A grown man caught in the crossfire of his parents' 15-year divorce discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
A.C.O.D. follows a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce (Adam Scott) who is forced to revisit the chaos of his parents' (Catherine O'Hara and Richard Jenkins) bitter divorce all over again after his younger brother (Clark Duke) decides to get married. Written by
The Film Arcade
This is a semi-autobiographical film loosely based on co-writer/director Stu Zicherman's own experience as an Adult Child of Divorce (A.C.O.D.), one who also helped soothe the conflict between his divorced parents when his sibling got married. See more »
(at around 67 mins) Carter pulls up to a stop sign and his car is missing the driver side mirror. A few minutes later, the car has both its side mirrors. See more »
There are testimonials from real-life A.C.O.D.'s during the end credits. See more »
A few funny moments, but too clearly a personal catharsis
As I started watching this movie, it became very obvious that this was a very personal, cathartic movie. I have no problem with that, it's done all the time--but what's important, interesting, funny, and meaningful to the writer/director, doesn't always translate into something meaningful to the viewer unless there is far more skill in the storytelling. And that is what I think this movie lacked.
The plot simply covers the story of a a kid named Carter (and his younger brother Trey) who's father was a philanderer as a husband, as well as fairly cold and distant as a father. The father and mother haven't spoken for 20 years and the father has gone through several other step moms over those years.
I'm sure the "seminal" moment of Carter's 9th birthday was a huge deal to writer, but it was thrust at us so quickly at the beginning of the movie that we didn't have time for any background/setup to even know or care what was going on. To me, that scene which was apparently so pivotal ended up a throwaway scene because the writer seemed so eager to tell it that he told it too soon without any context whatsoever.
So we fast forward to Carter's now-successful (at least career-wise) life. There are a lot of funny moments here, but nothing we couldn't see in a half-hour sitcom. But the road the movie takes us down is a bit meandering and it seems very clear that we're going to have some sort of too-neatly wrapped up happy ending designed to close every loose end with a perfect situation and end all the pain of all the children who've gone through this situation.
To me, it just smacked too much of someone dumping his messed-up life on us and his wish of what could have been. It didn't make for an entertaining movie. Maybe a half-hour episode of Trophy Wife or something would have been a better venue for this story. Jimo
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