It's very tempting to not just dismiss Enough, the latest bill-paying gig by Michael Apted (Enigma) starring Jennifer Lopez, but shred it altogether. Ms. Lopez hasn't exactly added to her acting credibility with a string of showy, glamorous roles in such mediocre fare as The Wedding Planner and Angel Eyes. Rather, she's been more concerned with becoming a dance-hall diva, putting out CDs that get snapped up by 12-year-old girls and gay men. J. Lo, as she's now known in the music world, is probably having a lot of fun as a pop star, but it hurts her believability on film.
And it's not like Enough is anything but a predictable thriller, given that all its trailers and TV spots neatly synopsize the entire movie, including scenes a critic would normally be castigated for revealing. The only thing surprising about the movie is that it doesn't star Ashley Judd, who's become a one-woman factory for such wife-in-jeopardy high jinks.
Yet it's hard to hate the film. Even though it pushes all the familiar buttons, it does them well enough to make its target audience clap. Movies like this are the equivalent of Schwarzenegger flicks for ladies -- predictable escapist fare that provides a temporary rush of empowerment.
A few preposterous conceits must be bought into for the movie to work. First, you accept that Lopez, she of the bootyful behind, plays a character named Slim. Second, you accept that she falls for a complete psychopath (ex-Rocketeer Billy Campbell) without getting any hint of his true personality beforehand. You also must accept that, even though she's that stupid or naive, she can suddenly become a master of identity change on her own after she figures things out. And later, you have to accept that unlimited funds become available to Slim.
Long before we get to the realization that, as the tagline suggests, "Self-defense isn't murder," however, we have to go through the entire courtship process, then marriage, then abuse, then flight, and so forth, as seen in the preview.
As you may suspect by now, you probably saw this film the last time around, when it was called Sleeping With the Enemy. This one merely adds a better car chase and more ass-kicking, plus a dubious interpretation of U.S. law in the mode of Double Jeopardy, which posited that Ashley Judd could legally murder her husband if she'd already done the time. Self-defense may not be murder, but stalking someone and breaking into his house with intent to beat him to death is not exactly legal.
It's been easy to despise Lopez lately, but for a diva, she does appear to be trying to dress down this time, donning some ugly wigs and making her real hair look ratty in some scenes. Noah Wyle also acquits himself well in a downright ludicrous role that's in keeping with the overall bombast of the movie.
If this type of movie is for you, you pretty much know it without having to read reviews. Those of you who are on the fence, be advised that having someone drag you along at least won't be torturous.