Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
I miss James Gandolfini. No matter what project he was a part of…be it film, television or on stage, every time I saw him I was impressed. I first saw him in the Spring of 1992 when he appeared on Broadway in the revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In a cast that included Alec Baldwin, Jessica Lange and Amy Madigan he stood out as an actor to watch. Whether he was playing Tony Soprano or voicing the Carol the Monster in “Where the Wild Things Are,” (a brilliant performance in my opinion), he continued to surprise. And he does it again in “Enough Said.”
Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (Gandolfini) have a lot in common. Both are divorced. Both have daughters heading off to college. And both have had lousy luck on the dating scene. In fact, when they meet at a party they discuss their lousy luck, each professing that there is no one at the party they are even remotely attracted to. That being said, a little later they go out and develop a real affection for each other. Eva is a masseuse by day and has just added a new client, Marianne (Keener), a poet who is also divorced. But while both Eva and Albert try not to talk too badly about their exes, Marianne lays it on thick. Can you guess who her ex-husband is?
Well crafted by director Holofcener, who also wrote the screenplay, “Enough Said” is a small film that deserves to be seen. More a romantic “dramadey” than a comedy, the film features two great performers at the top of their game. Is there a more underused talent in movies than Julia Louis-Dreyfus? She’s only been on the big screen twice in the last 15 years – first as Princess Atta in “A Bugs Life” and then as Rochelle, one of the characters in this past summer’s dismal “Planes.” You’d have to go back to 1997’s “Deconstructing Harry” to actually see her face on screen. Gandolfini shows a side that most fans may not expect, yet in hearing his friends speak about him after his death it is the side that most resembled him. His Albert is a thoughtful, caring man who is quick to drop everything in order to please those around him. The twist here is that, the more Marianne complains about something Albert used to do, no matter if she found it endearing Eva now finds the these things objectionable. How the two deal with this situation is the crux of the story and the reactions are quite real and believable.
Next spring will bring James Gandolfini’s last performance, the crime drama “Animal Rescue.” If you want to see an actor at the top of his craft then I beg you to give “Enough Said” a look. I’m sure, like me, you’ll start thinking the same thing…”I miss James Gandolfini.”