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Enough: Special Edition

Michael Apted's Enough (2002) should have been a box-office smash. After all, it has all of the right ingredients that modern-day cineplex viewers look for in a popcorn movie — an experienced director who knows how to helm a sharp, glossy film; an empathetic female lead in Jennifer Lopez, who may not be a great actress but has built a small career on her spunky personality; a quality team of supporting players; a really frightening villain; and the classic sort of "woman in peril" potboiler script that's been a mainstay of Tinseltown scribes for years. Perhaps the problem then was that Enough was a little too much of the familiar when it arrived — both Julia Roberts and Ashley Judd had done the "I married a psycho" thing already (Sleeping with the Enemy, Double Jeopardy), leaving Apted's film with little new ground to cover. Enough barely made back its $38 million budget in domestic release, but it's certain to win new viewers on cable TV and home video. Lopez stars as "Slim," a brash waitress in an L.A. diner who falls in love with one of her customers, Mitch (Billy Campbell). At first the marriage is perfect, with Slim leaving her blue-collar roots behind and starting a family with Mitch in a massive suburban home. But after a while she realizes her wealthy hubby is fooling around — he has a French prostitute on his speed-dialer, and he often smells of perfume. Yet, when Slim confronts Mitch, he reacts with a chilling combination of violence and indifference, telling her that she has no option but to stay home and be an obedient wife. After all, he's never going to let her go. With the help of best friend Ginny (Juliette Lewis), Slim then plots her escape, leaving with her toddler Gracie (Tessa Allen) and criss-crossing the country, changing identities and staying one step ahead of Mitch's goons while trying to find a legal outcome that will ensure both her safety and the custody of her daughter. Enough has more than its share of silly points — it's difficult to believe that Slim cannot simply go to the police after she's battered and begin legal proceedings, although Nicholas Kazan's script makes an effort to justify her predicament via ignorance and terror. The story often places the young child in danger as a cheap way to elicit emotions (her screaming during a car-chase gets a bit wearing, as well). And in order to defend herself from her murderous husband, Slim becomes proficient in the martial art of Krav Maga in about three weeks. But most of this hardly matters. Enough is told with such efficiency, and is so unapologetic about its pulp subject-matter, that it's a perfectly enjoyable thriller. Most of this is a credit to the cast — Lopez isn't in Julia Roberts territory (not yet, at least), but the Latino beauty with the Bronx booty does a good job at being scared senseless, and then later taking her frustrations out on her creepy husband mano a mano. As Mitch, Billy Campbell turns in a performance that's probably a bit smarter than the material, particularly with his passive-aggressive comments at the dinner table. More importantly, it's awfully easy to hate his guts. And the supporting team includes Dan Futterman, Fred Ward, and Noah Wyle in a neat role against-type as a crooked cop. If you like the film, don't even bother justifying it. Just file it under "guilty pleasure" and pull it out when you're in the mood to see a cheesy revenge flick. After all, that last ten minutes is a kick. Columbia TriStar's second DVD release of Enough features an anamorphic (2.35:1) transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. New features include two commentaries, one from director Michael Apted and writer Nicholas Kazan, the second from producers Irwin Winkler and Rob Cohen. Also new are a Cinemax featurette (12 min.), the featurettes "A Clear Message" (11 min.), "Enough is Enough" (9 min.), and "Krav Maga: Contact Combat" (8 min.), and three deleted scenes with commentary. Returning from the original release are filmographies, trailers, and Lopez's music video for her song "Alive." Keep-case.
—JJB



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