Nicole Holofcener’s beautiful new romantic comedy, Enough Said, is bittersweet. Not only because it tells the story of a pair of single parents who find a romantic connection just when they’ve given up on the idea of love. But also because of James Gandolfini’s exquisite teddy bear of a performance. Holofcener’s film is one of the last that the actor made before his death at age 51, and watching him do some of his best work, you can’t help but feel a profound sadness about all the great roles we’ll never see him play.
Gandolfini costars as a big softy named Albert — a divorced dad preparing to send his daughter off to college. His failed marriage has left him emotionally bruised. But when he meets Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ neurotically lovable masseuse, Eva, at a party, sarcastic sparks fly. Eva also has a daughter leaving the nest, so the two have more in common than just war stories about their exes. They’re two lost souls who’ve somehow managed to find the piece of themselves that’s been missing, which Holofcener’s sensitive script presents as one of life’s great miracles. Then Eva learns that the ex one of her clients (Catherine Keener) constantly bad-mouths is none other than…Albert. Instead of changing the subject, Eva urges her to go on about his flaws until she can no longer ignore them herself. Sure, it’s a coincidence right out of Three’s Company, but Enough Said is deeper and richer than that. It shows us how rare love is — and how we need to grab it and not let it go. A-