A heart-warming and frequently hilarious romcom starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The late James Gandolfini had rare charm as an actor – to such an extent that in The Sopranos he turned a violent sociopath into one of the most compelling and likeable characters on television. Gandolfini was seldom used well on film so it’s wonderful that one of his last roles gives him a chance to shine, that of Albert in writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s fifth feature, Enough Said.
Acting alongside him, as the film’s protagonist, is another performer best known for her television work, the sublime Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She plays Eva, a mobile masseuse and single mother who’s finding things tough as her daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) prepares to leave for college. While bemoaning the lack of attractive men at a party, Eva is awkwardly introduced to Gandolfini’s Albert, whom she begins dating – but it later transpires that he’s the ex-husband of her new client and friend Marianne (Catherine Keener). Rather than fess up, Eva becomes Marianne’s confidante and listens to her gripes about her ex – information that poisons the fledging romance.
It’s refreshing for the focus to fall on a middle-aged female lead, and Holofcener pens dialogue that’s both headily witty and believable. Eva and Albert have plenty of time to fall for each other – and us for them – before the fairly contrived set-up kicks in. Louis-Dreyfus is so good here that it makes you wonder why she’s failed to score a big-screen lead role before (although she’s hardly been slumming it in Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Veep). She’s beautifully expressive, wringing every last laugh drop of mirth from the material. Gandolfini skilfully balances gruffness with glimpses of vulnerability, and elsewhere there’s great support from Toni Collette and Ben Falcone as Eva’s disenfranchised married friends. Enough Said is a match made in romantic comedy heaven – heart-warming and frequently hilarious.
General release from Fri 18 Oct.