Nicole Holofcener has a new movie out—Enough Said (2013)—and again she has nothing to say about politics (or religion) and everything to say about human relationships and the undesirable behavior therein. Good for her.
Critic Joe Morgenstern is right: Eva, the main character, is a needy middle-aged woman who faces an empty life. This is precisely why she is practically displacing her daughter, about to go off to college, with her daughter’s best friend, and why she becomes so anxious to know whether what is being said about the man who starts courting her is the truth (Enough said!). The person doing the talking is the man’s ex-wife, and the man—her new beau—is overweight Albert. That Eva is ignorant about the nature of love, the love she will be expected to show, is a significant subject in the film.
Like her other pictures, Holofcener’s current effort is an intelligent comedy. Julia-Louis Dreyfus, as Eva, was born to play this character, and the late James Gandolfini is soothingly true and sympathetic as Albert. The film is poignant, with far-from-stale dialogue:
Eva: “I’m tired of being funny.” (Funny in what sense? we wonder.)
Albert: “So am I.”
Eva, after a pause: “But you’re not funny.”
Slightly thought-provoking, this is not everyday dialogue. Holofcener wants to make movies for the ages. That may well happen with some of them, Enough Said included.