Monday, April 28, 2014

ENOUGH SAID

James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus,
Catherine Keener, Toni Collette


I thought that this was James Gandolfini's last film before he died of a massive heart attack in 2013. But it turns out he was able to complete one more before his untimely demise.

Anyway in "Enough Said" he is Albert, a single father who meets Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a freelance masseuse. They are both single parents to daughters who are about to go off to college. They start dating but soon enough problems crop up (like in any normal relationship) and things don't work out between them.

But that was merely a quick summary of their relationship because the film isn't that simple nor was it too complicated to comprehend. It is an adult romantic comedy that explores the nuances as well as the emotions that each character brings to the relationship. By adult, I mean it is mature given that both Eva and Albert have gone through divorces and heartaches in their past. And not adult in the sense that there is nudity involved. Heh!

I'd say that a large part why this film succeeds is due to the chemistry between its lead characters. And given that they are portrayed by well known TV actors whose acting repertoire include playing mob boss Tony Soprano and Elaine from Seinfeld is a an added bonus.  

There has always been something endearing about Gandolfini even though he portrayed a tough no nonsense mobster in one of the most iconic roles ever created for TV. Perhaps it is his 'smiley' face and gentle facial features despite his giant frame that somehow puts people at ease.

Here as Albert, he is adorable as an ordinary guy just trying to live his life after a messy divorce by being a devoted father to his daughter. He is averagely ordinary and I mean that as a compliment. Albert's embedded confidence and his sense of humour exudes warmth and compassion. Excellent acting from Gandolfini, as expected.

On the other hand, Julia Louis-Dreyfus can sometimes be quite annoying and irritating in general in most of her roles. Hehe.  But this only means she is an effective actress as her annoyance can really get on my nerves.  As Eva, she is a woman with a lot of valid anxieties which is quite normal for any woman about to embark on a new relationship. It makes sense that Eva would be indecisive and insecure and always question herself before she commits to another long term relationship. 

What makes "Enough Said" distinctive is how the director treats the plot devoid of any gimmick. What you see is what you get.  There isn't the sickening mushy factor that is standard in most romantic comedies. The approach is direct and treated in a realistically mature way.  

It is a movie about knowing what you want and pursuing it yet at the same time, it's also about knowing your limitations or what I call your 'non negotiables' well enough that you can wake up in the mornings ... yes, alone but you still have your self respect, intact. 

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