Ben Oliver

Banner image for A.C.O.D.


He’s about to ruin a perfectly good divorce.
03 August 2014

Another case of a big cast in a small film that doesn’t really deliver.

I’ll admit that the names on the poster pulled me in more than the premise, that of a man still suffering with issues from his parents’ divorce as a child. Sounds like a run of the mill comedy drama but people like Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and Amy Poehler got me interested. I should have trusted my instinct.

This is a film lacking in any humour, style or substance. In a production so laden with big names I wasn’t expecting much plot, but it was disappointing to see such talent on screen stuck without so much as a punchline to play with.

Weak script aside, the irony with A.C.O.D. is that it’s the cast that doesn’t really work. Scott is wooden and uncomfortable. Jenkins is fed a list of clichés to reel off. Jane Lynch is typecast now so that’s boring. Jessica Alba is never great but here she’s not to blame, she’s given nothing to play with at all. I could go on.

The only exception is Mary-Elizabeth Winstead, who seems to take what she’s given and at least makes it natural and plausible. Ironically she’s not on the poster.

A.C.O.D.’s premise isn’t actually that bad. We do live in a world where divorce is commonplace, there’s surely something to be said for a look into how it affects people later on in life. Annoyingly, the film somehow manages to steer clear of any insight on the topic, instead it sits back and does nothing.

This isn’t offensively bad, but it’s a whole load of nothing, it’s the definition of a waste of time. A frustrating display of squandered potential.

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