Movie: A.C.O.D.
Director: Stuart Zicherman
Writer: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman
Studio: Black Bear Pictures

Divorce used to be such a taboo subject (I am told). Now half of all marriages end that way. My parents split when I was a kid and a lot of my friends’ folks did the same. It had its benefits like double holidays and figuring out you could say “but I get to do this at Mom’s house!” when you wanted to get away with something, but for the most part it sucks. Your parents talk shit about each other and you are always worried about what would happen if they were in the same place at the same time for one of your milestones. A.C.O.D. (which stands for adult children of divorce) takes this awful situation and tackles it head on in the best way possible: with comedy.

A.C.O.D. stars Adam Scott as Carter, an adult who had a messed up childhood as the result of his parent’s dysfunctional relationship and divorce. Carter is asked by his younger brother to try and negotiate with his parents (who still very much hate each other) for at least one calm night of civility so he can marry his girlfriend. Soon after this responsibility is forced upon him, Carter learns that his childhood was the subject of a book written by a person he thought was his childhood therapist. Needless to say, everything goes to hell very quickly as Carter tries to bring his parents together for the wedding.

The biggest thing this film has going for it is its cast. Along with Adam Scott is Clark Duke, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, and Jane Lynch so you know that there will be some supremely funny moments throughout. The other benefit of this great and skilled ensemble of actors is when things need to be serious they are in a believable matter. The problem with a lot of movies that take on serious subjects with a light-hearted nature is that when it finally is time for some character growth and development it seems forced and unconvincing. With A.C.O.D. that is not the case. When it is time to have a stark moment that brings to light the devastating effect parents can have on their children, you feel sympathy for Carter, not disbelief.

The only real problem with this film is that some of the plot elements were unnecessary. There are a few scenes that seem like part of a bigger subplot that got left behind in the editing room. Also, I am not sure how well A.C.O.D. will work for someone from a well adjusted family. Some things might seem a bit exaggerated or fake, but having been in a lot of these situations myself I can assure you these things happen.

A.C.O.D. is not quite a romantic comedy, not quite a drama, and not quite an indie film. It falls somewhere in between all of these categories, taking some of the best elements of them all without falling into the tired cliches that plague the genres. If you come from a broken home or are close to someone who did, this is one film you should check out. If you don’t fit into those categories, please leave a comment below and let me know how your secret utopia is and tweet me directions on how to get there.

Score: B+

Review written by: Justin Proper

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.