Review: A.C.O.D (Sundance 2013)
PLOT: Carter (Adam Scott) is an A.C.O.D- Adult Child of Divorce. After an upbringing being bombarded by his half-crazed parents, Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa (Catherine O'Hara), Carter's gone on to become a successful, well-adjusted adult, with a thriving business, and a supportive girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But- Carter's world comes crashing down when his younger brother (Clark Duke) announces he's getting married, and it falls to Carter to reunite his long estranged parents for the ceremony.
REVIEW: A.C.O.D follows in the tradition of previous Sundance comedy hits like CELESTE & JESSE FORVER, or BACHELORETTE, in that it features a familiar comedic lead- in this case PARKS & RECREATION star Adam Scott, in a more risque screen vehicle than you'd get on network TV. Scott's an incredibly likable guy, and I've been a big fan of his ever since the late, great PARTY DOWN. He's hilarious on PARKS, and here- he plays a guy very much like his character there, in that he's the seemingly well-balanced everyman, who's always only about a step away from total breakdown.
For Scott, this is his big chance to finally be a leading man, and watching A.C.O.D it's obvious that his comic sensibility is a good fit for features. He's a bit like Paul Rudd, in that's he's a handsome guy- who's believable in an onscreen relationship with someone like Winstead (they have good chemistry), but also has that touch of venom to his sarcasm that gives him an edge.
The part of Carter seems custom made for his strengths. Even when his world comes crashing down, Carter always seems more or less together, and he's an easy character to latch on to. As per his style, Scott plays it fairly straight, leaving his co-stars to play the more “over-the-top” parts. Richard Jenkins steals the show as Scott's crazy dad, who plows his way through a never ending series of new wives with Scott's PARKS & REC co-star Amy Poehler as the latest- a countess Carter dubs “cuntessa”. Catherine O'Hara is also hilarious as Scott's mom, and she and Jenkins play really well off each other.
Meanwhile, a couple of other big names show up in small parts, with Scott's PARTY DOWN colleague Jane Lynch as the childhood shrink who turned Scott's adolescence into a best seller. Jessica Alba has a tiny part as a heavily tattooed fellow A.C.O.D, but it's pretty much just a cameo.
A.C.O.D isn't perfect, with a far too convenient climax that brings things to a premature end. But- for the most part it's a very enjoyable indie comedy, and one that should play well with Scott's PARKS & REC/ PARTY DOWN fans. It's a lot of fun- and I'm sure a lot of A.C.O.D's will find a lot to love about it.
|Extra Tidbit:||Stu Zicherman, the writer-director, was an EP/writer on the cult FX drama, LIGHTS OUT.|