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Enough Said

29 Sep

Enough Said – directed by Nicole Holofcener. Romance. Their children about to start college, two middle aged folks try to make a match of themselves, but complications attack. 92 minutes Color 2013.

★★★

This is not a chick-flick. It is a hen-flick. It is a movie for an audience of the-past-middle-age. Indeed, the matinée audience I saw it with was packed, and they were all seniors or approaching that without-hope-of-sex moment or past it.

Why was it packed? Perhaps they were a senior club on an outing, I should have asked. Perhaps because Julia Louis-Dryfus had such a hold over a loyal public as a TV actor for so many years? Or because of her combination with James Gandolfini, who also held sway on the tube? Did it get good reviews? I never read its reviews. I am ignorant. I don’t have an answer.

Certainly the script is no higher than Situation Romance. People say things they would never say and behave as they never would. And then, to look human, wear the wrong clothes for a scene or two. The writing is moribund.

Certainly Julia Louis-Dreyfus is frozen in TV acting technique, and, as it is her story, we see a lot of her, and, of course, she’s very nice, and her toothy smile is ever-present, and she can act, in that debased mode more than adequately, but who wants to see it, really? Everything she is asked to do we are asked to find funny, even before it happens. No actress worth her salt, and Dryfus is worth more than a few shakers full, can survive such prefabrication in a full-length motion picture.

James Gandolfini, a lovely actor, is limited or limits himself to being the big hearted stout fellow. But then it is not his story. Nor is it the story of the invaluable Toni Colette, the best friend and confidante, married to a husband who is looked down upon and a housemaid who is also looked down upon, both without cause. Nor the story of Catherine Keener as the first wife, whose fine house has no real bearing on the story and who offers to strike up a friendship with Louis-Dryfus that is without foundation in nature.

I would say it is not well-directed did I not feel that its heart was in the wrong place and that no direction of any kind could have resuscitated it into breath. It is the story of mistaken identity eluding itself. When I imagine what George Stevens and Jean Arthur would have made of these possibilities, I turn myself away from this in shame, enough said.

 
 
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