Review: Enough Said
Two divorcees, Eva and Albert, who find themselves in a newfound relationship grapple with their past failed marriages while also having to deal with their respective teenage daughters heading off to college. Things get compounded when one of Eva’s clients and new friends turns out to be Albert’s ex-wife.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini pay the auspicious dating pair, and both are charming, delightful, and very refreshing. Toni Collette, with her natural accent, plays Eva’s friend, while Catherine Keener is Albert’s ex-wife. Also noteworthy is 17-year-old writer, singer, and editor Tavi Gavinson, playing Eva’s daughter’s best friend.
A pair of rather famous actors each offers up respective impressive performances in what are departures of the norm in Nicole Holofcener’s very winning and honest adult romantic comedy. The late James Gandolfini, in one of his final performances, is heartwarming and endearing as a slightly messy and humble Albert. It’s hard to separate the film from his untimely passing, but it’s strangely comforting watching him become a character unlike one we’re used to seeing from him.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus meanwhile, takes a turn as well. She earnest and sweet, though certainly confused about her current set of relationships: one with Albert, and one with her daughter. With Albert, though, Eva wants to analyze and assess. Eva fears making the same mistakes as in the past, and wonders why she got into relationship that ended in divorce.
With palpable chemistry, Albert and Eva deal with love and responsibility after divorce, hoping not to repeat the mistakes of the past without compromising the present. While a turn finds Eva unknowingly befriending Albert’s ex wife (Catherine Keener), perhaps the more powerful story focuses on how parents deal with an empty nest situation.
As her daughter prepares for college and keeps busy, Eva seems to look to her daughter’s best friend Chloe as some sort of substitute. A scene where Eva and her ex-husband see their little girl off is emotionally stirring.
Perhaps Albert and Eva are filling voids, left by either their significant others or their daughters. While humour abounds with both intelligence and absurdity, particularly in conversations between the slightly goofy Eva and her feisty friend Sarah, the dialogue about and with the daughters is most compelling and true to life.
Authenticity is where the film triumphs – you need not be either divorced or with teenage children to understand and appreciate the tender situations of our protagonists. They are flawed and confused but earnest and sympathetic. Despite their foibles, they’re irresistible; especially Gandolfini in a beautiful and bittersweet performance.
Should You See It?
It’s lovely and smart, and something altogether refreshing in the cinemas, so yes. And take a date!