Slim (Jennifer Lopez) is a waitress whose life is transformed when she marries wealthy contractor Mitch (Billy Campbell) in a whirlwind romance. After the birth of her baby daughter Gracie (Tessa Allen), Slim’s perfect suburban family life disintegrates when her bed hopping husband gets violent. She takes her baby into hiding, but Mitch, with help from crooked cops among others, continues to stalk her. She realises she has no way out but to prepare herself for the inevitable confrontation with a course of high impact self defence.
Review Andrew L. Urban:
I won’t lie awake at night tossing and turning about it, but I’d sure like to know what possessed talented Englishman Michael Apted* to take on this material (the actors have an excuse: their agents told them it was ok). All right, maybe it’s well intentioned but it’s ill advised: the subject of husbands beating wives is always a valid subject for exploration, partly because – sadly – it’s such a universal phenomenon. Partly because it is a significant element in the human condition. So it’s not the subject matter that is astonishingly banal – it’s the execution. And that’s when the film is not being ridiculous. It’s easy to tell when that is, because the audience laughs at the inappropriate moments (I won’t give the scenes away). The film telescopes time in bursts: 5 years pass in the first 7 screen minutes. Near the end, when Slim is in training, an intense month that changes her from suburban housewife/caring mother to avenging angel passes in a couple of minutes. These contractions make the events depicted quite perfunctory and meaningless, devaluing their value to the plot and the characters. There are many other details that are treated carelessly, taking us ‘out of the picture’ – like a handful of $50 bills from Slim’s estranged (but repentant) father, that seem to be the equivalent of loaves and fishes, buying her a cottage, a car – and later even a spare getaway car. (Why does she build a solid bar across the door of the house – on the outside? Because she had read the script and knows about the scene where….she needs it.) Slim never has any financial worries after that. There is the sloppy device of Slim calling Mitch’s current girlfriend’s mobile when she wants to talk to Mitch. That would be reasonable if he didn’t have one of his own. It’s made worse by the fact he answers it. There’s more to indict the film, but this is probably enough.
*Among other things, Michael Apted made the highly acclaimed series 21 Up (through to 42 Up) and also directed The World Is Not Enough – maybe now it is.
Review by Louise Keller:
You know that expression ‘Enough, already!’ These were the words that kept pounding in my head throughout Enough, a melodramatic thriller that is an unsuccessful mix of Sleeping with the Enemy and Girlfight. It starts as a fairytale – struggling waitress meets handsome rich guy, taking less than 15 minutes of screen time for them to meet, court, marry, have a baby and create a perfect life together in their beautiful home. That’s where the fairytale ends and the problematic script begins. What a shame! Because the filmmakers’ credentials are impressive with a script by the Academy Award nominated writer of Reversal of Fortune, direction by respected Michael Apted and starring the talented Jennifer Lopez who dazzled in Out of Sight and The Wedding Planner. But the plan to make Enough into ‘an inspiring tale of survival wrapped in the heart-pounding suspense of a stylish psychological thriller’ has flopped as surely as a soufflé gone wrong. Basically the plot is so incredible that we never believe any of it for a moment. Mitch goes from Prince Charming to a deranged psycho with such speed that it doesn’t make sense. Why did he marry Slim? Why won’t he let her go? Doesn’t he do anything with his time except watch her and make shady arrangements with all his deranged contacts and associates? The storyline is split into sections, each of which is named with inane titles such as ‘You Can Run’, ‘New Leaf’ and ‘Take Care’. Say no more. But how can we go along with the long lost father sideplot, the bundles of money that come conveniently by Fedex and money, wigs and cars suitably waiting to be collected? As for the scenes where Lopez gets stuck into Krav Maga (as per the production notes), which I am told is considered to be one of the world’s most effective and deadly martial arts, they are good entertainment with J.Lo looking fit and fabulous. The climactic fight scenes between Slim and Mitch are sheer theatrical choreography, with Lopez sleek and glamorous in a scoop necked black slinky number. Lopez is a terrific talent and does a commendable job of making Slim into a sympathetic character. She deserves better – and so do you, dear reader.
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CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Bill Campbell, Tessa Allen, Juliette Lewis, Dan Futterman, Noah Wyle, Fred Ward
PRODUCER: Rob Cowan, Irwin Winkler
DIRECTOR: Michael Apted
SCRIPT: Nicholas Kazan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rogier Stoffers
EDITOR: Rick Shaine
MUSIC: David Arnold
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Doug Kraner
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 17, 2002