“Enough Said” is a not-so-romantic romantic comedy

Alex Pelham

“Enough Said” is less romantic comedy and more dismal divorce flick. The film wallows in divorcee abuse and many of its jokes center on couples taking swipes at each other. This is jarring, especially since most romantic comedies should, ideally, get most of their jokes from the romantic side of life, something that this movie doesn’t do very well. Instead, “Enough Said” delivers cheap jokes that only create a chuckle or two. Nicole Holofcener, both the director and writer, fails to deliver a charming film about unconventional love.

Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a masseuse who’s preparing to send her daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) off to college. At a party, she meets Albert (James Gandolfini), a divorced man who is also about to send a child off to school. Both eventually start dating and things go well until she unknowingly befriends Albert’s ex-wife Marianne (Catherine Keener). Now, Eva must try to balance her relationship between the two while preparing to face having an empty nest.

Unfortunately, the movie is not funny. Much of the humor is one-liners and innuendos, and some don’t even make sense. In some scenes, the jokes fail completely and leave the audience wondering where the punch line is. A large portion of the humor happens in conversations between Eva and Albert, and it’s rather hit-or-miss. The writing goes to lengths to shove in those quirky characteristics and believes that middle age dating conversation calls for every sentence to be a dirty pun. And, while it’s not exactly the film’s fault, it’s uncomfortably awkward to listen to the weight jokes being tossed at Gandolfini’s character considering the actor’s death from cardiac arrest last summer.

The acting is fine from both leads and Gandolfini is the scene stealer in this his last film. He’s believable as a guy who has taken a step back in his love life, yet is still fine with who he is as a person. Gandolfini is able to be funny, considering the material he’s working with, and can get emotional without even resorting to tears. Dreyfus’ performance wasn’t spectacular. She can’t bring the same emotion as Gandolfini. It’s also noticeable that in many scenes she relies on using an odd, loud cackle every time she laughs at a joke that gets annoying after a while.

For a film about love and relationships, “Enough Said” spends too much time focusing on broken love and the negative aspects of relationships. The director can’t seem to figure out how to balance heartfelt middle-age love story and moving parental comedy. Instead of spending time on how to move on from tainted relationships to new ones, it keeps lamenting about the failed relationships.

This movie is not downright terrible, thanks to Gandolfini’s charisma supporting it, but it falls apart with the weight of a dull supporting cast and depressing, hardly funny writing that only expresses how much the movie loathes broken relationships.