VOD film review: Enough Said
James R | On 13, Feb 2014
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: James Gandolfini, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette
Watch Enough Said online in the UK: Disney+ / TalkTalk TV / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Rakuten TV / Google Play
Each time you sit down to watch a movie, you make a leap: you suspend your disbelief to pretend that the people on screen are real. But every now and then, a movie makes the leap for you.
Enough Said follows clumsy masseuse Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) as she gets ready to send her daughter off to university. She finds herself unexpectedly dating divorcee Albert (Gandolfini), a charmingly scruffy man who loves guacamole – but has to pick out the onions first. Just as things seem to be looking up, she becomes friends with a wealthy client, Marianne (Keener), who loves poetry, fancying interior design and slagging off her ex-husband. He was scruffy, large and, worst of all, used to pick the onions out of his guacamole.
It doesn’t take long for Eva to join the dots. Awkward hilarity ensues. And if there’s one thing Nicole Holofcener does well, it’s awkward hilarity.
Coaxing natural performances out of her ensemble, the four adults aren’t just well-written characters: they’re actual people. As the emotional mess untangles, scenes turn in unexpected directions, people make surprising decisions and relationships head for both happy and sad endings. Julie Louis-Dreyfus is perfect as the confused lead, twisting her face from beautiful smile to ugly gurn with endearing humour. Catherine Keener is equally believable as her snooty friend, souring the start of Eva’ relationship with the dregs of her marriage’s end.
The star of the show, though, is James Gandolfini. Unattractive yet charming, he nails the balance between first love and last rites: an emotional paradox that leaves you cheering and crying simultaneously. It’s the kind of generous, flawless turn that earns awards. The fact that this was one of his last performances only makes it more poignant.
Holofcener crafts it all with a characteristically intimate air, nudging the tone from happy to painful with a practised hand. But while her previous films such as Please Give mostly landed on the painful side of life, this has a warmth that makes you want to roll around in the human jumble for hours. The result is a great big hug of a movie. When the credits roll, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re watching a film at all.
Enough Said is available on Disney+ UK, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription or a £79.99 yearly subscription.