Wednesday, 23 April 2014
It is no secret that I am occasionally attracted to a movie by virtue of its actors. Enough Said is a classic case: with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (or should I say Elaine Benes?) in the starring role, my attention was guaranteed. Throw in the recently deceased James Gandolfini and I'm caught.
Often attraction for name related reasons proves to be a bad idea. Not in Enough Said's case, though. While many a movie claim romantic comedy credentials but end up delivering junk, Enough Said proves there is substance to be had in the genre. This one is a high quality offering, even if it tends towards the drama more than the comedy.
Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a masseuse, a divorcee, a mother. You catch the drift: life isn't easy, but life is not too bad either. At a party her friend (Toni Collette) takes her to she meets two new people in one night: one is a poet, Marianne (Catherine Keener). The other is an overweight guy with a certain charm about him, Albert (Gandolfini). Eva becomes friends with Marianne, who also becomes a customer of hers; she also starts dating Albert, and even though there are no immediate fireworks the two seem to have chemistry going between them.
Now for the twist. As it turns our, both new mates are divorcees. Not only that, they turn out to be divorced from one another. Eva thus finds herself in a position where she hears all the bad things about Albert from Marianne, but then goes out and spends the night with Albert. Obviously, this is not a healthy position to be at, yet Eva finds it too addictive.
Several factors conspire to make Enough Said the quality film that it is. First is the script, which establishes several relationships while emphasising the similarities and differences between them all: there is the still married couple (Collette's); there is that married couple problematic maid; there are the various divorcees; and there are the various daughters, including the friend of a daughter, and their relationships with their respective mothers and friends' mothers.
Next comes the acting factor: I've already mentioned the names, so I will just add that they all do a great job. Couple the two, the script and the actors, and you have a fine drama that's interesting, entertaining and often touching. That is to say, Enough Said excels because it does the basics right.
As I said, Enough Said is a proper romantic comedy. The fact it does not deal with the young and beautiful, but rather with the parents in their mid forties and onwards whose lives are far from glamorous, only makes Enough Said better.
Overall: This is how you do it. 4 out of 5 crabs.