Vineyard filmgoers have a special treat in store for themselves this weekend when “Enough Said” brings grown-up, romantic comedy to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. In addition, the Film Center will screen a British National Theatre production of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” return “Haute Cuisine” once more, and present the 1971 Katharine Cornell documentary, “This Is Our Island,” in collaboration with the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and introduced by author Tom Dunlop.
“Enough Said” puts together a first-rate cast of actors starting with Julia Louis Dreyfus as Eva and James Gandolfini as Albert, who meet at a party and cautiously begin dating. Mr. Gandolfini’s appearance in “Enough Said” is one of the last before his recent, untimely death, and he brings depth to his role as a man who knows his limitations and is comfortable with himself. He provides a solid foil to Ms. Louis Dreyfus’s sprightly antics as a massage therapist who doesn’t need to overplay her reactions to her clients: the guy who stands and watches as she lugs her portable massage table up a steep flight of steps; the woman who never stops talking; the man with halitosis.
Both Albert and Eva have been married before, and each dotes on only daughters about to leave for college. Toni Collette plays Eva’s best friend, Sarah, married to Will (Ben Falcone). Catherine Keener shows up as Ralph’s ex, Marianne, after Eva acquires her as a client. Each of these characters contributes to the rich mix of complications in Eva and Albert’s budding romance.
A name-dropping poetess, Marianne plays the film’s villain of sorts. Before she and Eva realize their mutual and awkward connection to Albert, Marianne takes up Eva as her new pal. In no time the two are sharing confidences, and Marianne lets loose with a litany of her ex-husband’s many irritating flaws. Eva discovers before Marianne does that the Albert she’s dating is Marianne’s ex, and she fails to fess up. The comic complications pile up until disaster strikes.
In the meantime, viewers will watch with amusement at how Albert and Eva each negotiate the prospect of an empty nest. Albert’s daughter Tess (Eve Henson) takes after her mother, thoughtlessly trashing the college Eva’s daughter Ellen (Tracey Fairaway) will attend — in front of Eva. Eva starts to dote on Ellen’s friend Chloe (Tavi Gevinson) to the growing irritation of both Ellen and Chloe’s own mother.
“Enough Said’s” writer/director Nicole Holofcener has a knack for developing believable, real-world situations and character traits as well as skewering them with just the right amount of zing. Beginning with “Walking and Talking,” which was nominated for a 1996 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, she has built successful careers in both film and TV. Make note of other Holofcener movie credits, which include “Lovely and Amazing” (2001), “Friends With Money” (2006), and “Please Give” (2010). This director has also worked on TV series like “Sex and the City,” “Six Feet Under,” and “Parks and Recreation.” Remember Ms. Holofcener’s name, because she has a talent too rare these days in Hollywood.
“Enough Said,” Thursday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 25, Saturday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 27, 7:30 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, Vineyard Haven. $12; $9 M.V. Film Society members; $7 children under 14. For tickets and more information, visit mvfilmsociety.com.