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Divorcing Jack
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Reviews & Ratings for
Divorcing Jack More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Excellent stuff

Author: mike c from los angeles
7 January 2004

Started as a comedy, turned real dark. I thought this was an excellent film i'd never heard of. Of course US distributors are always scared of thick accents, that's why so few of us have seen the great Twin Town. David Thewlis was outstanding, very funny & believeably serious when things went dark.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A darkly humorous tale of conflicting emotions, magnificently written and superbly acted.

10/10
Author: Nicole (njorca@cox.net) from United States
2 July 2003

Moral contrast and conflicting emotions set the scene for this darkly humorous tale. It is a wonderful story of contrasts of scenery, emotions, beliefs, and people. While heavy in language and violence, the movie is one I would definitely recommend. David Thewlis is emotionally endearing as our "hero," and Jason Isaacs absolutely delicious in his portrayal of a "villain." Or is there a villain in this movie? Both characters remain on opposite side of the spectra of good and evil, yet somehow we find ourselves pitying the two evildoers. Emotions are swept around mercilessly, and you are left completely satisfied with all characters (especially the nun, who is reminiscent of the love/hate, restraint/indulgence conflicts of the film). I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a good movie and a great story.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

an excellent film

10/10
Author: marty crawford from Belfast, Ireland
1 August 2001

.An excellent film that for once has shown the lighter side of Belfast coupled with its ever-present dark side, although the portrayal of the paramilitaries and security forces in Belfast was not totally realistic. However this did not take away from the film, as it is more about the situation the star 'Dan Starky' has gotten himself into more than the political situation in Ireland. The cast was excellent especially David Thewlis and Laura Fraser who both had great performances, also they got the accent perfectly. Have a look at it, its well worth it, very funny.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Cutting satire of life in Ulster

Author: cincinul from Belfast, UK
21 July 2001

This is a good film for those who may be interested to see a realistic depiction of the situation in Northern Ireland. This movie is perhaps better understood and appreciated by Ulster folk, though, as it contains a lot of in-jokes that may go over the heads of viewers who are unfamiliar with our area. We who live here can really relate to the situations depicted in the film, as well as to the satire that is so typical of Bateman's work and which translated rather well to film. I believe this movie is misclassified as a thriller. It is a satire, a black comedy, and the thriller format is just a vehicle. The situations were dead on and hilarious (in a very dark way sometimes), and the accents were quite good, in general, with the exception of Robert Lindsay (Brinn) who sounded fake to my ear. The taxi driver was perhaps one of the most realistic characters in the film, and even though she was only seen a couple of times, she stole those scenes. Well acted, realistic, fast paced and quite a good look at our province.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Give it a go, you might just have a bit of a laugh!

8/10
Author: mairhi mowbray (mairhi) from hadleigh, essex, UK
10 July 2004

I have to say that I totally disagree with the other comments on this film. Apart from the excess of swearing (am a bit of a prude), I found this film to be funny and a refreshing change from all the doom/gloom and disaster that seems to be normally associated with productions centering around Northern Ireland/Ulster/The Province (see movie for reference and explanation). There is a lot in the movie that I can relate to for some reason, even though I am Scottish, not Irish and have never lived amongst "The Troubles". The story (and screen play adapted by the author - an Irishman - so not quite sure where the comment about poor representation by the British comes in) is a simple one, and shows the humour and sense of openness and idea of ridiculousness displayed and recognised by the Irish. It doesn't hide the fact that there no go areas in Belfast and its surrounds, it doesn't hide the fact that there is violence going on, but neither does it hide the fact that the Irish are warm, funny, intelligent human beings. I enjoyed David Thewlis' performance, but feel that he is a very under-rated actor, being used for mostly "baddies" or yokel character parts on both sides of the Atlantic.

The DVD I have had interviews with all the cast and gives an insight in to the making of the film, the most telling part of that being that the film crew were denied access to areas of the city, until the locals found out what they were filming and then welcomed them with open arms, because this book/film did not depict them in a depressing manner. No the story isn't Ulysses, but it is fun and anyone (with celtic roots especially) can find something to relate to in it, be it the apparent obsession on the radio stations with country and western (same in Scotland), Starkey pretending to be a gravel inspector when he falls over drunk (shades of the late Chick Murrey - a Scots comedian - who when he fell over drunk in the street was asked by a passing woman "are you alright Chick". He replied - yes I'm just trying to break a bar of chocolate in my back pocket!) or people supplementing their poor income with another job - in this case as a strippergram nun. The spiel on the box likens it to Trainspotting - but I would say maybe more along the lines of Bill Forsythe's Gregory's Girl - with kalishikovs! Give it a go and you might just have a bit of a laugh.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of 99´s best films...

9/10
Author: leif-13 from Sweden
28 July 1999

..and one of the best I have seen in a long time. (Ok it was made in 98 but it has just been released on video here in Sweden) This movie was a surprise! I´m fortunate to be able to rent movies for free (if I were not I would probably never have seen this one) and am I glad I did see it!. It´s funny, it got lots of action and crazy characters whom you really care for. It got a great story, great actors and actresses it is simply great! I want more of this kind of movies! Go rent this one today or you will miss a piece of excellence!

Only negative thing is that the editor made a lousy job in the beginning.

9 out of 10.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A black comedy as a black comedy should be

Author: Kirsteen MacDonald from Scotland
27 May 1999

Divorcing Jack is one of the best films i have ever seen. It'll have you rolling on the floor laughing one minute and gaping in horror the next. It puts me in mind of films like MASH and Catch-22 - using comedy to make you feel comfortable and then, when you least expect it, shocking you back to the realities of war. It's gritty, funny, horrifying, just as a black comedy should be.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A black comedy with a message; highly underrated

9/10
Author: itamarscomix from Israel
19 August 2006

A vastly underrated film that was practically ignored by both critics and viewers, Divorcing Jack is a highly enjoyable, and often powerful, film with a terrific cast and a very clever title that keeps you interested to the last minute. It's good to see David Thewlis, one of the finest British actors of his generation, play the lead in a British film – as he did in his prime, and not a side character in Hollywoodian films like Harry Potter. His performance in Divorcing Jack isn't quite as remarkable as the one he gave five years before in Naked but it's fantastic by its own right, and just like in Naked Thewlis creates an anti-hero that is egoistic, weak, detestable, and entirely believable; if you're looking for a noble hero to sacrifice himself for the greater good because that's the right thing to do, look elsewhere. Dan Starkey cares for himself and makes excuses for nobody; and that makes him a protagonist you can relate to.

There are some neat surprises in the supporting cast: Australian born Rachel Griffiths – AKA Brenda Chenowith of HBO's terrific Six Feet Under – who was practically anonymous in 1998, is terrific as Thewlis' prostitute-in-nun's-clothing sidekick, and supplies some of the film's funniest moments. Jason Isaacs, who, like Thewlis, has recently familiarized himself with American audiences through the Harry Potter movies, in bone-chillingly excellent in the lead villain role. The beautiful Laura Fraser (who had recently made a career for herself in Hollywood with supporting roles in movies like Titus, Vanilla Sky, and A Knight's Tale; but anyone who happened to catch the excellent BBC mini-series Neverwhere will surely remember her as the charming Door) has a part that's brief but unforgettable. American TV regular Richard Grant is lovely and believable as the visiting reporter from the US who came to cover the upcoming elections but is more interested in learning about the difference between the different types of scotch. And experienced British actor Robert Lindsay steals the show as the dodgy candidate. Finally, a brief but hilarious cameo from the charming Bronagh Gallagher (The Commitments) as a taxi driver.

The film's messages about the horrors and idiocy of war and particularly the Irish civil war are familiar and would have been corny in a straight drama, but as in Catch-22 and other classic black comedies, the absurd humor of the film makes it powerful. If you take any of the two aspects of the film – comedic or political – and separate it from the other, maybe it really isn't all that good. Perhaps that's why it failed to find its audience in the US and most of Europe. Myself, I've lived my entire life in Israel, and am familiar with a war between two neighboring factions that always seems on the brink of resolution just before the situation explodes again, and that has its highest price in the innocent lives of people on both sides who just want to be left alone in peace, while the leaders of both peoples carry on their senseless warmongering. Divorcing Jack has a simplistic view of the situation but it's important to make it heard. The ending is inevitable and almost predictable, yet it's the only proper ending this story could possibly have. Divorcing Jack is highly recommended; it's neither a romantic comedy nor a straight thriller, but it's a good and powerful film to enjoy and to think about.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Refreshing change - a great comedy thriller

10/10
Author: James-66 from London, England
16 October 1998

Wonderful to see film set in N Ireland and using real people, not cardboard cut-out, stereo-typed characters.

Thewlis is amazing, Fraser is gorgeous, Isaacs very menacing and Megaw a riot.

Rollercoaster comedy at its very best - I bet America don't like it.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

wicked film - david thewliss is superb

Author: kenobi-8
28 May 1999

what a great movie - razor sharp wit, it twists like an insane rollercoaster from another dimension. david thewliss is incredibly funny and stars in far too few films. excellent.

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