There are mandatory must-haves to propel the plot of all popular films. Without them, the film will sink faster than one of Tony Sopranos’ rats. There are; however, ways to achieve Hollywood’s most-wanted themes without infringing on the hokiest of sentiments. And ‘Enough Said’ did just that.
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.
The AARP officially achieved the unachievable. In a bid to highlight “movies for grownups” at their first-ever film festival, they miraculously made their content appealing for the under 50 crowd as well. Every selected film was more moving than the next, and each airing was followed by a question and answer session from the stars themselves. In fact, when Julia Louis-Dreyfus offered inside insight into the inner-workings of James Gandolfini’s last film, I instantly pinched myself. And when Merry Clayton sang an A capella rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘Times They Are a-Changin’ for the audience of ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom,’ I texted every person I knew in the music industry to brag.
There are moments when living in Los Angeles lives up to the Tinseltown tales you grew up hearing about. The AARP’s Movies for Grownups Film Festival was one of those times.
Original Emmy speeches deserve a standing ovation, especially when all the comedy at the awards is painfully canned. Watch what happened when Julia Louis Dreyfus accepted her award only to find out that she was accidentally reading Amy Poehler’s speech. I particularly enjoyed the shared spotlight for the nominated ladies.