Enough Said

Here is an excellent movie for grownups. Two extremely likeable characters fall in love in a movie that has a message for all couples.

Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced woman who goes to a party at the urging of her unhappily married friend Sarah (Toni Collette). At the party, Eva meets Albert (James Gandolfini), a divorced man. Eva also meets Marianne (Catherine Keener) who becomes a massage client and, in short order, a friend and confidante.

Albert and Eva go out on a date. Neither expects anything special, but they enjoy each other’s company and soon are sleeping over. They have one big thing in common: both have daughters who are about to finish high school and go away to college. This circumstance requires that they interact with their exes.

The message for couples in Enough Said is not to let little things become deal breakers. Those of us who’ve been married for a while know that both partners have to tolerate their mates’ imperfections. For instance, dirty underwear left on the bedroom floor may be an annoyance but not grounds for divorce. On the other hand, when one partner is aware of his/her annoying behavior and makes zero effort to change, that can be a problem.

Eva has scenes with Sarah and her husband Will (Ben Falcone). They nitpick and bicker but manage to stay together.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is totally charming as Eva. She frequently flashes the great smile that her often snarky Elaine (on Seinfeld) shared minimally or, often, sarcastically.

James Gandolfini is just a big, sweet teddy bear as Albert. I had a melancholy feeling watching Enough Said because I knew that it was one of his last roles before his sudden death last June. His performances during the past year in Zero Dark Thirty, Not Fade Away and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone showed promise of a hugely successful post-Sopranos film career. Sadly, that will not happen.

Let me offer a huge hat tip to the woman who wrote and directed Enough Said, Nicole Holofcener. Her dialogue is clever, funny and believable. Her directing is efficient and never overbearing. Honestly, the only thing I dislike about Enough Said is its rather generic title.

If you’re looking for a movie for grownups without violence and peril, escape to the movie house to check out Enough Said.





Not Fade Away

How many young American males started playing guitars or drums in the 60’s and then formed rock groups? After seeing the Beatles and the Stones, as well as successful American rock groups, and the responses of girls to the bands, it was almost a natural progression.

Not Fade Away is autobiographical fiction that tells the story of a young man in a rock band in New Jersey in the second half of the 1960’s. From the rehearsals in garages, to the first gigs in basement corners, to meetings with agents, to the eventual journey to the west coast.

Writer/director David Chase was in such a band. The story is not particularly compelling, but Not Fade Away captures the mood and feel of the 60’s with amazing accuracy. Arguments with parents about the Vietnam War and comments from dads about long hair are parts of the 60’s many of us recall.

Of course, the centerpiece of the movie is the music. I loved hearing forgotten 60’s hits like Pretty Ballerina by Left Banke and Itchykoo Park by Small Faces.

Not Fade Away is a period piece that is more about recapturing the feel of those memorable years in Chase’s life than it is about characters and plot. For most baby boomers, especially those who loved the music of the era, Not Fade Away is a fun trip back in time.