I cannot say enough about ENOUGH SAID– one of the best films at the movies right now! It’s an authentic, charming, tenderly-acted but unsentimental tale about grown-ups falling in love. Yes– grown-ups, a pair of middle-aged divorcees played by the late James Gandolfini (to whom the film is dedicated) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Albert and Eva meet at a party– and announce right off the bat that neither of them is attracted to anyone at that party. But it’s immediately clear that he’s attracted to her, and that she, well, is not attracted to him. He is large, not exactly her type physically. But then he asks her out, and they get to talking, and suddenly– it starts to crackle.
I love the rhythm of their conversations, beat by beat, as this relationship takes hold. Writer/Director Nicole Holofcener has turned an everyday situation into something singular, sweet, and smartly observed. The mild shock on Eva’s face as she slowly warms to him, and the intensity of Albert’s gaze as he grows increasingly attracted to her is downright seductive. Turns out they are both about to empty their nests of only daughters who are headed to college. He’s sad; so is she. But she’s also a little needy and off balance. He knows himself better and we can see he’s ballast for her as their relationship moves forward.
As usual, the previews have given away more than I would about the plot. All you need to know going in, is that these two have enormous chemistry, and you will be absorbed in seeing what happens to them. They behave with great humanity in the thick of some garden variety, but very real complications whenever people try to make a life together. Their chemistry is radiant; they light each other up in every scene. Louis-Dreyfus’s wit and skittish vulnerability is anchored by Gandolfini’s unpretentious charm and warmth. Neither is a fool and we are pulling for them from the get-go.
Toni Collette as Eva’s married, neurotic therapist friend, and Catherine Keener as a beautiful and divorced poet fill out the larger world in which these characters interact as we mull over the questions their various predicaments trigger about love and marriage. How do we sustain relationships over time? What holds people together and what pulls them apart? Why do kids pull away just before they leave? If anything, this very wise script puts the right words in everyone’s mouth– perhaps too right in some instances. But at its best, the film lets its characters twist in the wind, as the awkwardness of these sometimes funny, sometimes very painful moments have full sway.
I will warn you– you will be heartbroken; you will fall in love – if you haven’t already –with the late great James Gandolfini, and it’s a killer to know that this is his last performance. At the end of the credits, the dedication “For Jim” comes up onscreen; I found myself sitting there in tears, thanking him for giving us such a beautiful character to remember him by. Enough said.