Movie Review: Enough Said

Movie Review: Enough Said

Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase ‘to kill with kindness’? The first time I came across it was in relation to a plant my mother had given me. Apparently not all of them like as much water as they can get. But kindness can harm more than roses. The new film Enough Said shows how […]

By Mark HadleyThursday 14 Nov 2013MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase ‘to kill with kindness’? The first time I came across it was in relation to a plant my mother had given me. Apparently not all of them like as much water as they can get. But kindness can harm more than roses. The new film Enough Said shows how it can become a thorn in the side of relationships as well.

Mark Hadley reviews 'Enough Said'.

Enough Said
centres on the life of a middle-aged masseuse called Eva, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Eva is divorced and looking at a lonely future with a daughter heading off to college. Work has become something of a soulless cycle, visiting the same clients who show next to no concern for her as a person. But attending a party with her friend Sarah (Toni Collette), Eva meets both a man she’s interested in and a woman who enjoys her company. Albert (James Gandolfini) is overweight and divorced, but shares the same sense of humour. Marianne (Catherine Keener) is well connected and insightful, and her masseuse’ friendship. But as they continue their appointments it dawns on Eva that the ex-husband Marianne regularly mocks is actually Albert, the man she is falling in love with. How will Eva manage to keep her new relationship and her romantic partner if she reveals what she has learned about them from one another?

Enough Said is a rare mix, witty and poignant at the same time. It makes the most of Louis-Dreyfus’ easy going humour, particularly where relationships are concerned, without resorting to lewd language or sexual romps to carry the comedy. There are love scenes but these are tastefully shot and assist in driving the plot rather than distracting us from it. The most memorable moments are actually those that show Eva’s kindness tying her in painful knots. 

Eva loves Marianne’s company and develops a sympathy for the stage of life she finds herself in. But at the same time her feelings for Albert are deepening to the point that she believes she may have discovered a new life partner. Predictably the moment arrives when Eva can no longer keep her relationships separate and the results are devastating. In particular Albert can’t believe that Eva put so much stock in his ex-wife’s criticisms:

Eva: “I was trying to protect myself. We’ve both been married before and you know how that can go.”

Albert: “What about us? Were you protecting us?”

Eva: [Sighs] I wasn’t protecting us.”

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What Enough Said reveals is a core problem the Bible suggests can ruin any long-term relationship. The audience is led to understand that kindness can simply become a way of avoiding conflict. Eva should have spoken up for Albert and confessed her relationship with Marianne because she owed that honesty to both. The result might have been bruised feelings but Proverbs says these are the injuries that a true friend is prepared to inflict:

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” 

Eva learns that a really good friend is prepared to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of a better relationship. It’s not surprising, then, that the Bible chooses to call Jesus the ‘friend of sinners’ because He takes this point so seriously that it leads Him to the cross. Not only is Jesus prepared to spell out our sins in the in the most black and white terms possible, but He’s prepared to pay for them as well so that our relationship might continue to grow into eternity.

 

RATING:M
DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

RELEASE DATE: November 14