Friday, October 11, 2013

A.C.O.D. Movie Review

Richard Jenkins and Adam Scott (r) stars in A.C.O.D.

And We're Off...

It's not easy raising kids... especially when their parents abhor each other, as they do in Stu Zicherman's comedy A.C.O.D. It's even more difficult to watch a good idea (initially well-implemented) drift into the unforgiving abyss of dark comedy. So it is with Zicherman's feature debut, hilarious at times... unnecessarily mean at others.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Carter (Adam Scott) is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks. When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face the chaos of his past.

What’s Best: Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) thrives in chaotic situations, and it doesn't get much more chaotic than A.C.O.D. His battles with ex-wife Melissa (Catherine O'Hara) are the stuff legends are made of; but wildly entertaining, all the same. Jenkins is one of the best character actors in the biz, especially when his character lacks any moral fiber whatsoever. O'Hara's no slouch herself, embarrassing her oldest son any chance she gets, 'People are going to think you're my boy toy.' Poor Carter... but lucky us. Their marriage, which son Carter refers to as a '100 year war' is miles away, the best part of the movie.

What’s Not: The final third of the film is a real downer, spearheaded by Carter's eventual temper-tantrum/breakdown: The wheels come off, but it's hard to laugh at (or with) those involved. Outside of Jenkins, O'Hara and Scott, the cast is OK. Baby-faced Clark Duke looks and acts like a teenager, and appears ill-fitted as a guy about to get married (First date, maybe.) Meanwhile, Jessica Alba seems even more out-of-place as an "edgy," tattoo-laden fellow A.C.O.D., who thinks up incest anecdotes to give Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch) fits.

Best Line: In one of several "sessions," Carter asks Dr. Judith, 'Have you ever been to a 34th anniversary party? It's a lot like a 33rd anniversary.' Hugh (Jenkins) takes the cake however, with kindly advice, 'The thing about Portuguese whores...' and the even kinder, 'Your mother and Captain F*ck Face can get KFC and charge admission.' Honorable mention goes to Hugh for, 'I love you like a son' to... his son. Could "Father of the Year" be far behind?

Overall: I could watch Jenkins and O'Hara trade jabs all day long. Moments like an awkward dinner with future in-laws, 'Nice English. What else can you say?' are worth sitting through stretches of Carter feeling sorry for himself. Amy Poehler brings the funny as Hugh's newest wife, but isn't in it nearly enough for my liking. Timely, irreverent and funny (most of the time) this is one condition worth taking the time to cure.

Grade: B-