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A.C.O.D.

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R
2013

A.C.O.D., (which stands for Adult Children Of Divorce), is a 2013 American comedy movie that adopts a lighthearted yet insightful look at the impacts of parental separation on offspring, even when they're all grown up. Directed by Stu Zicherman and co-written by Ben Karlin, this film stars Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, and Catherine O'Hara. It explores the effects of divorce on adult children, showcasing how early familial disruptions may leave lasting issues and habits that persist into adulthood.

Set in modern-day America, the film centers on the protagonist, Carter (played by Adam Scott), a well-adjusted and successful restaurant owner who carries the weight of his parents' acrimonious divorce and his role as the emotional bridge between them. Carter is the adult offspring of Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara, who portray a pair of profoundly bitter exes, unable to be in the same vicinity without launching into vitriolic battles.

The storyline picks up speed when Carter's younger brother, Trey, announces his engagement, forcing a confrontation with the family's fractured past. To ensure his brother's wedding isn't ruined by their parents' animosity, Carter takes it upon himself to act as a mediator between them. This scenario propels Carter into a whirlpool of comical situations and uncomfortable confrontations that highlight the result of his parents' tumultuous relationship.

In his endeavour, Carter decides to return to his childhood therapist, Dr. Judith (played by Jane Lynch), who assures her patient that his issues aren't unique. She says Carter fits squarely into a burgeoning category labeled 'A.C.O.D. - Adult Children of Divorce,' a group with distinct behavioural patterns, including a propensity for relationship issues and a skewed perspective on marital permanence. Much to Carter's shock and indignation, he discovers that his erstwhile therapy sessions were actually a part of a research study for a book that Dr. Judith published about children of divorce. Finding himself a "case study" in a widely recognized book and realizing how exactly the book portrays his life nuances throws Carter into an identity crisis.

A.C.O.D. features a string of respected performers filling out its dynamic ensemble. Clark Duke plays Trey, the younger brother whose impending marriage catalyzes the plot. Amy Poehler appears as Carter's acerbic stepmother, who's only a few years older than he is. And the lovable Jessica Alba portrays a fellow patient of Dr. Judith, another Adult Child of Divorce who complicates Carter's life in numinous ways. Each character in the film is grappling with loneliness, relationship issues, or personal demons, which elevates A.C.O.D. from being merely a comedy, to a comedy with depth.

Adam Scott is the driving force of the film, successfully portraying a man whose calm exterior hides a cauldron of anxieties and disappointments. Scott's performance balances Carter’s frustration and cynicism with touching vulnerability, bringing out the character's dichotomies realistically.

A key strength of A.C.O.D. lies in how it depicts the challenging nature of post-divorce relationships, making a strong point regarding the residual impacts of a childhood filled with acrimony and confusion. It examines divorce's damaging implications from a fresh perspective, that of an adult still wrestling with the fallout of his parents' split many years before.

Alongside its serious undertones, the movie never misses a beat in delivering laugh-out-loud moments, keeping the audience hooked with its blend of humor, engaging performances, and relatable content. Zicherman manages to straddle the thin line between comedy and drama, creating a movie that provides hearty laughs while sharing thought-provoking insights about familial relationships and personal growth.

In the end, A.C.O.D. uses a sensitive yet comic lens to navigate the messiness of divorce and the fractured families it leaves behind. This movie offers more than just humor - it’s an endearing narrative that underscores the importance of understanding, communication, and most importantly, personal growth to overcome past trials and create a healthier future. A.C.O.D. is more than just a comedy, it's an awakening about how real-life functions and how one can find ways to navigate through it.

A.C.O.D. is a Comedy movie released in 2013. It has a runtime of 87 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 50.

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5.6/10
50/100
Director
Stu Zicherman
Stars
Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O
Genres
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