Saturday, January 4, 2014


Rated PG-13

STARS: Julia Louis Dreyfuss, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener
DIRECTOR: Nicole Holofcener
GENRE: Romantic drama

Julia Louie Dreyfuss, the Queen of Quirky Facial Expressions and Rolling Eyeballs, has a field day as Eva, a middle-aged massage therapist who falls for roly-poly Albert (James Gandolfini) in the serio-comic Enough Said. Yes, Albert is tubby, and he looks like...well...James Gandolfini. But we're supposed to buy that an attractive woman will fall for a guy based solely on personality and a certain je ne sais quoi. (Where ARE all these women?)  Our odd couple bond, though,  because they each have daughters who are heading off to college for the first time, and they can commiserate through empty-nester syndrome. 

Eva and Albert are doing just fine until Eva takes on a new client,  Marianne, (Catherine Keener) who makes her living as a poet (there must not have been any poets in the audience, because that line deserved a chuckle). Marianne just HAPPENS to be Albert's ex-wife, and it's "uh-oh, uh-oh" all the way through from there. Marianne starts dumping on  Eva about her ex, revealing all of the things that turned her off about him, (and they are numerous, LIVED together) completely clueless to the Eva/Albert connection, and Eva isn't saying a word once she figures out who the man in question is. But we're privy to all the changes she's  going through by studying her remarkably expressive face. 

Eva knows she should say something, but just can't bring herself to do it.  Marianne is like a used car salesman to whom you've secretly administered truth serum, and now he's giving you the real lowdown on that vehicle you are considering purchasing.  Needless to say, the doo-doo will strike the fan, and it's one of those big boxy kind.

Enough Said is a tender tale--a wholly grown- up story about people of a certain age who have been there, and are cautiously feeling their way along the second time around, trying to avoid tumbling head over ass into that same sinkhole it took them too long to climb out of.  I saw the ending coming, and almost wished that it wasn't headed in that direction.  But then, I'm one of those people.

Grade:  B +


Let me begin by saying I went to see ENOUGH SAID reluctantly, not wanting my image of Tony Soprano besmirched by some mawkish soap opera. But since I'm also a devoted Oscar Party giver and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has been nominated for a Golden Globe "Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy" award (which often predicts who will be up for an Oscar), I felt it my cinematic duty to see this flick. I was pleasantly surprised.  As someone who is a tad fat phobic, I had difficulty at first buying into the idea that super petite Eva would be attracted to someone as large and lumbering as Albert. But the humor between them soon made me a believer.

To digress for a moment, I saw an HBO tribute to the late James Gandolfini where an actress—I believe it was either Diane Ladd or Susan Sarandon—said that when she acted with Jim she was surprised how sexy he was. Clearly the man had charisma regardless of his bulk. He shall be sorely missed.

But back to ENOUGH SAID. It's a good movie with some excellent acting. And it makes the point that little things--like not being able to whisper properly-- or separating the onions out of the guacamole, can turn into deal breakers if a relationship is on shaky ground. Too often we listen to other people's opinions rather than following our own hearts and feelings. Kudos to Ms. Dreyfuss. She really pulled out all the emotional stops. (Still, I don't think she'll win any awards this year.)