5.8/10
2,631
31 user 22 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:

Charles Shyer
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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:
Ryan O'Neal ... Albert Brodsky
Shelley Long ... Lucy Van Patten Brodsky
Drew Barrymore ... Casey Brodsky
Sam Wanamaker ... David Kessler
Allen Garfield ... Phil Hanner
Sharon Stone ... Blake Chandler
Kim Marriner Kim Marriner ... Reporter
Wendy Gordon Wendy Gordon ... Reporter
Ken Gale Ken Gale ... Reporter
Deborah Cody Deborah Cody ... Reporter
Steven K. Miller Steven K. Miller ... Reporter
Annie Meyers-Shyer Annie Meyers-Shyer ... Little Girl in Crowd
Lauren Hartman Lauren Hartman ... Woman on the Street
David Paymer ... Alan Sluiser
Larry Marko 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, until their work distracts Albert and Lucy from each other and Casey. They soon divorce and start fighting. Casey, who spends much time with their Latino maid and childminder, eventually decides to seek legal emancipation from her parents, and to go and live full time with the maid who has been taking care of her. The media pick up the case and have a field day with it, making things worse. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She'll do anything to keep her parents together... even divorce them! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diferencias irreconciliables See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,076,894, 30 September 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,414,210
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale,Lantana,Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cowriters of this movie, Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, were like the main characters in Irreconcilable Differences, a married couple who collaborated on movies until they divorced in 1999. See more »

Quotes

Lucy Van Patten Brodsky: Do you have kids?
Woman at Party: Yeah, but I'm not into parenting right now.
See more »

Connections

References The Merry Widow (1934) 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 Bob A-2See 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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