Tag Archives: Jane Lynch

Sound Familiar?

A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce)

by Hope Madden

A.C.O.D. takes a comical look at an actual phenomenon. Today’s adults are the first generation of people most likely to have grown up in a broken home, or as the film sees it, “The least parented generation ever.” So, what’s that like?

It’s fascinating and true, and it’s as if screenwriters Ben Charlin and Stu Zicherman (who also directs) are so geeked to be the first folks to think of this that they weave that discoverer’s excitement into the script itself. It gives the film a cynical yet giddy, self-reflexive joy that’s contagious.

The film is a sort of anthropological study told from the inside out. Carter (Adam Scott) is our subject. He’s a successful, perhaps uptight restaurateur and survivor of one of the most acrimonious and hellish parental divorces of all time. But in his adulthood he’s managed to manage his parents – played gloriously by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara.

But now his little brother is engaged, and Carter must try to get both parents into the same room without killing each other.

Things unravel in a string of heartfelt and humorous surprises; all the while, the researcher who made her career studying children of divorce (Carter, in particular) now wants to resurface with a look at this brand new generation of adults.

The always weird Jane Lynch portrays the researcher in a sort of guardian angel/maybe really the devil sort of role. She appears periodically, manipulates, guides, mocks – but is she really leading Carter to something positive in his life? Or is she just looking to profit from his misfortune? Or is she simply an incompetent wacko? Whichever, she’s a laugh riot.

The whole cast is great and Scott anchors the picture tenderly. Wisely untidy with a provocative ending, the film bucks convention, takes aim at societal preoccupation, generates plenty of sympathetic laughs and never feels smug. It’s not a genius work, but it is a fairly original and genuinely insightful comedy worth checking out.



For Your Queue: It’s like when you had Pac Man Fever, but without the rash

An animated feature with incredibly broad appeal releases to DVD this week, and if you missed Wreck-It Ralph in theaters, now’s a chance to make amends. This video game fantasy has its roots in a tale of misfit friendship that promises to keep every audience member engaged. Vocal talent John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer are perfect in this vivid adventure. Meanwhile, director Rich Moore throws enough color and action at the screen to fascinate the very young, and more than enough video game odes to appeal to the newest generation of parents (and any thirtysomething not yet in that category). This is sly, engaging storytelling at its best.

For a more serious take on video games, don’t miss The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters , director Seth Gordon’s 2007 documentary on the quest to hold the world record high score in Donkey Kong. Gordon (Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses) lets the characters and events speak for themselves and, as the best docs often do, the film unveils a world you may not have known existed. In many ways, The King of Kong is a perfect microcosm of American culture. The fact it’s also funny and truly fascinating makes it nearly impossible to resist.