ENOUGH is a completely satisfying, even if not exactly original, thriller
starring a terrific Jennifer Lopez as an abused wife whose pain is palpable.
Nicholas Kazan's script keeps most of the story's focus on the running and
hiding, as Slim (Lopez) takes her daughter Gracie (Tessa Allen) away, far away,
from Mitch (Billy Campbell), Slim's extremely dangerous husband. The movie's
PG-13 rating works to its advantage by precluding the gory excesses possible in
an R-rated picture. This is an intense and frightening film, but one that
avoids going over the top, with the emphasis more on the planning and execution
than on the action itself.
The secret of the movie's success? Its amazingly versatile and accomplished
director, Michael Apted, who has done everything from a Bond picture (THE WORLD
IS NOT ENOUGH) to a war-time romantic thriller (ENIGMA) to the best documentary
series ever made, the 7/14/21/28/35/42 UP collection. This time Apted is able
to make you care and make you jump. Working with a great cast, he fashions
characters that are genuine and frightening. Even when he telegraphs his
punches way in advance, he still has you jumping on queue. He has you in his
power, but he uses that power to weave his story and not merely to manipulate
When the story starts, Slim and her buddy Ginny (Juliette Lewis) are waitresses
in a diner. One day, in walks Mitch, and, in no time at all, Mitch and Slim are
hitched. Really hitched. When she catches him cheating, he doesn't deny it but
threatens her and then slugs her -- hard. "I make the money here, so I set the
rules," he explains, laying down the law. These rules include all of the
infidelity he wants and no divorce. She's his forever. The "till death do us
part" portion of the wedding vows is loudly shouted in the script's subtext.
Mitch puts it best when he threatens her with, "Do you have any idea how bad
things can get?" She does, so, after a few false starts, she gets herself a
false identity and skips town with her daughter by her side.
Some will have quibbles about the movie's messages. One part, however, is
painfully true. When she first goes to the police station, she answers her own
questions about what the police can do to protect a wife from an insanely
violent husband. A restraining order, she points out to the desk sergeant, is
just a piece of paper. If her husband comes after her, what can she do? "Throw
it at him?"
Don't be surprised if your audience is like ours. They were ready to kill
Mitch. If you're looking for an intelligent movie in which you can release your
pent up anger, ENOUGH is just the ticket you need.
ENOUGH runs 1:55. It is rated PG-13 for "intense scenes of domestic violence,
some sensuality and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it ***. He liked it all, especially Lopez's acting
and the realness of the fighting.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes