Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Enough

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense scenes of domestic violence, some sensuality and language.

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Mature Teen to Adult
Genre:
Drama / Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 51 min.
Year of Release:
2002

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Bill Campbell, Juliette Lewis, Ruben Madera, Dan Futterman | Directed by: Michael Apted | Produced by: Irwin Winkler, Rob Cowan | Written by: Nicholas Kazan | Distributor: Columbia Tristar

Why do men batter women? Many theories have been developed to explain why some men use violence against their partners. These theories include: family dysfunction, inadequate communication skills, provocation by women, stress, chemical dependency, lack of spirituality and economic hardship. These issues may be associated with battering of women, but they are not the causes. Removing these associated factors will not end men’s violence against women. The batterer begins and continues his behavior because violence is an effective method for gaining and keeping control over another person and he usually does not suffer adverse consequences as a result of his behavior.

Historically, violence against women has not been treated as a “real” crime. This is evident in the lack of severe consequences, such as incarceration or economic penalties, for men guilty of battering their partners. Rarely are batterers ostracized in their communities, even if they are known to have physically assaulted their partners. Batterers come from all groups and backgrounds, and from all personality profiles. However, some characteristics fit a general profile of a batterer:

  • Jennifer Lopez and Bill Campbell in “Enough”

    A batterer objectifies women. He does not see women as people. He does not respect women as a group. Overall, he sees women as property or sexual objects.

  • A batterer has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He may appear successful, but inside he feels inadequate.

  • A batterer externalizes the causes of his behavior. He blames his violence on circumstances such as stress, his partner’s behavior, a “bad day,” alcohol or other factors.

  • A batterer may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence, and is often seen as a “nice guy” to outsiders.

Some behavioral warning signs of a potential batterer include extreme jealousy, possessiveness, a bad temper, unpredictability, cruelty to animals and verbal abusiveness. (This information has been provided by The National Association Against Domestic Violence).

The American Bar Association reports that over 1 million women will suffer non-fatal violence from their partner in a year. 4 million women will be assaulted. A partner has struck 1 in 3 women physically. Super Bowl Sunday is the day that our nation logs in the highest number of domestic violence reports on a single day.

There is no doubt that domestic violence is real and that many in our country struggle with all the issues that surround this tragedy. I do think that sending the advertised message of the film “Enough” that “everyone has a limit” will not solve the problems of domestic violence. Every part of Nicholas Kazan’s story reads like a made for the Lifetime Channel movie of the week. The plot is extremely weak. To mention the word “contrived” is an understatement. Many of the sub-plots seem more like fantasy type add ins (nowhere did I leave my fairy god-mother).

Our story begins with a waitress named Slim (Jennifer Lopez) “working hard for her money” at a local diner. The audience is asked to sympathize with this attractive woman who must deal with male customers who flirt. (Actress Sandra Bullock was originally cast for this role.) We witness smooth talking Robbie (Noah Wyle) trying to make his moves on Slim. She is rescued from this moment by a rich contractor named Mitch (Billy Campbell) whose main ambition is “to keep her safe” (do you smell a set up yet?). I must admit it was strange seeing Campbell (whose best role was in my all-time favorite film “The Rocketeer”) and Wyle cast in a negative role, but that’s Hollywood for you.

This shining moment of chivalry sweeps our unsuspecting lady off her feet. The next scene has vows exchanged and now our couple head off into marital bliss. There isn’t anything that our rich young businessman won’t buy to please his new bride. They have a beautiful little girl, Gracie (Tessa Allen) and six years go by with apparently no problems.

One day Slim discovers that Mitch is having an affair. Instead of your typical “I’m so sorry dialogue,” Mitch instead justifies having a mistress. He declares, “I make the money so I set the rules.” Slim is struck in the face and we learn that it’s OK because men are like “land-mines” (consoling advise from his mom). Our abused wife begins to plan her escape with help from her friends. After several attempts to relocate, she realizes that running is not a solution to her problem of a husband that is not only abusive, but also stalks Slim’s every move. Our heroine decides to take matters into her own hands and learns self-defense (brass knuckles included). Her closest friend, Ginny (Juliette Lewis) reassures her with the following rhetoric: “you have a divine animal right to protect yourself and your offspring.” The entire film builds toward this physical confrontation and quicker than you can say “Rocky” Slim is toned up and ready to “kick someone’s backside.”

I don’t deny the fact the domestic violence is real, but I do have some serious problems with many of the solutions offered in this film. I attended the area premier of this movie and most of the audience was young women. Was I mistaken and actually at a sporting event? Every time Slim landed a punch on Mitch, the crowd cheered. Our sense of justice is brought to the emotional front while viewing “Enough”.

If you know someone who is being abused or you are being abused, I strongly encourage you to work with a Christian counselor to find a solution. I do not expect women to become helpless doormats to abusers, but there are other non-violent solutions. (To find a counselor in your area, try www.aacc.net.)

I honestly cannot recommend “Enough” because of the negative solutions offered for a serious problem in our society. There is some language, frank discussions of sex (like several pre-marital sex references and the so-called “who is better in bed” girl-talk), and some intense violent scenes (blood included) that provide more than enough material to earn a PG-13 rating. The film is extremely well acted, but unfortunately poorly scripted. What else can I say—it simply is not that great of a film and very surprising as a big screen release.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I was impressed with the movie because it showed me how real abuse is in this world and the effect it has on the person. Slim did nothing to deserve the treatment she did from her husband. She could not have known the way he was from the start. She tried to leave to protect herself and her daughter but he complicated any attempt.

I do not know if I can completely agree with her killing of her husband but I have not been in a situation as hers. The film did have some profanity and violence but it was a movie that I would see again due to the great acting. Jennifer Lopez played the part of Slim very well and I would recommend it to mature audiences who can handle some of the intense moments in the film.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Tara, age 19
Positive—I loved this movie. Jennifer Lopez was perfect in her role. Tessa Allen was absolutely adorable, and her acting skills were remarkable. The movie kept my attention the whole time. Of course, I would love to hear no cussing, but being PG-13, I expected it. And I was actually surprised at how little there was. For being such an intense movie, with a lot of intense scenes, they put a lot less than they could have. They could have put a lot more, and still even had a PG-13 rating, so I was glad there wasn’t much. There is fairly graphic violence, cussing, and sex-related talk, so I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone under 15 (maybe even 16, depending on maturity).

I thought this was a great movie—great story, great acting, and would enjoy seeing it again sometime.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Lindsay, age 20
Negative
Negative—I hated this movie!! This movie has a very negative message at the end of this movie. After being beaten terribly, Jennifer Lopez goes into hiding. After a while, she gets sick of being followed and hurt. So, she decides to learn a type of martial arts. Then she breaks into her husband’s house and decides to take matters into her own hands. Then after she just about kills her husband, she decides she can’t go through with it, but then she remembers everything wrong he does to her. SO then she decides to kill him.

The basic message of this movie is that if someone hurts you, you have every right to hurt them back, you can even kill them. Do not waste your time or money on this movie.
My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—Emmie, age 27
Negative—They wouldn’t let me pick no stars, but you can’t imagine how hard it hurts to give it one. This film is awful in every sense of the word. I am a HUGE J.LO fan, but not even I could find things to like about this movie (if you can even call it that!)

While the content itself isn’t too offensive (some profanity, and a few scenes of violence), the dialogue is so clunky, the acting so so outright BAD that you’ll feel the need for mental cleansing afterwards. The best part of the movie is when it ends, and I know people will agree with me. If even one reader sees my take on this film and doesn’t go because of my warning, I will feel that my suffering through it was not in vain. DO NOT SEE THIS MOST HORRIBLE MOVIE!!
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—Daniel, age 18
Comments from young people
Positive—I think that Enough was a great movie! It showed real abuse and how it affects people! I’m not sure if I would go as far as killing the husband, but maybe if you were in her situation, you would have to do that! Jennifer Lopez was an excellent role for this character!! She is very talented and hope to see her in more dramatic roles. I would definitely recommend this movie to others but not under the age of 10!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Diane, age 13
Neutral—This movie shows the life of a abused women (Jennifer Lopez) and how she runs and escapes her husband and in the end murders him. Although the subject about abuse and such is shown I really think killing her husband wasn’t something Jesus would want to happen. The movie on a whole though is well acted and is a movie that will make you angry during the film because the husband is so awfully mean.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Eva, age 17
Neutral—I thought the movie was fantastic! Very well acted and the script was somewhat more then just poorly written… it was written with not much thought! Although the movie screened some graphic abuse, some sensuality and some sexual slurs, the overall objective seem to meet its point. The movie gave me my money’s worth, and I must say its suspense and thrill gave me a few screams.

The movie is an overall great movie that I would recommend to people 14 and up.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Nila M., age 13
Positive—I thought that this movie was exact opposite of what the reviewers had to say about it. It does deal seriously with issue of female abuse. It not only shows that effect it has on the woman, but it shows the effect it has on the kids which is sometimes sadly forgotten. I felt that when Slim was fighting her husband it was ok. She was doing out of self-defense. She was not only protecting her life but the life of her daughter. He (Billy Campbell) was asking Slim if she thought that it was fair for her to fight him. I agreed with her when she said, So its only okay to hit me when I’m not ready for it or prepared. That’s paraphrased.

Men beat on women because they have anger issues and they are trying to feel inferior or take control of the victim. I agree with the way they portrayed her defending for herself. She didn’t roll over and take it. I disagree with women who try to work out abusive situations because it seems to only cause more pain for them and the kids. They sometimes even end up dead.
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—Sara, age 16