After making her feature length debut with the 1996 film Walking And Talking, director Nicole Holofcener has not only become one of the most influential female filmmakers of her day, but has also become one of cinema’s most interesting and purely humanistic voices. Be it her varied work on television with shows ranging from Parks And Recreations to even some time directing Sex And The City episodes, or her film work with great comedies like Please Give, very few writer/directors are as in touch with their own voice, as Holofcener seemingly has been since the aforementioned underrated mid-90s gem.
And now, after making a small theatrical debut near the end of 2013, her latest film is finally available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray, and is one of last year’s most intriguing and underrated comedies.
Entitled Enough Said, the film introduces us to Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a woman of many descriptors. A mother whose daughter is about to leave the nest with college in her sights, Eva is a recently divorced masseuse in the middle of her life trying to piece everything back together. One night while at a party, she meets the fellow divorce and empty nester Albert (James Gandolfini), only to have a burgeoning friendship sparked. From their first date through all the ups and downs any couple, regardless of age, faces, this truly mature romantic comedy may sound like a meditation on finding love when getting ready to start the back nine of your life, but the beauty of Holofcener’s film lies directly in the universality of the proceedings.
And it helps to have a top notch cast when attempting to tell a truly relatable tale.
Louis-Dreyfus gives a career defining performance here as Eva, a truly flesh and blood character that may seem a tad idiosyncratic (a middle aged divorced masseuse doesn’t scream relatable), but comes absolutely to life thanks to the performance. The script here is mature and never becomes preachy or nails any of the themes “on the nose,” and with some superb room given to the actors for what have to be a handful of moments for ad-libbing, this is really a solid script. One such example is given by Louis-Dreyfus, who after being called a homophobic slur, is initially shocked, but then gives such a pure and real response that it screams of in the moment ad-libbing by an actress completely comfortable in this character’s skin. Equally great here is Gandolfini, giving as nuanced a performance as you’ve ever seen from the late actor, best known for his role on that one HBO show I can’t remember the title of. The two have uncanny, believable chemistry on screen and all of their moments together, the happy and the sad, are resonant to levels rarely reached in this type of film.
However, the star really is Holofcener. Again, giving us arguably her most mature and thoughtful screenplay to date, it’s also one of her prettiest and most effective cinematic outing. A rather powerful look at burgeoning romance and all of the doubts and hesitations that come with it, middle aged or not, the film is an insightful, funny, charming and emotionally moving look at romance in all of its stages. Visually, the film is sumptuous and beautifully intimate, never wanting to turn away from its characters, seeing them in their best, and worst, moments.
Now on DVD and Blu-ray, this is a rather charming little release that may not be breaking any ground for studio releases, but definitely does the job. Visually the film looks fantastic, and with a gag reel, there is definitely enough here to at least be worthy of a rental. There are a handful of brief EPK-like supplements looking at the cast, crew and making of the film, but none are remarkable or all that interesting. Standing as one of 2013’s great, underrated comedies, this is a release that should be checked out by anyone and everyone who has ever been in love, fallen out of love, and wondered what in the hell it all really means.