Enough Said – film review

The very modest comedy Enough Said offers James Gandolfini in his last leading role. Since the actor died of a heart attack soon after filming was completed, the sight of him catches you in a kind of vice: it leaves you both sad and irked that the part wasn’t more memorable. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a single mother pushing 50 and about to face an empty nest. She meets Gandolfini – a soft divorcé with an amused smile that flatters any companion – and gets some love. But she also befriends his doomy ex-wife who talks ruinously about Gandolfini’s failings (his belly, his hate of onions).

And so the title of the film has a wider meaning: too much said, too many expectations. Beware the unyielding way that – in love – we are tempted to push and push to find each other out, like private investigators tracking down witnesses for the defence. Writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s films (especially the caustic Friends with Money) all have a juicy puckishness and capture the stark anonymousness of Los Angeles (especially the late-1960s bungalows). But this outing is too depressing. Failed marriages, taut-jawed wives and trouser-fumbling husbands, an averagely disappointing late middle-age stretching ahead, and Gandolfini being nice, with sad, bashful eyes, ever a little cast down by the world’s war, sipping coffee and waiting for the phone to ring.

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