In June of this year, actor James Gandolfini passed away at age 51. Best known for portraying mobster Tony Soprano on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” the actor also made his mark in such military dramas as “The Last Castle” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” He even turned up earlier this year in Steve Carell’s offbeat magical comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.”
Before his untimely death, Gandolfini completed work on a crime-drama entitled “Animal Rescue” that’s scheduled for a 2014 release. Yet, none of his roles show his versatility quite as well as his work in the recently-released romantic comedy “Enough Said.”
Here, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a divorced massage therapist preparing for her daughter’s first year away from home at college. Eva hasn’t had much luck in the dating pool until she meets Albert (Gandolfini) at a party. Not her usual type, Albert actually is a real charmer and the two soon become a couple.
Unfortunately, Eva takes on a new massage client named Marianne (Catherine Keener) who just happens to be Albert’s ex-wife. Afraid to reveal that she’s dating Albert, Eva finds herself learning more about her new guy than she ever really wanted to know. She also is reluctant to tell Albert that Marianne is one of her clients.
James Gandolfini always will be linked with “The Sopranos,” but “Enough Said” is the perfect legacy for the talented actor. Tony Soprano became a pop culture icon, but Gandolfini’s portrayal of Albert resonates even better with average guys than a mobster ever could. This is the kind of character Gandolfini should be remembered for.
Gandolfini also works extremely well with Julia Louis-Dreyfus on screen. Eva and Albert’s first encounter definitely is not a “meet cute,” though. Both admit that they are not attracted to anyone at the party where they first meet, but Albert still asks her out within a few days.
Their relationship grows in believable, realistic ways as well. Eva constantly looks for massage clients and Albert works at a television archive, but they mesh quite well outside of their individual careers. It’s only when Eva listens to Marianne and not her own heart that the problems start.
“Enough Said” is a perfect example of what films Hollywood can and should produce. There are no talking robots, time travel, or zombies to gum up the works. It’s simply a solid story about two people looking for love in the modern world, and that’s more than enough for anyone.
“Enough Said,” rated PG-13 for sexual content, some thematic material, and language, currently is playing in local theaters.