Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and the late, great James Gandolfini, the film centers around Eva and Albert, two divorced, middle-agers who are settled in their lives but open to a new relationship. Their mutual affection is slow-growing, and much like real life, each take the time to assess their feelings. Eva isn’t sure she’s attracted to Albert, and Albert, though interested in Eva, seems slightly broken by his past. They begin to date, and just when you fall for their adorable affections, Eva does something to sabotage what they’ve built.
Though I’ve always been impressed by Louis-Dreyfuss and Gandolfini, this film well exceeded my expectations. Each is known for the extremes of their comedic and dramatic genres, but it’s far more impressive to forgo those extremes for a more nuanced performance. These lovable characters come with a powerful palette of details that are so beautifully subtle, it’s mesmerizing. That’s a feat also attributable to writer and director Nicole Holofcenter,who clearly made a conscious choice to forgo all of Tinseltown’s tritest tricks. During a post-film Q & A at the AARP’s Movies For Grownups Film Festival, Louis-Dreyfus touched on this idea, explaining that she didn’t want a “standard Hollywood kiss,” and instead hoped to get the point across another way. She did just that.
Go see this film. It’s a little gem that’s hard to come by. And as James Gandolfini’s last performance, it does him justice.