If this was a great review it would end with a nice snappy finish: “something something, enough said.” Bam. What a review! you’d cry, reeling from such a splendid piece of prose. Instead I imagine it’ll just peter away to nothing and we’ll all go and have a nice cup of tea, which is due, in large part, to Enough Said not really lending itself to snappy. If you must have a big finish, and I’m all for pandering to the masses, you can have: ‘that was really nice, enough said’, which I think really sums it up.
If you’re not divorced with teenage children and trying to get back on the dating scene then you’re not going to absolutely love it, but you’ll still come away thinking what an exceptionally honest, genuine and ultimately believable romantic comedy that was. It is so hard to capture that first, flirtatious, emotional dance of the first steps of a relationship. The opening number is easy enough – he makes a good pun at a party, she giggles and says ‘Oh really?’ – but the later stuff, the circling of two people deciding whether they want to let each other in, falling for someone, that’s hard to write, and it’s hard to make feel real.
Obviously it’s not a comparison that should ever be drawn and I’m not drawing it here, but it has come to my attention that my anguish at the Twilight films (and I’ve sat through them all at great personal cost), is that no one laughs. Why are Bella and Edward in love? Why? WHY? Because she smells nice and he has a nice jaw? That’s not a foundation for an eternity together. Kristen Stewart’s chin and all the other pain I can take but I want to believe that they fancy each other. I want to see some sparkle, I want to believe in their journey instead of watching a barren, wasteland of emotion from two people, and this is the most astonishing part, who were actually shagging in real life. But I digress. I promise that in Enough Said, where our leading man is hardly an Adonis we can be content to just gaze upon, the chemistry is magical.
It is made all the more touching to watch knowing that James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) passed away only a few months after the film was finished. He is a gentle giant here as Albert, who meets Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus aka Elaine from Seinfeld) at a party. They’re both divorced, with a daughter off to college and a rising sense of panic about their empty nests. He’s big but he’s funny and their conversation, their flirting, is so genuine and so lovely you wish they were your friends. Louis-Dreyfus spends most of the film laughing, but it’s a laugh of such warmth that you’d quite like her to come round and hang out. Neither of them fall into any kind of stereotype, there’s no moral for the dangers of funny women, they’re just two normal grown-ups, good people with plenty of bad characteristics, trying to make a go of things.
Toni Collette is wonderful as the best friend (though I should admit I have a problem with faces and I thought it might be Tilda Swinton doing an Australian accent) and the teenage daughters are pretty annoying. I found myself absolutely balling when Eva and her ex-husband wave their daughter off to college at the airport. God your parents love you. Please call them. I’m being quite serious.
You’ll know the entire plot from the trailer, and the twist, that Eva is the masseuse to Albert’s ex-wife (Catherine Keeper) and has heard all about this monster ex-husband long before she makes the connection, surprises no one, including the old lady next to me who woke up at one point and was surprised to find herself in the cinema. It’s not really about the plot. It’s about the beauty and the complexity of human relationships, the hope of finding of love second time around and a truly normal, totally believable romantic comedy. (enough said)