• FILM

  • SEARCH FOR

Enough Said

Enough Said

Directed by Nicole Holofcener. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone. (2013, PG-13, 93 min.)

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Sept. 27, 2013

A deft portrait artist and consistently independent-minded filmmaker, Nicole Holofcener  (Lovely & Amazing, Friends With Money) is the last person you'd expect to get Hollywood-tricksy with plot, but there it is – a twist as contrived as the title is generic. ("Enough Said!" You can practically see Katherine Heigl, arms akimbo, on the movie poster.) That twist, and its implications, almost derail the movie's true achievement: It’s a funny, tender, impactful story of two divorcées, authentically in their early 50s, struggling to trust and love again.

Single parents Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) and Albert (Gandolfini, in one of his last roles) meet at a party and find common ground with their mutually looming empty nests. They go out, and they catch each other's rhythms and dry wit. The relationship progresses. Louis-Dreyfus – a comic actress rightfully lionized for her roles on Seinfeld and Veep – possesses a blinding smile, but she'll break your heart with the quiet confession of a woman worn-out from first dates and false starts: “I’m tired of being funny.” Gandolfini's Albert, a gentle giant in dad jeans, is just as battle-weary; endlessly belittled in his marriage, he wants only to be liked for who he is.

But there's a twist. (The trailer goes there, but still: Consider yourself warned.) At that same party, Eva also meets a poet (Keener) who she then takes on as a massage client, and they become friends. Eva, it turns out, is Albert's ex-wife. That's a twist, but it's not too hard to swallow; these sorts of coincidences happen in real life, especially as the dating pool grows more shallow. The real twist – more like a twist of the knife to the heart – is what Eva does with that information once she pieces together the connection. The film skims over the shock (Holofcener stages it like a pratfall gag) and skips the deliberation altogether: Eva will play dumb and continue seeing them both, even though it is now a conscious betrayal rather than an unfortunate coincidence. The delicate, uncommon picture of middle-aged new love begins mugging, well, like a Katherine Heigl movie.

It's not a catastrophe, because Holofcener is very good at what she does (even when she's doing something that feels so false) and because the cast is so watchable. You can't help but care deeply for these characters – I sobbed my guts out for Eva when her daughter left for college – but it’s hell watching something so deeply winning take a wrong turn and keep bumping its head, trying to find the way out of a dead end.

READ MORE
More Nicole Holofcener Films
Please Give
The pleasure of Nicole Holofcener's film – which stars Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, and Amanda Peet – lies in the honesty of its conversations rather than its plot.

Marjorie Baumgarten, June 11, 2010

Friends With Money
Forget friends with money – how about friends with husbands, kids, mortgages, and so-called life plans? That’s the short list of differences between the depressed, single stoner, played by Jennifer Aniston, and her circle of female friends.

Kimberley Jones, April 21, 2006

More by Kimberley Jones
Life, Animated
The magic of Disney unlocks a boy's mind

July 22, 2016

Ghostbusters
Controversy aside, this reboot fails to hit the mark

July 15, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Enough Said, Nicole Holofcener, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
This content has not been formatted for this window size.
Please increase the size of your browser window, or revisit this page on a mobile device.
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)