There are times when I’m watching a movie and I become so engrossed in the world and the characters that when it’s over, I feel a certain sadness. Not because the movie itself was sad, but sad because my time with these people has come to an end.
Enough Said was one of those movies.
The film, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener and staring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and, in his final film, James Gandolfini, is the story of a divorced masseuse, named Eva (Louis-Dreyfus). Her teenaged daughter is about to head off to college and she’s coming to terms with the thought of an empty house. On a rare night out, she meets Albert (Galdolfini) and the two quickly hit it off, bonding over their kids and being middle-aged singles.
They both start to fall for each other, except… Eva now has a new client, Marianne (Catherine Keener). As the two become close friends, her bitter divorce and constant complaining about her ex-husband begins to throw a wrench in Eva and Albert’s romance.
One of the best things about the film is getting to watch these two “middle-aged” people fall in love because as they do, you can see them both break down their walls and start to act like kids falling for someone for the first time. It’s complicated and they both have their hang-ups, yeah, but watching this romance blossom between actual adults and these two actors was a wonderful treat.
The story itself could have veered into sitcom-y territory. I won’t say anything about how that could have happened for fear of giving anything away but Holofcener and the actors deftly whiz past it thankfully.
The performances in this film are stellar, starting with Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini and throughout the rest of the cast. Gandolfini’s Albert is the nicest guy in the world. On one of their first dates, he’s making sure to do everything right; witty banter, good conversation and being the perfect gentleman. But, there’s still a gleam of a guy’s guy inside. He’s gentle and sweet and you can see why Eva falls for him. Heck, I fell for him. It’s such a shame he passed away before he could hear the praise that he’s surely going to get for this role. It’s something we’ve never seen him do and he is absolutely fantastic.
This Louis-Dreyfus’ first starring film role (as far as I can tell) and she does not let it go to waste. She still brings her comedy chops to the part but we also get to see a dramatic side. I’d love to see this bring her more film roles.
One word that comes to mind: Lovely. That’s what this film is, lovely. It’s a film about two mature people and their lives and doubts and family and it’s wonderful.