out of it. Then it was Katherine Heigl. Perhaps now it’s Rachel McAdams?
While I wouldn’t call Enough Said life changing, it’s a quality romantic comedy that stands out for its against-type story of middle-aged divorcees looking to start afresh.
Searching for Love Again
The film tells the story of Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced and single parent making a living as a masseuse. Trying to cope with her daughter’s upcoming exodus to college, Eva hopes to get back in the dating game. Serendipitously, Eva meets Albert (James Gandolfini) another divorced single parent facing similar issues with a daughter heading to college. Sharing this bond, the two quickly move into a serious relationship.
At the same time, Eva befriends a new client, Marianne (Catherine Keener). Her client—a poet—lives the kind of lifestyle for which Eva longs. Thus, Eva quickly grows close to this new friend and by association, the aura of cool a critically acclaimed poet encounters daily.
But there’s one problem, Marianne’s constant complaints about her ex-husband gives Eva pause. Maybe her budding relationship is due same fate. Why would any prospect be that perfect match? Aren’t we all a little flawed?
A Goofy Sort of Excellent
Enough Said deserves the praise it has received. The writing is a goofy sort of excellent, allowing the actors to become their characters. In particular, James Gandolfini exhibits a subtle transparency in his character that goes against type. But the limitation of genre keeps the movie from really busting out.
The differentiator—romantic comedy highlighting brokenness in middle age—helps Enough Side rise above its competitors. But, those marks don’t mean the film is groundbreaking. While enjoyable, there’s nothing in the narrative or acting that leaves a viewer floored, mostly due to genre limitations. In all, Enough Said is a pleasant way to spend a couple hours. I would recommend it for a date night or for some pleasant viewing, but it’s a far cry from this year’s best.
Verdict: 3 out of 5