Last night we wanted something light to watch, and this fit the bill nicely. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Eva, who works as a masseuse. She is fairly amicably divorced, and close to her eighteen-year-old daughter. At a party she meets a middle-aged and somewhat overweight man, Albert (James Gandolfini), and while she feels no attraction, she quite likes him and a friendship develops.
The friendship is obviously going to lead to something more (it’s that kind of film) but it’s taken fairly slowly, with a lot of banter and some good chemistry that leads them to becoming close friends. Albert is also divorced, and also has a daughter who’s about to head off for college, so the two have quite a bit in common, as well as their shared sense of humour.
Meanwhile, Eva has also become friendly with a poet called Marianne (Catherine Keener) after meeting her at the same party, and then becoming her masseuse. Marianne is yet another divorcee, who spends a lot of time ranting about her ex-husband, whom she rather despises.
The main plot focuses on a somewhat unlikely coincidence, which would be a spoiler to reveal, and then a great deal of cowardice - or perhaps outright dishonesty - on Eva’s behalf as she doesn’t reveal something she has discovered that could drastically affect her new friendships. A side-story, never fully resolved, involves her daughter’s best friend.
There are some amusing moments in this, and the acting is believable enough, although it’s a bit of a strange film without a great deal of plot. We could relate to the trauma of seeing one’s offspring depart for university, knowing they’re moving on and becoming separate. But the complexity of relationships, and the acceptance of divorce and remarriage as ‘normal’ was a bit depressing, and some of the humour was not really to our tastes.
The film is quite fast-paced, under an hour and a half in all, and we quite liked it, though it’s not one we’d necessarily watch again. I thought the rating of 12A (PG-13 in the US) was about right; there’s no violence and nothing explicit.
However I wouldn’t want to watch it with a younger teenager. There are a lot of ‘adult’ references, and frank discussion of body parts and intimacies. There is also quite a lot of bad language; not the worst words, but still more than I’m comfortable with.
The blu-ray has an ‘extra’ containing outtakes, mostly involving one or other character laughing at inappropriate times.
Review by Sue F copyright 2017 Sue's DVD Reviews