Monday, October 28, 2013

Review of "Enough Said"

I really love The Flicks movie theatre, and I regret that I do not attend more movies there.  Often my roommate and I go to the blockbuster, popcorn films shown at Edwards, but this time I was able to persuade my way into seeing “Enough Said,” one of James Gandolfini’s last films before he died earlier this year.  The movie also stars Julie Louis-Dreyfus, not usually one of my favorite actresses, as a masseuse and Catherine Keener as her newest client and new best friend.  

As Eva, Louis-Dreyfus is funny and cynical in a way that I did not see in her show, “Seinfeld.”  She lugs around her massage table from client to client, listening to their complaints and troubles and providing them with a soothing respite that she herself could use. She meets Gandolfini’s Albert at a party, where they both announce that they are not physically attracted to anyone there, but somehow Albert manages to cajole her into a first date, which leads to a sweet and funny romance.  

Unfortunately, Albert is the ex-husband of Marianne (Keener), who constantly complains about the foibles and quirks that drove her away from him.  As Eva begins almost to aspire to become the sophisticated woman that Marianne is, she realizes that Marianne has been describing Albert, her Albert, the sweet, funny loving man she has been seeing.  Suddenly Eva is questioning her own feelings about Albert.  At a sad but hilarious dinner party thrown by her true best friend (Toni Collette with an accent that was extremely distracting), a drunken Eva begins nitpicking at Albert about his weight, how he eats, and even worse, how he cannot whisper to save his soul.  Of course, the fragile construct must come crashing down on Eva, as she betrays not only her lover, but also her new best friend by continuing to pretend not to know that Albert is Marianne’s ex-husband.

“Enough Said” is not a loud movie; it is a quiet movie about adults who struggle with dating after divorce, couples who strive to remain together after years of marriage, and parents who must let their children grow up and go.  Eva is like many of us, unsure of her own perceptions and wanting validation from others about her romantic choice because she failed so significantly in her first marriage.  The director wraps the movie up, not with a neat and tidy bow, but more like setting a gem into ring, making sure the audience sees both the sparkles and the depths of the stone.  

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