'Enough Said': James Gandolfini is the best part of the romantic comedy

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Enough Said' gets a little too sitcom-y at times, but the recent death of 'Sopranos' actor James Gandolfini makes his performance even more poignant.

Lacey Terrell/Fox Searchlight/AP
'Enough Said' stars James Gandolfini.

Writer-director Nicole Holofcener (“Please Give,” “Friends With Money”) has a reputation I’ve never entirely endorsed for edgy, relationship-centric indie films. There’s more mush than barb in her work.

“Enough Said,” which co-stars the late James Gandolfini in one of his last movie performances, is her most mainstream job yet. That’s not altogether a bad thing. Its unpretentiousness has its quasi-Woody Allen side.

Albert (Gandolfini) and Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), both divorced, both sharing custody of college-bound daughters, meet at a party and quickly become a couple. He works at a television museum in Los Angeles; she’s a massage therapist. Since the actors have genuine chemistry – not always a given in relationship movies – the relationship clicks for us as well as for them.

Holofcener relies too much on sitcom situations and she encourages too much sitcom mugging from Louis-Dreyfus. Thankfully, she doesn’t exploit the material’s more farcical elements once a newfound friend of Eva's, played by Catherine Keener, turns out to be something else again.

Best is Gandolfini’s sensitive-guy-in-a-bulky-physique performance. He was a marvelously versatile actor, and, with the knowledge that he is gone, it’s doubly poignant to watch him here. Grade: B (Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, language and partial nudity.)

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