Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sometimes a movie is just brilliant - Enough Said Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Enough Said – Movie Review

By Anne Brodie Sep 29, 2013, 13:45 GMT
There’s a lot at work in the smart and engaging romantic comedy Enough Said. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets her first major film lead, the late James Gandolfini shows his tender, earnest side, dare we say dear side, and it’s a thoroughly good film. Catherine Keener joins the ensemble as the new best friend and puts in a signature naturalistic, realistic performance. It brims with sweetness and light and has a solid intelligent script.
Basically its girl meets girl and boy; girl loses both in one fell swoop, with laughs and heartache. While it sounds rom-comy, it’s far greater than that. There’s a rich vein of emotional colors made even tastier with great comedic support.

Dreyfus plays Eva, a single L.A. masseuse whose daughter is about to go east for college. Eva’s getting anxious pondering her future alone. But one night at a party she meets two people she likes, Albert (Gandolfini) and Marianne (Keener), an author Eva thinks would be an interesting friend. She sets the stage to see them again as an investment in a full life post-daughter.
Things are chugging along nicely. Marianne vents to Eva about her fat, boring ex and Albert is really committed to starting something authentic with her. And then she discovers that Albert is Marianne’s fat, boring ex. Problem is that Eva is so happy to have been rescued by these two that she can’t bring herself to tell them that she is seeing the other. She wants them both, but must do it in secret and with plenty of guilt.
That’s the basis of Holofcener’s story. Eva and Albert slowly build towards a real connection until Marianne’s scathing comments cause her to doubt him. But the truth will out and one day at Marianne’s, who should pop through the door with their daughter? Albert. Eva’s ripped by both and beats herself up pretty well too. Has she done irreparable harm?
Enough Said is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that gets richer as it progresses. It’s one of the year’s most winning films and amidst all that humor and confusion, there is a heart of solid gold. That’s great because films with this kind of optimism are rare, and films about midlife relationships are rare too. Eva’s deceit is fuelled by her need for love.

She was wrong and she hurt people, but she meant well. Personally I think they take her punishment too far. It’s kind of understandable. Unfortunate but understandable, and it would have been hard to stop, once the deceit began. It’s the kind of thing Elaine Benes would have done but without the suffering.
Speaking of Elaine Benes, there is some of her in Eva, but a Seinfeld fan will enjoy that warm familiarity. I don’t need Dreyfus to suddenly play Joan of Arc. But I’m also glad that Gandolfini did in his empathetic, quietly heroic role. Both performances are award worthy. Enough said is one of my favorite films this year, for being its own unique self, and for its big heart.
35mm comedy
Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener
Opens: Sept 27
Runtime: 93 minutes
Country: USA
Language: English

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