Enough Said was James Gandolfini's final film before being all too abruptly whacked by the beyond. He plays a divorcee, unavoidably of some physical presence, who inadvertently starts to date his ex-wife's new masseuse. She's played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, carrying her Veep form onto the big screen to such great effect she makes AB de Villiers look out of nick.
Though ostensibly a romcom, it barely feels like one given it isn't overly formulaic and makes a convincing attempt at gently exposing the flaws of adults passing into middle-age. One of the tenets of Gandolfini's character - one of the reasons for the breakdown of his marriage - is that he's a bit of a lumbering slob, a point illustrated in one scene where his and Louise-Dreyfus's attempts at stepping up their relationship in the bedroom are thwarted by his clumsy pawing and heaving stature. The only problem with this facet of the story is that, for all his genius, Gandolfini isn't overly convincing as a cack-handed brute. It's no comment on his flawless acting. It's just that he belongs to a very specific category of colossally-framed men which exude grace rather than oafishness.
Jesse Ryder's dimensions aren't quite on a par with Gandolfini's but he shares that unshakable inability to make a surfeit of flesh look inelegant. On Thursday, he batted in vain for 90 in the Royal London Cup quarter final, at the start of his knock playing the ball as often as possible right beneath those eyes which are part eagle and part traumatised Nam vet. He was initially cautious trying to scaffold Essex's rickety chase, but the photon off side slashes and drives started to emerge, their ridiculous power and pace emphasised, not that it were needed, by the cosy boundaries of Chelmsford. In this mode, there's rarely an ounce of energy misplaced in them, just a happy consummation between timing and muscle. There's rarely an ounce of energy misplaced in anything he does. He even fist-bumps the way you imagine Baloo might fist-bump Mowgli if they'd ever batted together, a gentle paw barely impacting the knuckles of his fellow batsman.
Towards the end of his knock he took his Kiwi colleague Jeetan Patel, a pivotal figure this success strewn last couple of weeks for Warwickshire, for a couple of sixes. The first he anticipated the turn precisely, his perfect, louche, southpaw Mickelson swing sending the ball arrowing back immediately back over the bowler's head. The second he played squarer, across the line and against the turn over wide long on, but it was as pure a straight drive as imaginable. Ryder's bat and tyrannical forearms ended up above his head as the familiar dark bit of cloth he has hanging out of the back of his helmet bounced off the base of his neck. That piece of fabric is a great thing, after a long stint in the middle giving him the air of a world-weary Mongol warrior who's nonetheless still utterly committed to the aesthetics of combat.
For all the grace and thrills, there's something a bit sad about seeing him bat like that, knowing all the strength, beauty and luthier's touch is part of the same person who's suffered the problems he has as you can't help but wonder just how far he's come in finally overcoming them. Largely succeeding, Enough Said works incredibly hard to be bittersweet. Jesse Ryder, cricket's Gandolfini, last night nailed it without trying.