Thursday, September 19, 2013

James Gandolfini's Last Hurrah: Enough Said Movie Premiere

By: Anne M. Raso

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of, sadly, one of the last movies starring the great late James Gandolfini--the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy Enough Said, which hits theaters on September 20th. The movie is simply one of the best romantic comedies to come down the pike this year.
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis Dreyfus, Enough Said

Julia Louis Dreyfus plays Eva, a middle-aged, divorced West Coast freelance masseuse who is skeptical about getting involved in a romance at her age--especially since she has not quite figured out what went wrong with her marriage other than the downfall of communications and lack of similar interests. She meets Gandolfini's character Albert at a party--his ex-wife Marianne (played by Catherine Keener) also happened to be at the same event and Eva starts having her as an outcall masseuse client. As Eva starts dating Albert, she is influenced by Marianne's constant criticism about her ex before, during and after her massage sessions. It clearly influences Eva's relationship with her new beau, and she starts being critical of him. I can't continue the storyline beyond this because I don't want to provide any spoilers, but it's a film with a broad range of appeal--the cynical kids in the film will appeal to college age movie-goers while the aim of the film was originally targeted at 40 and 50 somethings. But everyone loves brilliant acting and certainly all Sopranos fans would love to see the late and great Gandolfini in one of his final roles.
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Speaking of The Sopranos, nearly the whole cast turned up at the premiere at the Paris Theater and its lavish after party at the nearby luxe health food eatery, Rouge Tomate. The array of talent that breezed by me--or stopped to speak with me--from behind the ropes of the red carpet included Aida Turturro, David Chase, Tony Sirico, Edie Falco, Dominic Chianese and Vincent Curatola. Turturro was crying as she walked into the theater and told me that seeing one of her former co-star's final films was almost too much for her to bear emotionally. She knew Gandolfini longer than any other cast member, having met in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire about 22 years ago. "I am sorry I am falling to pieces here," she told me. "I am anxious to see this movie because I hear it shows Jim as he really was...a really vulnerable, loving warm person...and really witty and funny."
Female Cast Members, Enough Said Premiere 
Besides the vast array of former Sopranos stars coming down the aisle (Sirico told me I looked like Gandolfini's sister Johanna and joked that he "has gone back to shylocking" since The Sopranos ended), there were other luminaries including the entire cast of the film along with director Nicole Holofcener and producer Anthony Bregman. Reporters scrambled to talk to the legendary Toni Collette, who plays Eva's best friend Sarah in Enough Said. Julia Louis-Dreyfus went down the "print press" section of the red carpet and as I stood there at the end of the line of journos, I got what I call "Jerry Seinfeld bombed." She was about to speak to me and Jerry Seinfeld came up and hugged her and then whisked JLD inside to the theater. Once it was time for the film to begin, cast members were introduced and applause started once Gandolfini's character appeared onscreen. It is a character much different than Tony Soprano. His character walks around in sweat pants and not boxers around his house--and his voice is distinctly less "Jersey" here!
Tony Sirico, Enough Said Premiere
The after party at Rouge Tomate (a Finance Foodie fave resto!) brought out interesting configurations of people and some fabulous food finds including many exotic vegetables I cannot even pronounce the name of, and some killer filet mignon and seared tuna. Mini desserts included organic peach macarons, homemade vanilla nougat and gluten free French crumb apple pie. Many of the eatery's signature fresh basil-tinged drinks were served including their phenomenal Raspberry Lemonade With Basil (organic vodka added in most cases)!
Enough Said Premiere After Party at Rouge Tomate
Each star of the film had their own private reserved table in the airy and beautiful downstairs dining room of Rouge Tomate. In the darkest table in the corner farthest away from the center of activity was David Chase holding court with Vincent Curatola, Dominic Chianese (with attractive blonde date) and Tony Sirico. It kind of drove me crazy because I was wondering if they were discussing some kind of sequel to The Sopranos especially since Tony Sirico told me he was on a series that would be coming up on HBO. But that is highly unlikely as we all know--I guess I will never get over that fuzzy ending to the TV's best-ever dramatic series. Anyway, definitely go see Enough Said--it will give you a lot of laughs...and a lot to say!

Movie stills courtesy Fox Searchlight; other photos by Anne Raso.

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