I forgot to bring tissues when I went to see a screening of Nicole Holofcener’s rom-com, Enough Said. The first thing you have to deal with when viewing the film, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini is, not exactly the (excuse the pun) elephant in the room, but more like the big bear in the room. Gandolfini is that bear…lovable and cuddly, and he possesses a level of sensitivity that hits you in the gut, but pushing away the fact that he is no longer with us has to be consciously dealt with from the get-go. (At least it was that way for me.)
Once you’ve wrapped your head around that, and pushed it out of the way, it becomes much easier to enjoy this charming, sweet movie that so many Baby Boomers can relate to on a number of levels. Eva is a sharp-witted, middle-aged, divorced masseuse who meets Albert, also middle-aged and divorced. Both are preparing for the departure of their college freshmen daughters and the dreaded Empty Nestdom.
A romance develops, but as it is so often in real life, neither one really understands why they are drawn to each other. There are no fireworks, but there is an easy sense of familiarity and comfort, and as Eva says, Albert’s “middle-agedness” is “sexy.” Holofcener pulls no punches and throws all the imperfections of middle age out there–the ear hair, missing teeth, blisters, and idiosyncrasies that we’ve all developed (and won’t give up) by now–yet, these two engage in that time-honored, awkward dance and work toward building a wonderful, close bond–fueled by laughter, and probably, loneliness.
I am not giving anything away when I divulge that the bump in the road occurs when Eva discovers her client (Catherine Keener, an always welcome Holofcener regular) is the insult-spewing ex of her new boyfriend. When she finds herself doubting (and sabotaging) her relationship, we can see how regardless of age, we are easily vulnerable and susceptible to peer pressure and wanting to fit in, just as though we were back in high school. Eva’s clumsy handling of the situation time further proves that time and experience don’t always provide us with the answers to everything.
Toni Collette and Ben Falcone are part of the terrific supporting cast that rounds out this smart, insightful film. The characters are real, and believable–in fact, I know them, they’re a lot like me, and I have many friends just like them. They have strengths and frailties, they are one-dimensional and vapid at times, and multi-faceted at others. And they all possess defense mechanisms that help them wade through the flotsam and jetsam of life.
Go see this film…and don’t forget your tissues.