Eva: God I’m tired of being funny.
Nicole Holofcener’s latest film, ENOUGH SAID, is both charming and bittersweet at the same time. On the one hand, Holofcener has crafted an endearing yarn about a middle-aged woman (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who has been single for about ten years, who cannot trust her own instincts when she finally meets a man who gets her. On the other hand though, the man she meets is played by James Gandolfini, in one of his final film roles. The chemistry between the two gifted actors is so natural, so funny and so inviting that it creates such a comfortable relationship between the audience and the characters. The difficult part comes when you realize that you will never see this endearing side of Gandolfini ever again.
Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a successful masseuse who carries around her own tension without any form of release, unless you count knitting, which I don’t. Louis-Dreyfus is much softer than usual; she is still a master of dry, quick wit, but she is much more likable and vulnerable here than she is in most parts she plays. She goes to a party one night and meets two people. The first is a poet and prospective new client named Marianne (Catherine Keener). The second person she meets is Albert (Gandolfini). She has what she perceives to be an instant connection with both of them, which is ironic considering they were once married to each other and divorced because they had nothing in common. Of course, Eva has no idea of their past connection but once she does put two and two together, she decides to say nothing to either party. This allows her to get information about Albert, which she believes will help her make a more informed decision about whether or not their relationship will work out in the end. Instead, it just muddies her mind.
ENOUGH SAID borders slightly on silly when Eva drags out her farce a bit longer than she needs to but Holofcener ensures the film’s success by infusing it with great insight into the psyche of the single and middle-aged. At times, it feels as though Eva is lowering her expectations to be with Albert, but Holofcener poses a different question at the same time. Perhaps’s Eva’s expectations were unrealistic to begin with and she is only now learning what truly matters to her in a relationship. Perhaps people who have loved and lost tend to look for what could go wrong in a relationship before it actually does, to avoid getting involved too deeply and possibly even getting hurt. Picking people apart when we are supposed to care about them is commonplace but perhaps blocking out what others are saying about your relationship and trusting the way you feel is the way to go. Maybe if we just left it at that, less of us would be middle-aged and single.