Talent abounds in the understated Enough Said

James Gandolfini's charisma wasn't something turned on at will, but rather a vibe that radiated from deep within: It's in the timbre of his voice, his rolling carriage, the way he's always just one flirtatious millisecond behind the beat. Part of what Gandolfini does in Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said is acting, but sometimes acting is an intensification of being. It's easy to find joy in just about everything he does here. Gandolfini plays Albert, a divorced dad who's getting ready to send his daughter off to college. Julia Louis-Dreyfus's Eva, a masseuse, is in the same boat. They meet at a party and tentatively begin dating. At that same party, Eva meets poet Marianne (Catherine Keener), a tall boho drink of water. Marianne becomes one of Eva's clients, and then a friend. Eva tells Marianne about the funny, sexy, somewhat overweight guy she's started dating; Marianne complains about her own sloppy ex-husband. You might guess before they do that they're talking about the same guy. But the central plot contrivance isn't the point. What matters is Holofcener's knack for observing not just the way people respond to extreme situations, but what they do in everyday ones. Enough Said is a romantic comedy of sorts, one set in deep middle age, that time when you start wondering if there are any surprises left (aside from unpleasant ones). That alone makes it unusual, not to mention the fact that Holofcener and her cinematographer, Xavier Pérez Grobet, are highly attuned to the geography of fortyish and fiftyish faces. Keener and Louis-Dreyfus, of course, both look "good," but they also look "their age," whatever that means these days, and Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini are lovely together.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >