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A.C.O.D. follows a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce who is forced to revisit the chaos of his parents bitter divorce all over again after his younger brother decides to get married.
For more about A.C.O.D. and the A.C.O.D. Blu-ray release, see A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 14, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke
Director: Stu Zicherman
» See full cast & crew
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 14, 2014
There's neither much to love nor much to loathe in A.C.O.D. (or Adult Children of Divorce), a to-the-point, somewhat tame Comedy from first-time Director Stu Zicherman. Beyond the clumsy mouthful of a title -- more clumsy in its abbreviation, more a mouthful in its full length -- is a film that feels just as clumsily manufactured from basic Comedy riffs. It's an original idea at its core but the periphery plays on many of the usual genre suspects, including sex, awkward family moments, shocking family revelations, and relationships made all the more complex by wayward family allegiances and, for some of the characters, revolving sexual partners. It's largely predictable and follows a linearly simple path, yet it's also fairly breezy and compact, clocking in at just under 90 minutes and smart to tell its story and get out before it falls apart under the weight of the story's surrounding unoriginality. In other words, it's a classic "watch and forget" Comedy, probably not destined to settle onto too many top 10 lists but certainly not a film that should be avoided at all costs.
Carter (Adam Scott) grew up in a damaged household. His parents routinely fought, ruining birthdays and other special events with their endless bickering and screaming. He's grown up a relative success, operating his own restaurant and enjoying the benefits of renting from a landlord (Amy Poehler) who also happens to be his stepmother. She's married to Carter's father Hugh (Richard Jenkins) while his mother Melissa (Catherine O'Hara) has remarried a man named Gary (Ken Howard). Carter's in a four-year long relationship with a fitness instructor named Lauren (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) but seems reluctant to make the leap to marriage, and who can blame him? Meanwhile, his brother Trey (Clark Duke) has just announced his engagement to girlfriend Kieko (Valerie Tian). For him, marriage is the easy part. It's getting both his parents in the same room that will prove tricky. When the burden of it all comes crashing down on Carter, he seeks out help from his childhood therapist (Jane Lynch) who reveals he's the subject of her bestseller on children who grew up in a divorced household, and she makes it her mission to follow his life in hopes of penning a sequel.
To the film's credit, it refrains from dealing in the sort of lowbrow humor, alcohol-fueled shenanigans, and trite sex jokes that seem so prevalent across today's Comedy landscape. A.C.O.D. manufactures its humor from its story, finding the funny in the chaos of the everyday lives of divorce rather than wrenching a joke into place just because someone thought of a good one to tell and the movie was shooting over on the next lot. The laughs are often subtle and focused on advancing the story or reinforcing a point, which heightens their effectiveness. Granted, the humor never quite reaches the level of side-splitting antics one might expect to come from a movie like this, but there's something to be said for the more relatable, genuinely dark humor that's really the only kind that could dominate a movie built around such a bleak core story and a few unscrupulous characters.
A.C.O.D. does have its moments of genuine interest, particularly in its portrayal of the worlds inhabited by siblings Carter and Trey. On one hand, Carter is a damaged soul still struggling into adulthood with his parents' divorce, and that's before he's privy to his leading role in his psychiatrist's book. On the other side of the ledger is Trey, a bubbly, happy-go-lucky sort who's thrilled to have found the right girl, even more excited she said "yes," and he's not at all upset that he's a key part in the wedding planning process, whether tasting cakes or arranging the seating chart. The film never digs quite so deeply as to find the real inner souls and examine all of the major, festering wounds within Carter and the rather clean slate inside Trey, but it plays enough around the periphery to make both uniquely sympathetic characters and good contrasts for one another. Both actors play it well, with Adam Scott finding a quality balance between wounded son and Comedy goofball, favoring the former by quite a bit. His supporting cast is strong, too, with quality performances from screen veterans Richard Jenkis and Catherine O'Hara as Carter's divorced parents and Jane Lynch as his sneaky psychiatrist.
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray, Video Quality
A.C.O.D. won't walk away with "transfer of the year," but there's a fairly happy relationship here between image and audience. The image often looks a little pasty and flat but reveals some wonderfully intricate details around the frame, including the well-worn floor in Carter's apartment, furniture textures in Carter's therapist's office, and a number of exteriors that show strong natural clarity. The presentation is clean as can be, with the digital production showing only a bit of noticeable spiky noise in a few places. Colors aren't exceptionally vibrant, but there's generally an evenness to the palette despite an occasional warm push, notably on flesh tones. Black levels are of no cause for concern, and the image shows no signs of intrusive banding, blockiness, or other eyesores. It's not quite pristine, but Paramount's transfer satisfies in most areas.
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray, Audio Quality
A.C.O.D.'s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is the epitome of "simple." The film never dabbles in much more than light music and dialogue. The former plays with not much vigor but at least a good sense of clarity throughout the range, without much at the low end, and with very little, if any, prominent surround support. Dialogue plays evenly and accurately from the middle. The track does present very light atmospheric sound effects on occasion, such as background happenings in a restaurant, but as with the music, almost all of it plays across the front. This is by no means a dynamic track, but it suits the film's meager needs well enough.
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
A.C.O.D. contains a few brief, mostly fluffy extras.
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A.C.O.D. isn't a homerun Comedy, nor is it in any way a total disappointment. The film finds strength in its balance, in finding subtle humor in the convincing lives of its characters and both the rather somber overlay of divorce and the surprises that await its protagonist when it's revealed that he's the subject of a book on the lives of children hailing from divorced parents. Good performances help make this a watchable, but in the long run a forgettable, escapist experience. Paramount's Blu-ray release of A.C.O.D. features solid video and genre-typical audio. A few extras are included. Definitely worth a rental and fans should be comfortable with a bargain-priced purchase.
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A.C.O.D. Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: A.C.O.D. Prize Packs - January 13, 2014
Blu-ray.com and Paramount Home Entertainment are offering three members the opportunity to win a copy of Stu Zicherman's A.C.O.D., along with a film-themed PUMA bag. The comedy stars Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara, and arrives on Blu-ray on January ...
• A.C.O.D. Blu-ray - November 12, 2013
Paramount Home Media Distribution has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray Stu Zicherman's comedy A.C.O.D. (2013), starring Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, and Catherine O'Hara. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across ...
A.C.O.D. Blu-ray Screenshots
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