Movie Re-View

7 Oct

Letterbalm Enough SaidDear LetterBalm: Last week my friends and I saw the new movie “Enough Said”. We liked it very much, but we were wondering what you would say about the plot. Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a divorcee and a masseuse, is dating Albert (James Gandolfini), when she discovers that Albert’s ex-wife is her client. Unfortunately, the client has been bad-mouthing Albert to Eva. (This isn’t a spoiler – all the reviews have discussed this coincidence.) But Eva delays in telling anyone until the inevitable screw-up that hurts everybody. What would LetterBalm advise Eva to say and when should she do it?

–Movie Buff

Oh, pshaw. Ms. L.B. saw “Enough Said” and blushes that you would consider asking her for a real-world solution to one of the more richly charming indie films in years. (As Gandolfini’s last work, it shows how much we’ll miss him.) Writer-director Nicole Holofcener perfectly delineates the characters’ human but not-so-lovable neuroses and makes the story genuine and believable. The budding relationship between Albert and Eva is, in this day and age, life-affirming. But clearly Eva is the neurotic heart of the movie, haplessly sabotaging a real chance at happiness, and hilarity doesn’t ensue. O.K. here goes: As soon as Eva realized her client Marianne (played by the estimable Catherine Keener) was Albert’s ex, she should have talked privately to Albert first, than Marianne.

Of course, then we wouldn’t have such a satisfying movie:  

Albert, I have to tell you something that is so off-the-wall, it’s unbelievable. At the party where you and I met, I also met Marianne, your ex, which I didn’t know at the time. She became my massage client. We talked about our lives, and she talked about her ex-husband, a lot of it negative. Only yesterday, I made the connection and realized she was talking about you. She doesn’t know that you and I are seeing each other, and I wanted to tell you about this first. This situation certainly is uncomfortable, but I really hope we can move beyond it and continue to be together because I really think we’re so good together and I really like you. Before her next appointment, I’ll visit Marianne and tell her I can no longer have her as a client because you and I are seeing each other, and I think you’re terrific. What do you say about that?

Marianne, I can’t have you as a client anymore. It turns out that I’m seeing Albert, your ex-husband, and we’re doing great. I realized who he was during our last conversation. It would be a professional and personal conflict of interest to continue our client relationship. I’ve told Albert about this totally unintended coincidence, and he knows I’m talking with you. I wish you well – we both have daughters going away to college, for one thing, and I wish yours much success. As they say, we’re all grownups, and I think we can deal with this crazy reality.   

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