Enough Review

May 24, 2002 | 11:40am EDT

Jennifer Lopez is a hardworking waitress at the Red Car Diner who sports a nametag that reads "Slim"--a cute nickname if only it wasn't mentioned in every line. One day a stranger (Billy Campbell) comes to Slim's defense when a rose-toting womanizer tries to pick her up mid-shift and before you know it they're in love getting married buying a house and raising a family. When Slim figures out her perfect husband is having an affair and confronts him about his cheating ways he becomes violent possessive and controlling. Slim tries to leave him but can't and is forced to take desperate measures to save her and her daughter Gracie's (Tessa Allen) life. Although it sounds an awful lot like 1991's Sleeping With the Enemy Enough is a slightly more engaging and entertaining film to watch. Despite many plot inconsistencies the film will have your heart thumping throughout every clich├ęd predicament including unexpectedly seeing the villain's reflection in a mirror which then turns out to be a dream.

Although it's pretty difficult to make the gorgeous button-nosed Lopez look anything but sublime she does the working girl thing quite effectively in this film. Through her facial expressions she manages to convey her character's fears and suspicions only to brush them off as paranoia. In one scene for example Slim notices that the bathroom window is open and you can see her trying to remember whether she was the one that left it open and she does so very subtly. As her abusive husband Mitch Campbell plays a one-dimensional completely despicable villain. While wife-beaters often beg for forgiveness to reel their victims back in after a bout of abuse Mitch does the opposite piling on even more threats. Allen who plays their young daughter Gracie was pretty impressive. She delivers some great lines without ever being too cutesy and reacts to situations like a normal child would rather than a smart-aleck Hollywood tyke: she cries when she sees her mother cry and mutters lines that any 5-year-old would.

Scribe Nicholas Kazan seems to have put little effort into Enough. The film's structure unfolds in a textbook sort of way (think Sleeping with the Enemy or Domestic Disturbance) and never transcends the stereotype of the genre. There are too many things in the film that don't add up like Slim's nonsensical choice to leave her husband in the dead of the night rather than when he's at work or how she hides all the guns in his house before she prepares to fight him never considering that he may actually have a weapon on him. There is also an entire story line involving Slim's long-lost father that could have been omitted altogether in favor of better character development. Although Mitch displayes some creepy possessive traits at the start of their marriage his pattern of abuse isn't believable. The most disappointing aspect however is the fact that once you see the trailer you basically know how the entire film will unfold. After all the tagline reads: "Self defense isn't murder."

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