It stands for Adult Children of Divorce, although considering the tendency of TV veteran Stu Zicherman’s debut to lie there like a dead fish, feel free to discard the title’s periods as desired. This story of a successful restaurateur (Adam Scott) who hasn’t shed the PTSD surrounding his parents’ split is meant to be a comedy with “heart,” a quality applied as gracefully as Popsicle sticks to a toddler’s art project. With his apparently unscarred younger brother (Clark Duke) preparing to be married, it falls to Scott’s character to broker a peace treaty between their mom (Catherine O’Hara) and dad (Richard Jenkins), who haven’t spoken in decades. He then discovers that his tumultuous, traumatic childhood was the subject of a best-selling book written by his former therapist (Jane Lynch).
The movie simultaneously pokes fun at and indulges in the generalizations surrounding a generation raised without domestic stability, and Scott never finds the depth to make his character more than a type. Too sluggish for farce and too glib for a trenchant social satire, A.C.O.D. is several sessions short of a breakthrough.
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