Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: Enough Said

Release date: September 18, 2013 (Limited release)
Running time: 93 minutes
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone
Who to see it with: A fan of slightly more serious romantic comedies


Enough Said follows a pair of divorced individuals, Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (Gandolfini), as they dip their toes back into the dating pool. Their relationship starts off as you would expect, with some awkwardness born from lack of practice and bonding over being older, divorced, and with children. Eventually, something occurs that leads to awkward situations for the couple and between Eva and her friends. The situation starts out manageable, but eventually goes over her head and how she deals with it provides the bulk of the movie's conflict and plenty of funny and sad moments. This is Gandolfini's final movie and his performance is the highlight of this film; unfortunately we won't be seeing him again because he really shines and shows how great of an actor he was. Albert is charming and relatable in a way that film characters rarely are. He has flaws, like anyone, but he's accepted those and even laughs about them. The conversations he has with Eva bring a smile to your face, both because they are cleverly written and because it seems like a real couple exploring the dating world after being gone for so long.

Louis-Dreyfus is hit or miss for me. Half the time I loved seeing her on screen, but there are other times where I thought she was just trying too hard to be funny. Maybe it's not her fault, maybe it's the way her character is written. It's possible the problem is that she reminded me too much of Tina Fey at times (although since she was first, maybe Tina Fey is copying her) and of Sarah Jessica Parker at other times. Neither of these is necessarily a bad thing (well, maybe the SJP thing is) but it made it distracting, which is sad because there are plenty of times when she is really funny. There was also an awkward, and slightly annoying, thread dealing with Eva's married friends (Collette and Falcone). But, even despite these flaws, I really loved this movie. I liked seeing the relationship develop between Eva and Albert. Relationships of this kind are not normally seen on screen and even when they are, they are rarely as convincing and genuine as this one. The moments with Eva and Albert really are the draw of this film. Despite the flaws, you have a wonderful romantic dramedy about two seemingly real people whose relationship grows naturally and believably. It's almost innocent at times, and it's something that is easy to appreciate and will bring a smile to your face.

See it.

Eva and Albert's relationship and their effects upon one another were great. Gandolfini's character is definitely the most likable in the film. His flaws are less pronounced than those of the other characters. I wasn't bothered by Louis-Dreyfus' acting. I think her character is intentionally grating at times, and her sometimes immature behavior plays a major part in the later plot conflicts. That behavior reminded me of characters in sillier romantic comedies, but it never feels cartoonish or unrealistic. And the acting and writing feel mature during and after those moments that reminded me of sillier films. I think the slightly annoying married friends were helpful additions to a story revolving around divorcĂ©es, providing a contrasting example of a continuing imperfect marriage. Enough Said a pleasant movie that feels realer than the average romantic comedy.

See it.

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