Enough Said - DVD Review

'There's a spectacular amount of chemistry here and simple scenes early on, such as the pair's first date at a restaurant where the music is too loud, are superb.'

By way of easy comparisons to gauge mood and tone: there's a lot of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right in Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said, though where the former was concerned with parentage and ideas of adulthood, Holofcener's film is much more of a gentle consideration of mid-life relationships. Still, the quiet, sometimes contemplative mood, and the prominent juxtaposing of young lives just starting and older ones trying to rekindle, means there's a lot here to make it feel almost like a spiritual sequel.

When Enough Said works - and it frequently does - it's down almost entirely to leads Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) presents herself with an almost manic need to laugh and make light of situations, a trait initially attractive, morphing to annoying, rude and victimising during an evening of drink with, amongst others, Toni Collette, who is allowed to keep her native Australian accent, a decision which jars. Whilst Eva tries to live vicariously through daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) and Ellen's friend Chloe (Tavi Gevinson), there's a sense that perhaps the something she is missing is a dab of seriousness in her adult life.

That works well with the charming Albert (Gandolfini) who has the jokes but clearly, and increasingly as their relationship develops, is less willing to make light of everything. Gandolfini, as always a hulking presence, here finds a great deal of charisma and charm, something which works incredibly successfully against the occasional acerbity of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy. There's a spectacular amount of chemistry here and simple scenes early on, such as the pair's first date at a restaurant where the music is too loud, are superb.

Where Holofcener lets her leads down is in her plotting and, occasionally, writing. Enough Said is very much from the 'setup, conflict, resolution' school of Drama and, really, when you look at it closely, there's little to separate Holofcener's plot from even the most basic of Romantic Comedies. Whenever the director does try to break out from the formula the experiments don't work. Albert's daughter shows up and is needlessly obnoxious, creating an air of embarrassing comedy, which crops up on a handful of occasions in the final third. Eventually the character reverts to being more understandably pleasant: the experiment has failed and Holofcener simply writes the miss-step out of her character.

As Eva's own character starts to unwind slightly and the film follows suit, you get the feeling that perhaps it is the conflict part that Holofcener hasn't quite mastered, though the gentler moments lift Enough Said to somewhere near excellent on occasion.

Enough Said is out on UK Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 10th February.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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