Enough Said (12A)

Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette
Showing at FACT, Liverpool
18th - 31st October 2013

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

You Don't know What You've Got Till It's Gone

Another rom-com set in midlife crisis middle class America, Enough Said at times is mawkish and over sentimental but somehow Director Holofcener's film manages to avoid too many tissues and the usual pitfalls.

The plot is improbable, but the charismatic leads carry it off with style. Eva (Louis- Dreyfus) is a divorced masseuse of ten years standing and is eking out a living from her unexceptional clients. Albert (Gandolfini) works in a Popular Culture Archive and is on the rebound from his poet wife Marieanne (Keener), who is in Joni Mitchell's circle. They all meet by chance at a party, the outcome of which is that bubbly Eva gets a new female customer and a date with larger than life Albert.

He cocks up on their restaurant booking, but as they stand in the queue the ice is broken, and his humourous banter is a turn on for her. The romance blossoms and a ray of sunshine enters the swirling insecurity of their lives.

Both have teenage daughters about to leave for college, which further complicates matters, as they have to interact with their old partners to smooth the transition of their offspring into the big bad world.

Eva confides in her therapist best friend Sarah (Collette) that the sex is good after a lot of disappointing years. She is in a solid relationship and has two ordinary young kids.

Her own sex life in decline, she is in for the long haul with her irascible husband. Constant bickering and wish fulfillment accompany her paranoid furniture rearranging. It's marriage stupid. Meanwhile, their hormones having calmed down, little foibles start to cloud the new couple's horizon. Sex is more fumbly, and Albert says Eva is starting to sound like his old wife.

This is because Marieanne is filling Eva, now her friend, with all of her ex's pecaddillos. He didn't like onions in his guacomole, and when they were pushed to one side it made her physically sick. Besides, he was always too funny, and ignored his calorie intake, despite her reasonable requests; in the end enough reasons to get a divorce. The bad news is that Eva brings them up with Albert and he works out where the poison is coming from.

The three of them have it out and Eva comes off worst. As ever the pessimist Schopenhaur would put it, in the endless search for true happiness, life has to go on. The soundtrack echoes this sentiment, and the last song by Oliver Everett, 'I like the way this is going', looks to the positive...

So how will it all end?

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