Movie review: Enough Said
If you believe modern-day Hollywood, only young people fall in love. As far as romance is concerned, there's almost a Logan's Run attitude in cinema today that love dies for anyone over the age of 30.
Luckily, writer and director Nicole Holofcener not only recognises that, as repulsive as the idea may seem to some, older people can have relationships too. Not only that, she made a film about it.
With a daughter about to leave the family home, Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), as a divorced parent, is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she will shortly be spending more time alone. She has her job as a freelance masseuse, which fills up her days, and also her friend Sarah (Toni Collette) to hang out with, but no potential relationship on the horizon.
Things start to look up however when she meets Albert (James Gandolfini) at a party. Although there are no real sparks, Eva likes him enough to accept a date. They hang out a little more and, somewhat to her surprise, she develops genuine feelings for him.
They also have a lot in common: both are divorced and both have daughters going off to college. It turns out they actually have more in common than they realise; after hanging out a new friend and client, she discovers that the ex-husband she often moans about is actually Albert.
Instead of coming clean, Eva uses her relationship with his ex to gain as much insight into what Albert is really like. As you would expect, she soon finds herself in a world of complications.
Hollywood truly is resistant to not only making films with older actors, but making films for older audiences. The success of When Harry Met Sally seems such a long time ago now, so long that clearly many producers have forgotten. Although Enough Said isn't quite in the same league, it proves that rom-coms don't have to be so youth-orientated.
Everything about this film denotes warmth and charm. Holofcener has written a delightfully witty script that focuses on all manner relationships, including mother and daughter, father and daughter, husband and wife and wife and cleaner, all of which are engaging.
At the centre of these satellite relationships however, is the bittersweet bond between the Eva and Albert characters. Louis-Dreyfus can of course do comedy, having spent years on TV's Seinfeld and now acting all political in Veep. Here though, she manages to portray a deeper character, more-rounded and vulnerable and less neurotic. And she strikes the balance perfectly.
And Gandofini, sadly in one of his last roles, got the chance to show his gentle side with terrific effect. His Albert is a giant of a man with a big heart. He's been hurt before and yet is open to the idea of being in love again. He may be in the same country as Tony Soprano, but emotionally he's a million miles away from him.
Holofcener has produced a beautifully tender story, that has you rooting for this pair of divorced parents to hit it off right from the off. It proves that not only is there life in the old dogs yet, but love too. She should also be applauded for making the rarest of things: a great grown-up film for a grown-up audience.
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