Enough Said (2013) Movie Review

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While on my way to Cyprus for a week (to justify a long absence from this blog), this film, along with Night At The Museum 3 (I haven’t seen the 1st 2, so I didn’t watch it), were the in-flight movies, and to show you what kind of a film it was – it has been several weeks now, and I still remember it pretty well.  So what can be said about Enough Said?

Enough Said, which was directed and written by Nicole Holofcener (who directed several episodes of Parks And Recreation and Sex and The City…quite a sentence), is a film that might be overlooked for 1 key detail, and I’ll mention why soon.  It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine Benes in Seinfeld, Maggie Lizer in Arrested Development and herself in Curb Your Enthusiasm) as a freelance masseuse named Eva.  Eva is divorced, and dreading the departure of her daughter, who is going to college in another state.  While at a party she is introduced to 2 new people, Marianne (played by Catherine Keener), who is a wealthy poet, and Albert (played by James Gandolfini), whose job is to put the whole of the american television database into digital format (meaning he knows the time and date of nearly every show since the birth of american TV, as well as a lot of TV-related trivia).  After signing up to be her Masseuse, Eva becomes excellent friends with Marianne, who has a lot to say about her ex-husband.  Meanwhile, Eva is dating Albert, who has a lot to say about his ex-wife.  Little did Eva know for a time that Marianne was referring to Albert, and Albert was referring to Marianne.

Now onto what might have people overlook this film – Enough Said is 1 of James Gandolfini’s last roles, as it was shot within a 24 day period, and He died 3 months before it was released in cinema in September 2013.  To add another element of sadness to it, was when Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli was asked if he had seen this film.  He said the trailer was enough, because Albert is basically Gandolfini playing himself, and it would have been too painful.  Due to the film’s quiet nature, it felt easy to separate James from his most famous role, Tony Soprano.  But at the same time, it is kept in mind that if James is similar to Albert, then hollywood really did lose a very good guy.

Is Enough Said a romantic comedy?  Yes, to a degree.  But it was a romantic comedy that was much more grounded in reality.  It isn’t over-the-top, it isn’t heavily dramatic, it felt realistically awkward, and it didn’t even feel like a movie as such.  It was like watching the highlights of a quiet, but human relationship (human the verb), full of quirks, silly little jokes, subtle self-deprecation and hints of sarcasm.  But 2 things I really liked about it were the themes it chose to explore, as well as the execution of those themes through its dialogue and character study.  One of the most important themes in the film is 1 I’ll call “Decide for yourself”.  It is clear that Eva enjoys Albert’s company.  She laughs at his jokes, and finds him to be very interesting.  He might not be her type in the looks department, but he makes her happy.  Meanwhile, Marianne only has bad things to tell Eva about Albert.  Even telling Eva that his jokes aren’t funny.  While Albert tells Eva that his ex-wife has no sense of humour.  What the film is telling us is that relationships should be down to 1’s take on the individual.  It displays how powerful someone else’s opinion can be to us, and make us question whether to agree with them, and even become someone who dislikes this person we had no problem with before.

What’s the soundtrack like?  To tell you the truth, I didn’t pay much attention to it, as the acting and character interactions seemed to make me forget it…but maybe it was just the quality of sound on the plane.  Looking through the songs again on youtube…it’s all pretty good.  We’ll leave it at that…Call me lazy on this right now, but that’s just the way it worked out.

Would I recommend Enough Said?  Yes, but only if you’re in a certain mood or feeling cinematically adventurous, or are a fan of James Gandolfini and would like to see him perform 1 of his last ever roles (which would be a main reason to have a look).  If you’re looking for something with explosions and gun fights, you’re going to sorely disappointed in this.  If you’re expecting James to pull out a gun or grab someone by the throat, you’ll be better off re-watching The Sopranos.  With that said, what Enough Said does well is both risky and quite brilliant.  Because it plays on 1 of the most important characteristics of cinema…people.  The acting comes off as very natural, even from the more amusing characters.  The characters aren’t just characters, they’re like real people with real problems.  On top of this, I’m sure this film is perfect for anybody who has gone through a divorce and are looking for a film that simply “speaks to them”.  No doubt, this film would do that if you’re looking for it.

Has it really been 2 years since James died?  They say the days are long but the years are short.  RIP.

Acting: *****

Characters/Character Interactions: *****

Story: ***1/2

Themes: *****

Music: ***1/2

Risk: *****

Excitement: -*

Overall Rating: ***3/4

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