Early in the film, Eva tells her married friend, Sarah, played by Toni Collette, a secret of successful dating at mid-life — by seeing imperfections and excess weight as “sexy.” Eva finds comfort in just being who they are today.
Enough Said is loaded with love advice, some positive but more often demonstrating what not to do if you want love to last. For example, Albert points out a common dating mistake that single men and women can make while looking for a true love match in mid-life, or any age for that matter.
When Eva claims she didn’t know what to do after realizing she’d befriended her massage client, Albert’s ex-wife, who continued to put him down long after their divorce, Albert gently sets her straight. “You knew what you should do, but you didn’t do it. You didn’t protect us. You let her (his ex-wife’s) negative comments about me poison our relationship.”
Eva regretfully agrees that she didn’t protect their relationship. Then she denies that his ex wife poisoned things, because she still wants to date him. Albert’s emotional reply to Eva provides the most tender, memorable moments in the film.
Early on, you may find it amusing to witness a new couple’s trials and errors in developing an intimate relationship due to extra baggage you can carry at mid-life.
This savvy love story also illustrates the worst mistake a woman can make in a relationship with a man. Ironically, this mistake is first made by the married therapist Sarah (Toni Collette) who should know better. Her mistake: She consistently makes her husband wrong, instead of finding opportunities to create a positive connection with him. She puts down her husband in front of other people. She fantasizes in front of her husband and friends about what she’d do differently if she marries again. She puts down her husband’s advice on how to handle screw ups made by their housekeeper. She calls her husband a six year old for wanting a relationship to be fair. Her barage of putdowns make you wonder why he settles for this poor treatment from the one woman who should love him and be his biggest cheerleader as he’s attempting to be for her.
Eva also makes the same mistake during a double date with Albert, and their negative married friends. Feeling tipsy from white wine, Eva makes fun of Albert because he can’t whisper, because he indulges in high-calorie treats, because he doesn’t own end tables.
Fortunately, Albert responds to her public putdowns by setting a healthy boundary — dropping off Eva at her house instead of spending the night together. Eva sheepishly realizes how making him wrong had hurt his feelings.
This film authentically portrays bittersweet feelings divorced parents have as they launch a child on their college adventure. “You’ve got to get those hobbies going,” Julia says, her eyes filling with tears.
During Thanksgiving homecoming, you sense the joy and challenge of being empty nested each time your child comes home and leaves again.
To fill that emotional void, Eva reaches out to Albert, by parking in front of his house, hoping he’ll see her and feel the same desire to connect with her again.
In a tenderly written and emotionally improvised climax, you get answers to love questions: Will Albert and Eva discover the keys to a happy life? Will they allow each other to make mistakes, be flawed, express frailties without holding it against each other? Do they have the resilient optimism needed to give love another chance? Will they realize that the practice generosity of giving love while seeking a love match is a secret to building a happy, sexy love that lasts?
As you see their discoveries unfold, you may feel thankful to see how the late James Gandolfini will be remembered not only as the tough mobster, Tony Soprano, but for his kind-hearted strength and tender vulnerability that made him irresistible to Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said.
Get all the happy, sexy love you desire,