BLOGS

Movies Without Pity

Indie Snapshot: A.C.O.D.

by admin October 4, 2013 6:00 am
Indie Snapshot: A.C.O.D.

When spelled out in full, A.C.O.D., the acronym that doubles as the title of Stu Zicherman's feature filmmaking debut stands for "Adult Children of Divorce," referring to grown-ups like the movie's central character, Carter (Adam Scott), who is still wrestling with the emotional fall-out of watching his parents go their separate ways when he was still a young'un. Despite feeling as though he's emerged from that particular fire unscathed, during the course of the movie, Carter learns that's he not so okay after all. And it's a good thing that he's played by an actor as likable as Scott, because on the basis of the pedestrian script anyway, there's no reason for the audience to care about this guy's seriocomic breakdown.

Zicherman's smart (or lucky) skill for casting extends beyond his leading man. A.C.O.D.'s overqualified ensemble also includes Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara as Carter's battling parents, Hugh and Melissa, respectively, Amy Poehler as his dad's new trophy wife (after being all lovey-dovey all the time on Parks and Rec, it's fun to watch Poehler and Scott get their hate on here) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his longtime girlfriend, who is patiently waiting for him to get over his divorce-inflicted commitment issues and finally getting engaged… or at least giving her the key to his apartment. (Less essential players include Clark Duke as Carter's younger brother -- whose impending nuptials provides the instigating force for his broken family to reunite -- and Jessica Alba as an awkwardly inserted back-up love interest for our increasingly confused hero.) After putting Mom and Dad back in touch with each other in advance of his sibling's wedding, Carter discovers that his youthful rages were chronicled by a researcher (Jane Lynch) who went on to pen what became a defining book about the impact of divorce on children. Reconnecting with her now, he learns that she's planning a follow-up that check in with her former subjects as adults and -- surprise! -- she'd love his participation, too.

A.C.O.D. admirably attempts to make the foibles of human behavior its driving force rather than a contrived plot. But that only works if the behavior exhibited by your characters is interesting and that's where the film falls short. The movie toggles unconvincingly between grounded emotions and sitcom shtick, with Jenkins and O'Hara in particular venturing further over the top than the movie seems willing to go. One of the best slow-burn comic actors around, Scott comes through this overcooked dramedy without too egg on his face; if anything, he demonstrates that he's more than capable of a leading man career when Parks ends its run. But that's contingent on him committing to better movies than A.C.O.D..

Get showtimes and tickets for this movie from Fandango.

Keep up with Movies Without Pity on Facebook and Tumblr

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

Movies Without Pity

March 2014

16 ENTRIES

February 2014

22 ENTRIES

January 2014

21 ENTRIES

December 2013

25 ENTRIES

November 2013

21 ENTRIES

October 2013

26 ENTRIES

September 2013

16 ENTRIES

August 2013

22 ENTRIES

July 2013

22 ENTRIES

June 2013

21 ENTRIES

May 2013

22 ENTRIES

April 2013

19 ENTRIES

March 2013

28 ENTRIES

February 2013

16 ENTRIES

January 2013

16 ENTRIES

December 2012

21 ENTRIES

November 2012

19 ENTRIES

October 2012

23 ENTRIES

September 2012

20 ENTRIES

August 2012

23 ENTRIES

July 2012

20 ENTRIES

June 2012

29 ENTRIES

May 2012

26 ENTRIES

April 2012

27 ENTRIES

March 2012

33 ENTRIES

February 2012

26 ENTRIES

January 2012

26 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP