5.8/10
2,435
32 user 20 critic

Irreconcilable Differences (1984)

Alternating between the past and the present, a precocious little girl sues her selfish, career-driven parents for emancipation, surprising them both.

Director:

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lucy Van Patten Brodsky
...
...
David Kessler
...
Phil Hanner
...
Kim Marriner ...
Reporter
Wendy Gordon ...
Reporter
Ken Gale ...
Reporter
Deborah Cody ...
Reporter
Steven K. Miller ...
Reporter
Annie Meyers-Shyer ...
Little Girl in Crowd
Lauren Hartman ...
Woman on the Street
...
Alan Sluiser
Larry Marko ...
Court Clerk
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Storyline

Albert and Lucy fall in love, get married, and have a daughter Casey. Everything is wonderful, till success in business distract Albert and Lucy from each other and Casey. They soon divorce and start fighting so Casey beats sues to divorce her parents, to go live with the maid who has been taking care of her. Themedia has a field day, which is only making things worse. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They've Got Everything... including a 10 year old daughter who's suing them for divorce. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diferencias irreconciliables  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 15 years old, Drew Barrymore legally emancipated herself from her parents. In 2009 she told 60 Minutes (1968) that she had first learned such a thing was possible from starring in this movie six years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Blake Chandler: [singing] This Civil War ain't gonna get me down. I'm taking my act to a brand new town. This belle rings in old Atlanta. I'm gonna find myself a brand new Santa!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Magnificent Archibalds (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

This Belle
Written by Jerry Belson and Harvey Miller,
Performed by Sharon Stone
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good comedy/melodrama with a unique twist; the self-parody of the movie industry is often ingenious.
15 January 2000 | by (Chicago IL, United States) – See all my reviews

Drew pretty much steals the show as the deadpan "reasoner"

character: a child coping in the midst of two selfish,

immature adults. I'd compare her to Tatum O'Neal in Paper

Moon or Mary Badham in To Kill a Mockingbird for the way

she anchors the audience's perspective as the madness (competently related here by Ryan and Shelley) spins around her.

The real comedy lies in the "screwball" plot twist to which the film's title refers (we learn, early in the plot, that it is little Drew's character, not the parents, who is suing for divorce), and especially the story's underlying satire of the entertainment industry. Highlights include how Albert/Ryan's plummeting career as a director parodies those of Cimino (dust, smoke and flies a la Heaven's Gate) and Bogdanovich (starring untalented girlfriend in multi-million-dollar flops). An Andy Warhol style painting of Shelly Long as Marilyn in the background of one scene is just too funny, an example of how understated the true humor can be in this otherwise broadly-played farce.

Some points are disturbing, though: it's made a joke that Ryan is having an anxiety attack instead of a heart attack (try having one), or that his visitation rights are threatened if he doesn't make child support payments (an interesting social comment). Considering the real-life ups and downs of Ryan O'Neal's and Shelly Long's careers, however, I'd say the film's a roaring success.


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