by / October 20th, 2013 /

Enough Said

Review by on October 20th, 2013

 5/5 Rating

 

Director: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette and Catherine Keener
Certificate: 12a
Running Time: 93 minutes 
Release Date: October 18th

It was never known in Armando Iannucci’s caustic political landscape of venomous barbs if Vice President Selina Meyers and Lieutenant General Miller ever met, but if they did, you can bet your ass it would never be as wonderfully polite as Enough Said. Detailing a simple story of two middle-aged well-to-do Californians who are trying to negotiate the post-marriage dating scene while trying accept that their nest will soon be empty, no movie this year will likely touch in terms of warmth, charm and, quite possibly, humour.

Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) is a hybrid car owning masseuse—she’s lives in Los Angeles and is a masseuse, of course she drives a Prius—who is moving on from a divorce while preparing to bid farewell to her daughter who’s off to college in the fall. After being dragged to one of those L.A. parties you see in films but will never attend, she meet’s a new client, cellulite-free poet Marianne (Keener) and a potential love interest in TV historian Albert (Gandolfini) who know more about each other that she’s led to believe.

Director Nicole Holofcener–a veteran of TV shows like Parks and Recreation, Six Feet Under and Sex and the City–mines her past experiences, excelling in awkward dinner table conversations and keeping the comedy bubbling over with the effervescent fizz of a Pawnee Town Meeting. It all could have easily fallen into a tired white people problems bore but Holofcener manages to hit all the points of middle aged loneliness, starting again, imperfections and watching your kids leave without having the smug stink of cognoscenti found in some other indies.

Although he was no doubt taking from us too soon, there is some comfort in knowing that it is this and not some low-rate Steve Carell schlockfest that we will be one of our last memories of Gandolfini—his last appearance will be beside Tom Hardy in Michaël R. Roskam’s Animal Rescue. His Albert is massively likeable and easy to root for—even when he’s butchering a perfectly good bowl of guacamole—something that comes easy to a man who made a career out of having us empathise with his at times vile gangster alter ego. His chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus is the perfect mix, his easy going, heavy breathing nature against her scatter-brained obsessiveness. Not just playing on slight neurosis, Louis-Dreyfus delivers effortless comedic timing whether she’s dealing with jealous moms or digging herself out of a gargantuan doodoo mountain with only her clumsy disposition as a shovel.

Its leads are so strong that a weak supporting cast wouldn’t be all that big an issue but the second stringers here are just as relevant; from Toni Collete’s skirmishes with her useless house cleaner to Eve Hewson’s snobbish daughter and Keener’s pompous lyricist. Best of all though is a star in the making performance from Tavi Gerinson, a 17-year-old magazine editor with an air of Scarlett Johansson, who avoids her own mother to get love advice from Eva’s capricious sage.

With a career playing violent racketeers, repugnant hitmen and cantankerous army types, Gandolfini’s softer side was seldom seen, so seeing this turn from him shows just how big a loss he is. Sure, Enough Said is at times predictable and easy to hear its beats before they hit, but hey, go and see it, it’s okay to smile every now and then.