Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Video review: "Enough Said"
James Gandolfini may have not been most people's notion for a romantic lead, with looks like an ex-jock gone to pot and wallowing in anger. But the late actor showed just how much charisma he harbored in his balding, paunchy body in "Enough Said," an affecting romantic-drama from writer/director Nicole Holofcener.
The film stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Eva, a 50-ish masseuse who's divorced, single and has a teen daughter about to leave for college. At a party she meets Albert (Gandolfini), who's in a very similar life situation. They have a date that turns into a tenuous relationship, which seems to be going fine until a strange coincidence throws them off.
Eva learns that her new friend (Catherine Keener), who constantly bad-mouths her ex-husband, used to be married to Albert. So the horrible guy she's been hearing about is actually her new beau.
Logic says that shouldn't really make a difference, but in Holofcener's carefully observant story, it most certainly does. The film understands how lonely, damaged people react when letting their guard down for a new relationship.
The actors acquit themselves wonderfully, including the textured supporting performances by Toni Collette, Tracey Fairaway, Eve Hewson and Tavi Gevinson. One of the nice things about Holofcener's movies is that she populates them with fleshy, believable characters.
Easily of the year's best indie films, "Enough Said" falls into the "don't-miss" category.
Alas, video extras are sorely lacking. The DVD comes with only the theatrical trailer and a few promotional featurettes. Upgrade to the Blu-ray edition and you get a "Second Takes" feature.