Under the guise of a middle-age romance, Enough Said is really a movie about broad-based boundary issues poorly handled by adults who should know better.
Sharply written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said centers on Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a single mom living in Los Angeles with no man in her life, and who’s coping with the imminent departure of daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) for college. The massage table that Eva lugs around as part of her house calls is an apt metaphor for her weight-bearing doldrums.
The movie’s theme about inappropriate merging, the domain of Neptune, is set up early, as Eva’s clients – naked underneath towels as Eva kneads away at flesh – can’t keep their mouths shut. The verbal barrage effectively reduces Eva to a sponge, and she never asks them to stop.
Eva’s reluctance to set firm, Saturnine boundaries comes back to bite her following two chance meetings. She crosses paths with Albert (James Gandolfini), a heavy-set, jovial and caring man – “Our middle-agedness is sexy to me,” he says – whose daughter Tess (Eve Hewson) is also flying the coop to school.
She also meets a celebrity poetess – Marianne (Catherine Keener) – who becomes a massage client and, similarly, can’t stop ragging on her ex-husband who seems to have been unlovable for all the reasons Eva believes her Albert is charming.
As fate has it, Marianne’s former husband and Eva’s new squeeze are the same guy.
When Eva figures out Albert is Marianne’s ex, she doesn’t set the record straight. Instead, she lets herself too readily absorb the petty and ire-fueled stream flowing out of Marianne’s mouth which risks poisoning (Neptune) her burgeoning relationship.
And it turns out Eva is no stranger to over-sharing herself. She hands out sexual advice inappropriately and over-confides to a friend’s daughter (Tavi Gevinson), even offering the teen Ellen’s bed while her daughter’s at college.
Holofcener makes a not-so-sly case against the pervasive, Neptunian, touchy-feely vibe that often passes for spiritual-seeker validation and which, ultimately, reduces people to givers or receivers of meaningless content. Old-fashioned, Saturnine ground rules are often in too short supply. As Albert basically tells Eva, “You did not protect us.”
Astrology Film Review: ♆ (Neptune)