Jennifer Lopez continues to be one of the most promising actresses in Hollywood who, after a handful of star-making turns in films like "Selena" and "Out of Sight", has found herself with material of progressively lesser quality. "Enough", the latest film from Lopez, is also her most ridiculous. I'm also baffled that Michael Apted, one of the better directors currently working (see this year's "Enigma") signed on, given the screenplay.
Certainly, the film deals with a tragic and saddening subject (domestic abuse), but instead of presenting it in a serious, moving and/or intelligent manner, the film only merges this subject with all of the often-told conventional aspects of a thriller. Even worse, the film presents these elements in a awkward way, complete with plot holes and strange title cards.
Lopez (who again sells bad material for all it's worth in her performance) plays Slim (who thought up that name?), a waitress who is well-liked and skilled at her job. When Mitch (Bill Campbell) comes to her defense one day, she decides to persue a relationship with the guy. Things - well, the first few years of their relationship are actually shown in a montage that lasts about four minutes - seem to be going fairly well. The two have a child together. Years later, after things have proceeded normally, Slim finds out that her husband is having an affair. All of the sudden, the guy turns into a monster.
Mitch becomes increasingly abusive until she decides that she's had enough of her husband. She grabs their young daughter and heads on the road, hoping to start a new life away from her psycho husband. She even tracks down long-lost father, Jupiter (another weird character name)(Fred Ward), who gives her a ton of money because he's both surprised that Mitch's thugs threated him if he helped her and because he (or, at least I'd think so, even if the story never seems to say so) that he feels bad for not having seen his daughter. She also manages to find an impressively unhelpful lawyer (who essentially says, "well, there's nothing you can do.") Unfortunately, Mitch continues to persue her relentlessly and unpredictably (even hiring a bunch of guys dressed as FBI agents) until she decides to train in self-defense and end the persuit once and for all, beating him up in the film's final scenes. Oddly enough, the film never even really explains why Mitch does what he does.
At the base of it all, I question how/why "Enough" is supposed to be entertainment. This is a terrible, tragic subject that happens to real people every day. Although it's bad enough that the film offers a predictable storyline with a whole lot of cliches, I simply found myself depressed at having to watch this tale. "Enough" with "Enough"'s storyline; I'll move on to the film's performances. Jennifer Lopez provides a fine performance and actually tries to sell the material as best she can. Campbell provides a fierce (if completely one-dimensional) villian. On the other hand, Juliette Lewis gets little to do as Slim's friend, while Noah Wyle provides an embarassing performance as Mitch's source in the police department.
Unlike Apted's well-made and intelligent "Enigma", "Enough" seems rather sloppy at times. Title cards that are so brief and bland (the first one, believe it or not, just says "Hey") as to be unintentionally amusing occasionally appear at random throughout the film. Given the holes in the plot, one almost wonders if they should say "scene missing", instead. David Arnold, a composer who has worked on some of the Bond movies and provided a wonderful score for Roger Mitchell's "Changing Lanes", instead goes with loud and obvious for his selections here. Rogier Stoffers' 2.35:1 cinematography provides consistently bland imagery, aside from a few nice shots of the scenery. At nearly two hours, "Enough" also could have been edited down a bit, given the fact that most will realize where this is going before the opening credits roll.
"Enough" - strangely enough - continues a streak of directors who somehow manage to make a terrible film in the same year as a terrific one. First it was Barry Levinson with "Sphere", then "Wag The Dog", then it was Robert Zemeckis with "What Lies Beneath", followed by "Cast Away". Apted's "Enigma", an old-fashioned thriller/mystery which I consider one of the finest films of the year, is followed by "Enough", an insulting and dull film which I consider a total waste of two hours. I have a lot of respect for much of Apted's work and Lopez's talents. Not only do I consider them capable of better, but I would have liked to have believed both capable of knowing they can work with far better material than this.
VIDEO: "Enough" is presented by Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment in both 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 pan & scan. Both editions of the picture are included on the same side of a dual-layer disc. Sharpness and detail are standard, as the picture seems crisp and clear, but, on the other hand, can also appear rather flat and fine details are not always clearly seen.
Faults with the image quality are occasionally visible throughout. The main problem with the image is the presence of edge enhancement, which is apparent enough during a handful of moments to be rather irritating. Only a few very slight, light traces of artifacts are seen, but this hardly was a problem. On a positive note, the print appeared nearly crystal clear, aside from one or two minor specks.
The film's very subdued color palette appeared accurately rendered, with no smearing or other faults. Black level was solid, while flesh tones looked accurate and natural. A slightly above-average effort.
SOUND: "Enough" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Aside from a few sound effects and Arnold's score, the surrounds do not provide much of anything. Dialogue remains the focus, while Arnold's score plants itself firmly in the front main speakers. Audio quality was fine, if unexceptional, as clarity was fine across the board.
MENUS: An overdone animated clip leads into rather basic main & sub-menus.
EXTRAS: The only supplements are a trailer for the film and the music video for Jennifer Lopez's "Alive".
Final Thoughts: Depressing, unpleasant and simply all sorts of not good, I'd quickly had "Enough" of "Enough". Columbia/Tristar's DVD offers thankfully minimal supplements, but a fine audio/video presentation. Still, not recommended.