Enough Said Blu-ray Review

When a beloved actor passes away far too soon, it’s difficult to view their last starring role as anything but their last starring role, regardless of genre, story or fellow cast members.  James Gandolfini was certainly adorned and respected by many, if not all of his peers.  And even though the relatively “small-time” film ENOUGH SAID was his last starring role in a vehicle and character well outside what elevated his name to pop-culture reference material, it may be ultimately remembered as much more than just his finale in the spotlight.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in Enough Said

Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VEEP, SEINFELD) is a divorced masseuse feeling the effects of “empty-nest syndrome” as her only child prepares to leave for college.  During a party she meets Albert (James Gandolfini, ZERO DARK THIRTY, THE SOPRANOS) who is facing a similar situation in his own life.  The two immediately hit it off and begin a relationship.  As the romance blossoms, Eva takes on Marianne (Toni Collette, THE WAY WAY BACK, UNITES STATES OF TARA) as a new client.  Marianne comes off as the epitome of perfection; however she has the ironic habit of constantly complaining about the annoying habits of her ex-husband.  Eventually Eva starts to realize that the man Marianne is always wailing about is actually Albert, now she must try to prevent all of her “inside” information on him from subliminally sabotaging her relationship.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said

Gandolfini’s portrayal of the lovable slob Alfred is anything but what people will cite from his impressive career, however it’s impossible to ignore just how much of a façade he had to impose on himself to portray the “Sopranoesque-like” characters while watching him in this role.  Gandolfini has always been an underrated talent, but roles like Alfred in ENOUGH SAID and even the Mayor of New York in THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 (2009), are proof positive that the physically intimidating actor was capable of much more than convincingly ordering a “whacking.”  He was able to go “toe-to-toe” with a comedic champion like Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the two had odd but instant chemistry.  And Louis-Dreyfus herself had to dance around the perimeter of her comfort zone and delve more into a dramatic role than possibly anything she’s ever taken on before.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in Enough Said

The comedic and unmistakable Woody Allen-like tone installed by writer/director Nicole Holofcener (PARKS AND RECREATION) creates a perfect foundation for a cast that could be easily “plug and played” into many of Allen’s tales.  Though Holofcener is more than just a good mimic of exemplifying neurosis, she brings a distinctive point of view to the topic of middle-aged dating with a spirit and compassion that is all her own.  She has the ability to serve up a dish of harsh, everyday life realizations, but it’s at least served lukewarm instead of ice cold like a Larry David.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in Enough Said

ENOUGH SAID will probably get an ample boost in its relevancy with the unfortunate passing of James Gandolfini, but it definitely will not be in vain.  Gandolfini’s final lead performance is absolutely worth anyone’s time, whether they were an avid fan of his or not, and the residual effect of a hidden talent like Nicole Holofcener receiving additional exposure is at least worthy of the inflated number of viewers the film will undoubtedly receive through Blu-ray and online streaming.

ENOUGH SAID BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  1080p/AVC MPEG-4, 1.85:1 Widescreen: This transfer meets or exceeds all standards of what one would expect from a modern day film shot in HD.  The clarity and detail are very high, the black levels are inky but do not cause any colors to crush, and the overall warm color tone suits the subject material perfectly.

Audio:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The audio in a romantic comedy has exactly one job to get right … dialogue, and this track achieves that flawlessly.  There is no muddying between the music score and speech, which is such an overlooked necessity of many productions.

Featurettes:  These are all quick little features on the basic filmmaking process with clips from actors talking about their roles and what the story meant to them.  This would usually be the standard throw-away replacement for a director’s commentary, but these are actually worth watching to see a final candid glimpse of Gandolfini and how much respect his fellow actors had for him.

Cast (6 min) – The actors reflect on their roles and the comradery they had with each other during filming.

Story (4 min) – Director/writer Nicole Holofcener explains how her own real-life experiences affected the evolution of the story.

Eva and Albert (3 min) – A quick glance at how the attributes of the 2 main characters make them so attractive to one another.

Nicole Holofcener (3 min) – A feature on director/writer Nicole Holofcener, exemplifying how much the cast enjoyed working with her and how ENOUGH SAID is a film that fulfills a life-long goal of Holofcener in creating a true solo character piece.

Julia (3 min) – Actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus explains what attracted her to the character of Eva and how she had to prepare to tap into her seldom used dramatic qualities.

Second Takes (6 min) – This is the blooper reel from the film, which at the very least is always amusing.  This one does take on a slightly sadder undertone since the tragic passing of Gandolfini, but it’s still great to see just how different he was from most of his character’s contentious personas.

Theatrical Trailer (2 min)

OVERALL 3.5
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