Generally, I am a pretty black and white movie critic. I either love something or I hate it. However, for ACOD, aka “Adult Child of Divorce” my overall feeling was “meh”. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.
Adam Scott plays Carter, a well adjusted, or so he thinks, child of divorced parents. When Carter learns his little brother (Clarke Duke) is getting married, it’s up to him to get his parents to behave long enough to not destroy the wedding. His parents, Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa (Catherine O’Hara), haven’t spoken in 20 years. Hugh likes marrying young blondes, with his most recent trophy girlfriend getting played by Amy Poehler. Melissa is married to nice guy Gary (Ken Howard). Unfortunately, Carter’s efforts to get them to behave work too well, and soon is parents are starting an affair, which Carter gets dragged into the middle of.
The first thing this movie did right was casting. Scott is spot on as the long suffering, dry witted Carter. Jenkins and O’Hara make you love to hate them. Dr. Judith, played by Jane Lynch, plays a great, unfeeling, moderately condescending psychologist. The only few errors in casting seem to be Amy Poehler, as the trophy wife Sondra.
Honestly, if you are going to use Amy Poehler, then use Amy Poehler. Other than a few scenes of her ordering people around, she still didn’t get to show off her comedic range. In addition, Jessica Alba shows up for a brief, unnecessary flirtation with Carter and then leaves again. I assume that she only showed up so they could add her name to the star studded cast of characters. [more…]
The rest of the movie follows a standard ‘crazy family’ outline. Carter tries to deal with his parent’s new found reconciliation, and help them hide their affairs from their partners. His parents remain selfish and self centered and it all culminates in the standard dramatic group ‘everyone argues with everyone’ scene.
This movie could have been forgettable fare, considering that the plot lines themselves have been done to death. However, the snappy dialog and the excellent casting make it watchable and enjoyable. As a romantic comedy, it doesn’t really fly because there’s no true romantic conflict with Scott’s character. He has a girlfriend, but he doesn’t want to commit to her. It’s really hard to categorize this movie. Some moments it feels dark, others it’s a light hearted comedy, while others you just want it to end.
The direction of the movie could have gone a bit better as well. Some of the conversation shots are a little confusing, with the words not matching the lips, which is distracting.
For the most part, ACOD is a fun movie that is worth the watch. It’s not a comedic masterpiece, but the actors make it worth watching and the storyline stays interesting. Some of the bigger characters were a bit underplayed, however for the most part; ADOC comes together nicely as a fun movie about a common topic.
Enjoy the trailer.