Enough Said review

Look, being middle aged is not all that easy, OK? You kids today with your iPods and your tramp stamps and your vajazzles and your Directions have no idea what it's like (but play your cards right, and you will). Your hair turns grey, or falls out; your six-pack becomes a barrel; your body and mind are not as fast as they once were; and if you're single, you fear that you'll never fall in love again.

Enough Said is a sweet, charming and funny little rom-com that shows even those in middle age need a bit of love. Dreyfus is Eva, a 40-something LA-based masseuse who meets TV archivist Albert (Gandolfini) at a party. Both make a point of saying that they are not attracted to anyone at the gathering, but a couple of days later, Albert asks for Eva's number through a mutual friend. They go out for dinner, and while there are no fireworks (not from Eva's point of view) they strike up a friendship due to their shared outlook on life; and eventually, a romance blooms. But things don't go too smoothly when Eva realises that Albert is the ex-husband of new client (and pal) Marianne (Keener), who spends her time on the massage table moaning about her horrible ex.

The film does follow many of the traditional rom-com beats, but it stands out in a few ways. First, it's genuinely laugh-out-loud funny thanks to a sharp script and perfect performances. And second, those perfect against-type performances from the two leads. Dreyfus is ostensibly the star of the show, but it's hard to look past this bittersweet final role for Gandolfini. Here he is as far removed from mobster Tony Soprano as it's possible to be. Albert is a shy, awkward, sweet and warm gent with a biting sense of humour. He's a big bear of a man, but he's as gentle as a lamb. Dreyfus, too, manages to put to rest the nagging, shrewish Elaine of her Seinfeld days. Eva is a geniuinely sweet and decent human being who simply wants to be happy, and make others feel the same way.

Writer-director Holofcener brings her indie-film sensibility to Enough Said, and gives the rom-com a fresh coat of paint. The dialogue, and the relationships, ring true. Dreyfus and Gandolfini have a real warmth and chemistry on screen, and make their scenes together a joy to watch. Dreyfus hasn't done a lot of film work, which is a shame – she has great presence, and we need to see hre on the big screen some more. Sadly, we won't get to see any more of Gandolfini, but this film cements his place as one of the great actors of our (middle) age.

Enough Said at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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