For all of us who’ve been waiting way too long for a smart, funny, snappy romantic comedy for grown-ups — here it is. Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said” is a joy, marred only by the poignancy of seeing the late James Gandolfini in one of his final screen appearances, trying on a persona that fits him uncannily well.
Eva (the wonderful Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced 50-ish masseuse, with a daughter (Tracy Fairaway) heading off to college and a habit of blurting out something, then looking like she’d like to retract it. At a party, she meets Albert (Gandolfini), also divorced with a near-grown daughter (Eve Hewson).
Sparks don’t immediately fly, but soon he thinks she’s cute and funny, she thinks he’s sweet, and love blooms — complicated by the presence of Eva’s bewitching new friend Marianne (Catherine Keener), a sort of bohemian Martha Stewart/poet who likes to complain about her ex-husband. Guess who he is.
The latest in Holofcener’s not-frequent-enough line of clever comedies about complicated women (“Please Give,” “Friends with Money”), “Enough Said” explores some tough questions: how others’ perceptions shape our own, fairly and unfairly; what love means when you’re not sure you want it; how a single parent whose sole child is leaving the nest might look, perhaps unconsciously, for someone else to mother; what to do when, without meaning to, you break someone’s heart.
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But every minute — from the opening frames, as we watch tiny Louis-Dreyfus struggle valiantly with an enormous massage table — is funny and warmhearted. (Eva, about Marianne: “I feel so pulled in. She’s like a human TripAdvisor.”) You leave this movie wishing Gandolfini had more chances to show off his twinkling-eyed nice-guy persona, and that Louis-Dreyfus and Holofcener made movies way more often — and that every romantic comedy was as beguiling as “Enough Said.”
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org