There are only a handful of actors, who can achieve brilliance for their portrayal of a television character. Before Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston, there was James Gandolfini, whose performance as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos brought him worldwide acclaim and recognition. In one of his last roles, he makes the transition from intense and violent to sweet and (albeit of a better word), cuddly in this mid-life romantic comedy.
Enough Said is the latest film from writer-director Nicole Holofcener, who previously directed Friends with Money (2006). Divorced masseuse Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) meets fellow divorcee Albert (Gandolfini), at a party and despite her initial reservations, they begin a relationship. As they begin to get closer, Eva also builds a friendship with new client Marianne (Catherine Keener, Holofcener’s longtime collaborator), who keeps dissing her ex-husband – until Eva realises that he is, in fact, her new boyfriend.
The premise sounds almost predictable, with things such as mental chaos, moral dilemmas and the idea of choosing head over heart flying about. But Holofcener incorporates an unpretentious approach on life, stemming from a mature take on relationships. This not only counts the romantic ones, but also those key connections that people can take for granted such as family, old relationships and friendships. For instance, as Eva struggles to juggle between Marianne and Albert, she has to contend with saying goodbye to her daughter before she goes to university. The idea of moving on with life, as well as latching onto the past, is constant throughout the film but this creates an emotional attachment, which is totally relatable.
The cast is varied and excellent, as Holofcener emphasises on real-life quirks that bring a genuine smile on your face. Louis-Dreyfus’s Eva is a likeable yet emotional character, and the supporting cast members Toni Collette and Ben Falcone bring in much-needed humour to the ‘mid-life crisis’. The standout performance is from the late Gandolfini, whose sweet, gentle and essentially straightforward portrayal of Albert showcases a different side to him as an actor.
Sweet, amusing and lovely, Enough Said creates the fuzzy feeling missing from recent romantic comedies – easily making it one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies in years.
Enough Said is out in UK cinemas on Friday 18th October.
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Writer: Nicole Holofcener
Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener
Runtime: 93 min