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Blu-ray Review: A.C.O.D.

January 14, 2014

A.C.O.D. Blu-ray CoverA.C.O.D. – A Paramount Pictures Release

Blu-ray Release Date: January 14th, 2014

Rated 14A for sexual content, language and mature themes

Running time: 87 minutes

Stu Zicherman (dir.)

Ben Karlin (screenplay)

Stu Zicherman (screenplay)

Nick Urata (music)

Adam Scott as Carter

Richard Jenkins as Hugh

Catherine O’Hara as Melissa

Amy Poehler as Sondra

Clark Duke as Trey

Jane Lynch as Dr. Judith

Our reviews below:


A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review By John Corrado

** (out of 4)

When his brother Trey (Clark Duke) decides to get married, Carter (Adam Scott) is tasked with getting their bitterly divorced parents Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa (Catherine O’Hara) back together long enough to both attend the wedding.  Seeking the help of Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch), who unwillingly turned his childhood story into a bestselling book, Carter becomes caught up in a new research study on Adult Children of Divorce, while trying to deal with the tangled web that has become his extended family.

There are a few amusing observations throughout A.C.O.D. and the 87 minute running time is generally breezy, but the film often plays like a cynical sitcom with an ending that feels rushed and a somewhat inconclusive final scene.  Although nowhere near as good as the great cast might suggest, this is still a mildly entertaining comedy that is somewhat worth a look for the likeable actors.

The Blu-ray includes cast and crew discussions, fake PSAs and outtakes with Amy Poehler.


A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review By Erin V.

** (out of 4)

A.C.O.D. stands for Adult Children Of Divorce – and that is pretty much what this film is about.  Carter’s (Adam Scott) parents divorced when he was nine and he has been shuffled between them ever since.  Finally he has settled down, runs a restaurant and things seem to be at least livable.  But then his younger brother (Clark Duke) announces that he is getting married and wants both his mom and dad there.  Suddenly, Carter is pushed back into the communication go-between and has to figure out a way to get his parents to agree to attend the same event without killing each other.

Then the film delves into a bunch of silly contrivances and chaos ensues.  While it is watchable, A.C.O.D. does feel rather TV sitcom-ish.  Check out the trailer – if you enjoy that, you’ll probably get a laugh out of the film.  It’s ok as a rental, but it also centres around a premise that has been done better.


A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review By Nicole

** (out of 4)

A.C.O.D. is a bitter satire about the current trend toward family breakdowns.  Carter (Adam Scott) is a bitter man who is still angry toward his bickering parents (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) and his wicked stepmom (Amy Poehler).  His cynical attitude has extended toward marriage and other healthy relationships.  Carter’s brother Trey (Clark Duke), on the contrary, is a jovial and pleasant man who is engaged to his equally nice girlfriend (Valerie Tien).

But Carter and Trey don’t know how to plan the wedding around their parents and stepparents, so Carter seeks help from psychologist and sociologist Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch), who researches A.C.O.D. cases.  While billed as a comedy, A.C.O.D. is a sad reminder of where society is headed.  We are social creatures who depend on stable families, and when families break down, so does society.  Family stands for “forget about me, I love you.”  The “fayilm” depicted in A.C.O.D. is unfortunately more common than a family these days.

The end credits contain comments from several real life adults.  Many of them see no point in marriage or commitment, a trend that creates further social instability.  However, some adults mentioned still having happily married parents, were married themselves or looking forward to marriage.  Even some of the real life A.C.O.D.’s saw the value of marriage, a hopeful sign for the continuation of healthy society.


A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

One of the best things about A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce) is the strong cast.  Veteran actors Catherine O’Hara, Richard Jenkins and Jane Lynch consistently give good performances.  This time is no different.  It’s just unfortunate that the movie itself is not quite up to the calibre that you would want for these actors.  A.C.O.D. just feels cynical.  Entertaining at times, but cynical.

Carter (Adam Scott) is a successful restaurant owner with an equally successful girlfriend, Lauren (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).  His parents, Melissa (Catherine O’Hara) and Hugh’s (Richard Jenkins) divorce years ago is now just a bad memory.  But the memories all come flooding back when younger brother Trey (Clark Duke) announces his plans to marry his girlfriend Keiko (Valerie Tien).  Carter can’t imagine any wedding that can handle Mom and Dad being in the same room together, along with their current spouses Gary (Ken Howard) and Sondra (Amy Poehler).

Time for some professional help, Carter seeks out Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch), the therapist his family used years ago and author of the self-help book Adult Children of Divorce.  No surprise that Carter and his family (with names changed) were prime case studies in the book.  The plot in A.C.O.D. takes some unexpected turns that you’ll either buy or you won’t.  Still, the actors all pull it off in an entertaining and believable way.  Thank goodness for the cast.  They make A.C.O.D. mildly worth a view.


A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

Adult Children of Divorce (A.C.O.D.) is the title of a fictional book by Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch) based on interviews of the now grown up subjects of her original Children of Divorce book. The film opens with a home movie flashback of Carter’s (Adam Scott) disastrous ninth birthday with his bickering parents Hugh and Melissa (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara). Their bitter divorce has made Carter unwilling to commit with his girlfriend Lauren (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but his kid brother Trey (Clark Duke) has just announced his own engagement with Kieko (Valerie Tian).

Carter now has to persuade his parents to both attend the wedding when they are not speaking to each other. Hugh now has a third wife (Amy Poehler) and two young children while Melissa is living with Gary (Ken Howard), but the animosity between them has unexpected benefits. Seeking advice from Dr. Judith, Carter has to come to terms with the fact that he and her other subjects have turned out just as badly as she had predicted.

As the first feature directed by Stu Zicherman and inspired by his own experience, A.C.O.D. packs a lot into 88 minutes, but I found its good cast largely wasted on unsympathetic characters in a contrived sitcom script.


Consensus: Although A.C.O.D. is sometimes mildly entertaining thanks to a strong cast that includes Adam Scott, Catherine O’Hara, Richard Jenkins and Jane Lynch, the film is bogged down by a cynical tone and often feels like a sitcom.  ** (Out of 4)

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