Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Funny? Not exactly.
You always gotta be careful in the month of January, regardless of how good or bad a movie looks. January is the cursed movie month. Sure, a movie can slip by now and then that’s better than the rest, but don’t place your bets. A.C.O.D. or Adult Children of Divorce is clearly a movie that should be better than it was, but just wasn’t.
Basically, this film revolves around this man named Carter (Adam Scott) who is thrown back into the midst of his parents’ divorce when his younger brother decides to get married. Well Carter obviously wants both parents to be at the wedding, but the two hate each other so much that all else seems impossible. So he decides to force them to stay in the same room together to learn to get along. Problem is, this little plan of his caused his parents to get back together, stirring up one heck of a problem for everyone involved in the wedding. Meanwhile, Carter learned that when his parents originally split, he was a part of a case study for a book called Children of Divorce. The author returns for the sequel, Adult Children of Divorce.
Everything about this movie, in theory, screams at least….promising, if nothing else. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re likely not going to watch it anyway, but let me first tell you why I caved in and watched. This cast is great. We’re talking about famous and proven funny actors. Adam Scott and Amy Poehler from Parks and Recreation, Clark Duke from The Office and countless other comedies, Richard Jenkins from practically everything, and of course, Catherine O’Hara. These are names we recognize and know can make us laugh…but if this movie proves anything, it’s that too much of a good thing can apparently be a bad thing. Another reason why I watched this is because the concept, while not incredibly developed, seemed at least interesting.
None of that mattered though. Yeah, you recognize all these faces all over the place, but that doesn’t amount to anything if the movie itself is bland and boring. You catch all of these moments that are supposed to be funny, and they aren’t in reality. There may be one scene in the film where you can force yourself to laugh, but the rest of it you’ll just be staring at blankly…waiting for something captivating to happen…for it to give you a reason to keep going…which it ultimately does not do.
I think the main problem here is that it has a misunderstood purpose. The purpose seems loud and clear, but for some reason or another you just would have preferred a different one. That’s not to say the purpose they had was bad – somewhere deep down, it had a nice message about how divorce affects kids throughout life, the importance of family no matter how dysfunctional, and how we should view the concept of being jaded as a whole. That’s all there, but only by barely, because they wanted to force the humor angle…and it just doesn’t match. I don’t know how to say it any other way…it’s not funny. It’s lack of humor affects the film as a whole, making it…well…bland and forgettable.
I can honestly say the only good thing about this film is the cast.
The film basically feels like the crew rushed through everything just to get a movie out there and ignored all of the things they needed to focus on in order to make a successful movie.