Director: Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money)
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini
Runtime: 93 min.
by John DeSando
“I’m planning on losing some weight. I really need to.”Albert (James Gandolfini)
Those lines are “enough said” about the challenges of middle age. The film of the same name is a primer on the sweet and sour of 50’sh singles finding love and nurturing it in the presence of college-bound teens and bitter ex’s.
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) meets “Fat” Albert (Gandolfini) at a party, and, despite his girth, finds him un-Tony Soprano attractive. Dreyfuss’s deserved fame for Seinfeld’s Elaine and Gandolfini’s universal acclaim for Tony Soprano do not distract from their competent portrayal of good people looking for love, she a masseuse and he a TV archivist.
Eva is open and self deprecating; Albert is a mensch struggling with her same problems—empty nest, poor prospects for love, and problematic ex-spouses. Happily the university young ladies are sharp-witted and worth listening to.
So Eva and Albert bond with nothing brilliant or insightful to say (although Eva is always talking). Writer-director Nicole Holofcener keeps the tone and temper even; only the teens offer any real conflict points to deliver insight. The big turning point is merely embarrassing, not revelatory.
I find lacking a willingness to explore deeply the background and effects of decisions that dog us through middle age. Perhaps that lack of depth is emblematic of the lack in many lives, the reluctance to probe cause and effect.
Enough Said is a small film about small people with good intentions but failed dreams. The universal application to the audience is clear and comfortable although I miss the screwball quality of classical romantic Hollywood comedies (Preston Sturges anyone?).
It is a gentle story that’s everyone’s: Keep searching for love, and it may come when you least expect it. Mostly, don’t think it will be perfect. Like Albert, you’ll always need to lose weight, even if it’s just emotional baggage.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE 90.5’s It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics, which can be heard streaming and on-demand at WCBE.org. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com