“Enough Said” is a bittersweet experience.
On one hand, it’s a smart, well-written adult romantic comedy from writer/director Nicole Holofcener.
On the other hand, it’s a bit melancholy watching the late James Gandolfini in his final role – a role that showcases a different side of the actor, hinting of what could have been.
“Enough Said” revolves around Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced masseuse who is struggling with the fact that she is about to be alone for the first time in a while with her daughter college bound.
She meets Albert (Gandolfini) at a party, who is also a divorcee with a daughter about to head to college, and the two connect.
Just as the romance starts to blossom, Eva realizes her newest client Marianne (Catherine Keener) is Albert’s ex-wife. With Marianne constantly bringing up Albert’s shortcomings, it causes Eva to have second thoughts about the relationship.
I can’t say enough about the screenplay for “Enough Said.” It is so well-written, with a handful of outstanding scenes that flow effortlessly and naturally. Holofcener has been a bit of an indie darling with films like “Lovely & Amazing,” and “Please Give,” but this is her best work to date.
I’ve never been much of a fan Louis-Dreyfus, but she is really good, funny and vulnerable in this film.
There is some good supporting work from Toni Collette and Ben Falcone as Eva’s friend and her husband, but Gandolfini overshadows the entire cast.
The actor best known as Tony Soprano from the critically acclaimed HBO series “The Sopranos” gets a chance to show a softer side, and he knocks it out of the park. He’s like a big teddy bear, showing he had the chops to be a romantic lead.
It’s the kind of performance that I believe would have catapulted Gandolfini’s career into another direction if he hadn’t passed away earlier this year.
Instead, it serves as a fitting swan song for one of the more underappreciated character actors of this generation.
Also in theaters
Looking to cash in on the Halloween season is Carrie (C-), the remake of the 1976 cult classic that doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor.
Based on the Stephen King novel, Chloe Grace Moretz plays the title character – a shy outcast who is ridiculed by her peers and sheltered by her religious mother (Julianne Moore).
When Carrie is bullied during gym it sets off a series of events that culminates with one student concocting an elaborate prank at senior prom – a prank that pushes Carrie over the edge, using her telekinetic powers to gain revenge on the people who ridiculed her.
It’s been so long since I have seen the original, but I still remember enough to know this pretty much stays faithful, the only exception being that the mother’s craziness seems to be ratcheted up slightly.
This is a film that is all about the iconic prom sequence, which is staged well by director Kimberly Peirce, but there really isn’t much more to the film.
Moretz is fine as Carrie, but she doesn’t have the lasting impact as does Sissy Spacek in the original. I also think it’s time for the 16-year-old Moretz to find something a little bit lighter after a series of darker roles that also included the “Kick-Ass” movies and the “Let the Right One In” remake “Let Me In.”
Judy Greer has a few good moments as the sympathetic high school gym teacher, but the rest of Carrie’s classmates are largely forgettable – including Portia Doubleday who gets the Amy Irving role from the original.
This “Carrie” won’t have the lasting impact as the original, but it will probably be enough to satisfy horror fans. It’s certainly better than recent October horror franchises “Paranormal Activity” and “Saw,” but that really isn’t saying much.
“Carrie” is rated R for bloody violence, disturbing images, language and some sexual content and is now playing at the Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12.