My thoughts on one of James Gandolfini's final performances in Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said.
Enough Said will, perhaps, be somewhat overshadowed by the sad passing of the film's male lead, James Gandolfini, but Nicole Holofcener's latest is a breezy, sun drenched, fun LA comedy of the highest order. One is quickly consumed by the warm and witty humour and charm of Enough Said and it's perhaps only upon looking back on what is a fine performance from Gandolfini that the sadness surrounding his passing returns.
Gandolfini plays Albert, a sweet and very relaxed father and divorcee who meets Eva, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss doing her best comedy work since Seinfeld, and the pair begin dating. The film primarily follows Eva, a massage therapist, who not only meets Albert at a party near the beginning of the film but also Marianne, Catherine Keener, who she takes on as a client and later finds out is Albert's ex-wife.
She continues massaging Marianne and dating Albert without either finding out and both begin to paint very unpleasant portraits of the other, with Marianne's harsh view of Albert slowly clouding Eva's view and influencing her behaviour.
It's an amusing conceit and one that is convincingly set up, perfectly executed and mined for rich character drama and a lot of humour. Enough Said is an incredibly funny film and it's one filled with a number of different types of laughs, from the good natured little observation on life to something more harsh and cutting that reveals something about the characters.
The relationship at the centre, between Eva and Albert, is thrilling too. The new love between the two characters begins awkwardly and sweetly before blossoming. We too fall in love, swept up by their charm as they are by eachother. But we are also frustrated, infuriated by the ways in which they seem to screw it up. The little quirks in the personalities and the way in which Eva in particular chooses to focus on them causes cracks in the strength of what they are building.
It's sensitive and smart writing and the rich romantic drama coupled with witty comedy makes Enough Said a moving and hilarious experience.