Enough Said focuses mostly on the day-to-day struggles of Eva, a message therapist, and as the film plays out it attempts to highlight the beauty of an unlikely formation of serious romantic relationships and their consequential fragility. The premise is rather recognizable: Eva and Albert, two divorced, middle-aged cynics with children from past marriages meet at a party, go on a few dates, and eventually end up forming a serious romantic relationship.
This is a sweet idea in itself, but Eva’s character is just generally uninteresting. She is picky, negative, and skeptical. When problems occur between her and Albert, we the audience are supposed to feel pity, or maybe even empathy. This, however, is rather impossible.
It seems as if the characters are purposely crying for pity. They mope, they whine, and they feel sorry for themselves. Both Eva and Albert have pretty great lives actually, and come from respectable ranks of society. They have good jobs and nice families. How are we supposed to feel pity for characters when the characters portrayed as pathetic are not pathetic at all? Their situation may be realistic, but in the supporting context, these characters are impossible to care about.
Eva egomaniacally brings on all her own misfortunes. We see her make bad choice after bad choice until she has ruined all her personal relationships. Eva the character is a dunce, but Dreyfus’ acting in the role is fantastic. What a paradox.
I went to see this film for two reasons, because it got great reviews and because of James Gandolfini. Unfortunately, the reviews were wrong. Great performances by Dreyfus and Gandolfini are forced to cohabitate with the terrible, mundane plot.
The reviews of Enough Said painted it was some kind of quirky little indie film, something akin to Squid and the Whale-ish (even though I don’t like Squid, I like that genre), but really it is just a story about the unlikely romance between two people, a romance film.
Most enraging is the depiction of how the characters are totally responsible for screwing up their own lives. Viewers who consider themselves unlucky may not agree that relationships are this black and white; plenty of people are annoyed at the simplistic binary in conventional storytelling that promises making the right choices and doing the right things will result in everything being great.
As a viewer, I don’t like to see characters on the screen fall from grace because they fly too close to the sun. I like to see the sun explode and engulf the character in flames.
Whatever it was the film’s producers were trying to evoke in me, they failed at it.