There can never be enough said about dating after divorce. I'm actually talking about the movie Enough Said, that brilliantly puts a spotlight on a very often undiagnosed problem regarding relationships, about which we should all be aware...
I went to see this new movie the night it opened because of the following description: "Enough Said is a sharp, insightful comedy that humorously explores the mess that often comes with getting involved again."
How could I resist this??
It is sadly one of James Gandolfini's last performances, and we see a very different and wonderful teddy-bear side to him as Albert. And despite Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who for some reason always annoys me even when she does a nice job), I enjoyed it, although it felt uncomfortably real at times. It is indeed very insightful, and incited in me many different feelings and thoughts about the process of getting to know someone.
(The remainder of this blog could be a bit of a spoiler, so if you haven't seen the movie, consider this your alert.)
There are many parts of this movie that hit home: the anticipation of an empty nest, the regrets of mistakes made in a marriage, the doubts of divorce, dealing with an ex's new spouse, sabotaging a potentially good new relationship, over-analyzing relationships, the teenager's point of view of separating from parents to begin a new life away from home, and last but not least, the influence other people can have on our perception of a person.
At first Eva (Louis-Dreyfus), is taken off guard by the fact that she finds this over-weight man sexy, funny, and comforting...until she finds out that her new female friend, who has been bitching about all the things she found repulsive with her ex-husband, is Albert's ex-wife.
We now slowly start to see all the things Eva found appealing about Albert begin to take on an entirely different, or should I say, negative perspective. In addition, things that never even bothered her before now annoy her to the point of disgust. Her point of view has been poisoned by that of the ex-wife. As a result, she begins to nit pick and embarrass him, sabotaging her own happiness and the relationship.
How often do we allow other people's agenda and opinions influence how we feel and what we see? Not only do we begin to find negative, annoying things that might not otherwise bother us, but we also begin to see 'positives,' that are actually other people's idea of what's good instead of what 'good' means for us.
Whether we're young or middle aged, it's very easy to let other people influence us with their ideas of what's important or good enough. Do they drive a nice enough car, are they attractive enough, wealthy enough, successful enough, or thin enough? Sometimes it can be difficult to separate what is enough for you, versus what is enough for others.
It can be a well-meaning friend's biased opinion (based on his or her baggage/agenda), or ideals that we have been raised with, which have become deeply instilled in us and are hard to shake. When you try to change those long held values, it can create a fault in your foundation, and conflict in your heart.
Eva sabotages the relationship with Albert because she has allowed the ex-wife's point of view to penetrate her viewfinder, causing her to have a warped image of him--- almost as if she were looking at him through a funhouse mirror. What she sees is now distorted. What she once saw and liked, she now second-guesses.
For me, one of the most poignant lines in the movie is when Albert says to her, "You didn't protect us." When beginning a new relationship, consider taking the time to get to know someone before introducing him or her to others. I'll go a step further to suggest not even talking about this new person to others (as tempting as it is when we're excited) until you assess how you feel first. The naysayers and well-intended opinion givers can wait. Give yourself time to get to know someone so you can formulate your thoughts and feelings-- then trust yourself.
Just a thought. And I think, enough said.