Enough Said was a bit of an anomaly for me. I was interested in it solely because of the two main actors and my history with those actors is relatively slim. I know much of James Gandolfini’s history while never having seen any of his most famous role in The Sopranos. I know of Julia Louis-Dreyfus almost exclusively from Seinfeld while never having seen Old Christine or Veep. Still, I was excited for Enough Said, if for no other reason than to see Louis-Dreyfus with solid material and Gandolfini play against type. Interestingly, Enough Said managed to both succeed and fail because no one told Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus that they were in a horrible movie.
Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus play divorced single parents of kids about to go off to college. They meet-cute at a party and one of the more realistic relationships in recent memory blossoms. This is the part of the movie that works. The two leads are fully fleshed out and recognizable characters. There are subtleties and nuances that shade the relationship which feel wholly natural. These are also the qualities missing from every other character in the film. For instance, Louis-Dreyfus has two friends; one of which is high-strung and shrill, the other is hippy-dippy all natural. That is what defines them and that is all they are. The nuance that the leads bring to their characters was sadly not utilized on the script.
If Enough Said had been just Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus scenes I would have loved it even if it had only been forty-five minutes long. There is a first date dinner scene that is so brilliant and charming that if extended to feature length would have been a masterpiece. Gandolfini in particular is so wonderful in that scene that it makes his tragic passing hurt that much more. His tough guy demeanor is absent and in its place is a lonely man with a quiet pride. Heartfelt and endearing.
I’ve prattled on about the lead characters for too long, but the problem is that everything else falls apart. There are plot contrivances that are blatantly obvious and ridiculous on all fronts. There are stereotypes instead of characters with each one being unlikable. It is both amazing and absurd how natural Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus are in the midst of all the rubbish. For those with an addiction to romantic comedies you can do far worse than this, but that’s a far cry from calling it good. Two wonderful performances elevate this to mediocre at best. Grade: C-