Friday, April 12, 2024

Sopranos Creator David Chase on James Gandolfini’s Final Role: “You Can See The Intelligence”


“Sopranos” creator David Chase and his wife Denise were just two members of the show’s extended family who turned out last night to their late pal James Gandolfini in “Enough Said.” The romantic comedy, co-starring Julia Louis Dreyfus, opens this Friday and should be a big hit. It’s the best work yet by popular filmmaker Nicole Holofcener (“Please Give”).

The Chases were joined by Aida Turturro, Edie Falco, Dominic Chianese, Vince Curatola and his wife Maureen, Steve Schirripa , and Tony Sirico. Plus many members of Gandolfini’s own family were there including sisters Johanna and Leta. The latter sister, Leta, was abroad in France when her brother died last June. She went straight to Italy to help Gandolfini’s teenage son Michael with arrangements.

How did they like the movie? Leta Gandolfini said: “It was the role that was most like him in real life. It was like having a visit with Jimmy.” David Chase told me: “Just looking at him up there, you can the intelligence.”

Vince Curatola, who played Johnny Sack, told me: “This is what he wanted to be.”

And indeed the tragedy of “Enough Said” is that Gandolfini finally makes the transition to comedy and romance, away from Tony Soprano. He and Julia Louis Dreyfus have chemistry to spare. They are utterly charming together. The whole cast makes the film work, especially Catherine Keener (nasty for once in a movie).

Julia Louis Dreyfus and I joked that she can’t become a movie star now. I love “Veep” too much. She laughed. “Don’t worry. I’m signed to Veep for a long, long time!”

PS Jerry Seinfeld came to the screening to support Louis-Dreyfus, his “Elaine” for time immemorial.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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