While in no way as dark as a film such as The Crow, writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s latest is nevertheless difficult to view without looking for onscreen omens as it features, of course, the penultimate performance by the late great James Gandolfini, who died last June at only 51.
Gandolfini proves very charming here and looks distinctly unhealthy throughout. His weight is a major plot point, which sometimes gives Enough Said an uncomfortable edge, especially as we know that it was a heart attack that carried ‘Jim’ off. Eva (Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced massage therapist and ‘empty nester’ who feels a need to fill the gap that will soon be left when her daughter Ellen (near unknown Tracey Fairaway) leaves home, and is talked into attending a party with a bunch of older people she doesn’t know. First meeting Marianne (Catherine Keener, in all Holofcener’s films), a poet (no, really), Eva then meets Albert (Gandolfini), whom she agrees to go out with, as he has a nice sense of humour and is also facing the imminent departure of his own daughter. When they hit it off and she’s romantically encouraged by her psychologist friend Sarah (Toni Collette), Eva also finds herself becoming friends with Marianne, who’s intriguing, supportive and harbours a grudge against her ex-husband. And even if you haven’t seen the trailer or read the synopsis, you can surely tell where this is going – and how much it’s going to hurt. After Holofcener’s sharper Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing, Friends With Money and Please Give, this might have been her funniest outing had it not become the movie where James Gandolfini died after completing his role – the one where he might have been able to change his image… if only. Rated M