Movie Review: James Gandolfini’s final film–Enough Said!
Release Date: 2013
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Writer: Nicole Holofcener
Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)
Synopsis: A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she’s interested in learns he’s her new friend’s ex-husband.
Coming into Enough Said, I had never heard of Nicole Holofcener. The director of only a pair of films in the last decade (Please Give and Friends with Money), she is likely to be more familiar with TV fanatics for directing episodes of Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, and one of my favorite comedies of the last few years, Parks & Recreation. With that said, it makes perfect sense that Holofcener is taking two of the most well-known television stars of the last 20 years and making an unpredictable little rom-com. The direction is sometimes very much like television, but with a larger budget and a more fleshed-out script, one can understand why TV is often ranked above feature-length films nowadays. While nothing Oscar-worthy as far as direction goes, Holofcener takes the best bits of what she has learned from television and alongside a brilliant cast & crew delivers a near-flawless film.
I feel that the screenplay is the best part of Enough Said, and I have to believe Holofcener has a bright future in screenwriting if she chooses to go in that direction. There are so many great lines in the movie and even though we spend just 93 minutes with this cast, they feel more like characters we know as opposed to characters we are getting to know. Part of this could be because of the familiar faces in the film, but I am one to believe that generally a screenplay has more to do with how we perceive characters than anything else. Perhaps Holofcener’s TV experience helped here too, since writing TV usually deals with a pre-set character lot. The dialogue between Eva and Albert is witty, clever, mature, and smart. All of the teenagers in the film have realistic characters to play, too. Each character and story arc gets individual attention and never feel just thrown together to tell one major story like a lot of rom-coms exist for. This does play like a “quirky love story”, but this is so fresh right now. It’s the kind of rom-com that both men and women can go to and enjoy–a breath of fresh air for guys who love to hate Nicholas Sparks adaptations and proof that there are great rom-coms for the ladies to remind those same guys of later. This is a win-win script and one of my favorites of the year.
Perhaps Holofcener wrote these characters specifically for Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini, because they definitely seem right for their respective roles. Not only is this a great performance by Louis-Dreyfus, but the most I have ever enjoyed Gandolfini. It’s such a shame that we won’t continue to see him in these mature kinds of roles. Albert sort of reminds me of John Goodman’s Dan Conner from Roseanne. Not just in the lines he has to deliver, but how he behaves and the body language that he uses. Of course that comparison ends with Dan, as Eva is nothing like Roseanne. Julia Louis-Dreyfus ages with perfection and so does her craft. For me, she has gone from a supporting character to a lead character and this is a perfect example of how she can anchor a film. The supporting cast is filled with great performances as well (specifically Toni Collette and Catherine Keener), but what I will never forget is how great our couple was here, and how it seemed more like reality than a movie. What better can we say about an on-screen couple?
With an original score from experienced rom-com composer Marcelo Zarvos, Enough Said feels just right but never too over-the-top with those typical cozy, cuddly feelings. While it is nothing to write home about, it is appropriate and along with the other included musical tracks, Enough Said is well done in the music department. Tip: sit through the credits for a great Eels song called “I Like The Way This is Going”.
Enough Said managed to make me laugh, smile, and nearly tear up at times. James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus make for a great ride into the sunset for the former actor, and this will be one of the hidden gems from the year. It’s a shame more films like this don’t get wide releases when we can afford Twilight or The Hunger Games (which I do like) a screen in every theater in America. Then again, how many adults go to the movies these days, right? Well, if more things like this were made and promoted widely, the rom-com date night wouldn’t seem so boring in the 21st century.