A.C.O.D. Reviews

  • Nov 17, 2020

    Whenever I learn about a movie that has a GREAT cast and also sailed way under the radar (box office/buzz/viewership), I figure what you've got is a project where all the elements ended up being less than the sum of its parts and it just didn't quite work. A.C.O.D. is very much in that category for me. A talented and eclectic cast (Catherine O'Hara, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler, etc. etc.) in a film I had never heard of until a year or so ago. What happened? Well, first of all, it's a movie that doesn't quite fit into an easy niche. It's a comedy, but not a raucous one. There are no "memorable" crazy scenes with grand hijinks. It's a small, talky, sweet and bittersweet movie. Almost apologetic in scale..."excuse me, if you've got time, we have a nice story we'd like to tell you, but only if you have nothing better to do." It's told almost entirely from the point of view of Adam Scott, a successful restaurateur in a very nice, comfortable long term relationship with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. One day, his younger brother, Clark Duke, announces his engagement to a young lady he's only been dating for a few months. The impending wedding causes Scott to try to address head on with his parents (long time BITTERLY divorced, and both remarried) their need to attend the wedding and to behave themselves. Seems reasonable enough, but this helpful intent on Scott's part sets of a series of events that brings into question his OWN commitment to HIS relationship and sparks all sorts of trouble with his parents and their new partners. It's all small-scale, though. "Series of events" really means a series of minor hiccups. They are important to these characters, but not really terribly important for the viewer. The film explores some of these messy feelings in a perfectly amusing and amiable way...but nothing is groundbreaking, even though there aren't many films that have addressed this impact of divorce on adult children. In fact, the film is so "on the nose" about this topic, that it introduces us to a writer (Jane Lynch...in an underwritten role even she can't make very funny) who wrote a book about divorced children that featured Adam Scott's character, and who visits him again because she wants to do a follow-up book. This is all just in case we've missed that the movie is about Adult Children of Divorce. Scott, thank goodness, is very good in the role. Even when he's at his most "unlikable" he's always a pleasant tour guide through the events of the film. His parents are played by O'Hara and Jenkins, and while the two aren't really given enough to do, they are fun nonetheless. Poehler's part is small, and she's been asked to play one of her unlikeable characters. I so much prefer her (and believe her acting) when she's nicer and perkier (a la Lesley Knope) rather than her "bitter" characters which are generic and interchangeable. The cover of the Blu Ray also shows Jessica Alba, who a) is terrible & b) is barely in the film. It says a lot when the far more charming, effective and believable Mary Elizabeth Winstead is nowhere on the cover. Her part is five time the size of Alba's, and she brings a warmth to her role that makes us root for her relationship with Scott. (Oh, and Ken Howard is in the film as O'Hara's new husband; he's actually quite nice in his role.) A few surprising developments happen. A few fights and moments of conflict. But in the end, it's mostly just been a brisk, pleasant 90 minute diversion. I can't imagine seeing the film again, but I didn't mind spending time with this mostly engaging cast. I see why the movie wasn't a smash-hit; but it's also a shame almost no one has heard of it.

    Whenever I learn about a movie that has a GREAT cast and also sailed way under the radar (box office/buzz/viewership), I figure what you've got is a project where all the elements ended up being less than the sum of its parts and it just didn't quite work. A.C.O.D. is very much in that category for me. A talented and eclectic cast (Catherine O'Hara, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler, etc. etc.) in a film I had never heard of until a year or so ago. What happened? Well, first of all, it's a movie that doesn't quite fit into an easy niche. It's a comedy, but not a raucous one. There are no "memorable" crazy scenes with grand hijinks. It's a small, talky, sweet and bittersweet movie. Almost apologetic in scale..."excuse me, if you've got time, we have a nice story we'd like to tell you, but only if you have nothing better to do." It's told almost entirely from the point of view of Adam Scott, a successful restaurateur in a very nice, comfortable long term relationship with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. One day, his younger brother, Clark Duke, announces his engagement to a young lady he's only been dating for a few months. The impending wedding causes Scott to try to address head on with his parents (long time BITTERLY divorced, and both remarried) their need to attend the wedding and to behave themselves. Seems reasonable enough, but this helpful intent on Scott's part sets of a series of events that brings into question his OWN commitment to HIS relationship and sparks all sorts of trouble with his parents and their new partners. It's all small-scale, though. "Series of events" really means a series of minor hiccups. They are important to these characters, but not really terribly important for the viewer. The film explores some of these messy feelings in a perfectly amusing and amiable way...but nothing is groundbreaking, even though there aren't many films that have addressed this impact of divorce on adult children. In fact, the film is so "on the nose" about this topic, that it introduces us to a writer (Jane Lynch...in an underwritten role even she can't make very funny) who wrote a book about divorced children that featured Adam Scott's character, and who visits him again because she wants to do a follow-up book. This is all just in case we've missed that the movie is about Adult Children of Divorce. Scott, thank goodness, is very good in the role. Even when he's at his most "unlikable" he's always a pleasant tour guide through the events of the film. His parents are played by O'Hara and Jenkins, and while the two aren't really given enough to do, they are fun nonetheless. Poehler's part is small, and she's been asked to play one of her unlikeable characters. I so much prefer her (and believe her acting) when she's nicer and perkier (a la Lesley Knope) rather than her "bitter" characters which are generic and interchangeable. The cover of the Blu Ray also shows Jessica Alba, who a) is terrible & b) is barely in the film. It says a lot when the far more charming, effective and believable Mary Elizabeth Winstead is nowhere on the cover. Her part is five time the size of Alba's, and she brings a warmth to her role that makes us root for her relationship with Scott. (Oh, and Ken Howard is in the film as O'Hara's new husband; he's actually quite nice in his role.) A few surprising developments happen. A few fights and moments of conflict. But in the end, it's mostly just been a brisk, pleasant 90 minute diversion. I can't imagine seeing the film again, but I didn't mind spending time with this mostly engaging cast. I see why the movie wasn't a smash-hit; but it's also a shame almost no one has heard of it.

  • Sep 27, 2020

    I watched a movie because I like Adam Scott but I really thought the movie was funny and had some great points. Families are families and 50% of marriages and in the force so this is kind of on point. It was funny and it made the evening go quickly.

    I watched a movie because I like Adam Scott but I really thought the movie was funny and had some great points. Families are families and 50% of marriages and in the force so this is kind of on point. It was funny and it made the evening go quickly.

  • Jul 19, 2020

    Completely unlikable characters acting unlikable. It is unbearable. A lot of talented people were wasting time by appearing in this.

    Completely unlikable characters acting unlikable. It is unbearable. A lot of talented people were wasting time by appearing in this.

  • Sep 04, 2019

    This is a well done dark comedy; apparently people expected something lighter from him. They missed out.

    This is a well done dark comedy; apparently people expected something lighter from him. They missed out.

  • Mar 17, 2019

    Adventures and misadventures of a man complexed by the divorce of his parents as a child. This movie is like a filler episode of a TV series.

    Adventures and misadventures of a man complexed by the divorce of his parents as a child. This movie is like a filler episode of a TV series.

  • Jan 14, 2018

    It's not very good. It's okay at times, but it doesn't say anything clever or original.

    It's not very good. It's okay at times, but it doesn't say anything clever or original.

  • Apr 19, 2017

    2.5 Stars At least it wasn't a total disaster

    2.5 Stars At least it wasn't a total disaster

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    Patrick W Super Reviewer
    Jun 21, 2016

    Not very many people know about this film but it was pretty funny. A man (Scott) is unknowingly part of a study on children of divorced parents and is contacted to help with a follow-up study years later. Lots of great comedic actors in this one. Richard Jenkins does an outstanding job in this film.

    Not very many people know about this film but it was pretty funny. A man (Scott) is unknowingly part of a study on children of divorced parents and is contacted to help with a follow-up study years later. Lots of great comedic actors in this one. Richard Jenkins does an outstanding job in this film.

  • _kelly . Super Reviewer
    Jun 16, 2016

    I didn't watch the whole thing; I skimmed it for the Amy Poehler, Catherine O'Hara and Jane Lynch bits. Didn't care about the main character, but the aforementioned ladies pulled off some cool characters. Something about this just missed the mark, and it's hard to discern what. Maybe the stakes weren't really high enough and the family not dysfunctional enough.

    I didn't watch the whole thing; I skimmed it for the Amy Poehler, Catherine O'Hara and Jane Lynch bits. Didn't care about the main character, but the aforementioned ladies pulled off some cool characters. Something about this just missed the mark, and it's hard to discern what. Maybe the stakes weren't really high enough and the family not dysfunctional enough.

  • May 28, 2016

    An original approach on talking about the effects of divorce on grown up relationships. It was funny and insightful, but not enough meat to make it a great movie.

    An original approach on talking about the effects of divorce on grown up relationships. It was funny and insightful, but not enough meat to make it a great movie.