Under the Radar: Gandolfini’s Swan Song

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“… and that’s how Tony Soprano died in the end and nobody realized it.”

For all his success on TV as the iconic Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini never achieved major notoriety as a movie actor. He was consistently good (his brief turns in True Romance and The Man Who Wasn’t There were tremendous), but seldom got an opportunity as a leading man.

His passing last June seemed to leave his promise unfulfilled, but Gandolfini got to shoot a delightful little comedy before his death. With none of the buzz of mediocre studio comedies, Enough Said breathes new life into a genre that had descended into crassness and inanity.

The reliable Julia Louis-Dreyfus recycles her Old Christine shtick as Eva, a masseuse and long time divorcee frustrated with the dating world. Out of boredom, Eva tries a non-traditional option, a burly, non assuming suitor named Albert (Gandolfini). Their chemistry is undeniable and soon become an item.

But Albert has someone working against him. Eva has been servicing his ex-wife (Catherine Keener), who has been providing all kinds of negative insight. Eva chooses to keep this knowledge to herself, but slowly begins to poison the burgeoning relationship.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener (Friends with Money), her trademark witty dialogue finally finds a story worth telling. Enough Said is a funny affair without ever becoming clownish. Each character is believable, as well as the ties they build. Issues like quirks and physical attractiveness after 50 are honestly dealt with. This may be a comedy, but often cuts deep.

Even though Gandolfini is not here to reap the benefits of the strong Enough Said, Julia Louis-Dreyfus should get her due. It has been a long time coming, since Elaine Benes first attempted to dance (shudder). Four happy/sad prairie dogs.

Enough Said is now playing at Cineplex. Doubt it will last past Thursday.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.