Directed By: Stu Zicherman

Starring: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke, Ken Howard, Jessica Alba, and Jane Lynch

There's not a whole lot that's funny right now.  We're witnessing the devastating implications of the government shutdown orchestrated by childish House Republicans who do not like green eggs and ham.  We may be getting a front row seat to the beginnings of a government-induced recession.  On a lighter note, we can't even get a day with no rain here in the DC area.  Again, there's not a whole lot about which we can laugh right now.  That's why movies are so important at a time like this.  They can whisk us away from the dismal reality through which we suffer and help us to find some humor in the fictional struggles of others.  That's exactly what I was anticipating with this weekend's indie comedy A.C.O.D.  Though it's not quite as funny as I had hoped, I'll take the chuckles I can get.

Carter (Adam Scott) is an adult child of divorce, and it shows.  He's distanced himself from his parents Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa (Catherine O'Hara).  He overcompensates for their disengaged parenting of his little brother Trey (Clark Duke) by being more than just a big brother.  He can't even find it within himself to make a deeper commitment to Lauren (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), his girlfriend of four years.  All of this can be traced back to the fact that Carter suffered through his parents’ nasty divorce as they botched his upbringing.  Whether ruining his 9th birthday or any dreams he ever had of playing the drum set, they screwed up with him.  What he doesn't know is that all of his childhood woes are documented in the New York Times bestseller Children of Divorce by Dr. Judith (Jane Lynch), the woman whom Carter believed to be his therapist in the midst of his familial crisis back in the day.

When Trey informs Carter that he's getting married, he asks his big brother to get his parents in one room, a daunting task to say the least.  Their bitter relationship has persisted over the years, and Adam must find a way to deal with them.  Carter goes back to see Dr. Judith and learns about Children of Divorce and his tragic character “Rick”.  He also learns that she's now writing a new book on adult children of divorce, the least parented generation of all time.  Carter reluctantly agrees to participate because he wants to set the record straight about Rick.  What he doesn't know is that he's about to be pulled back into his parents' cesspool of malice in his attempts to get them to both attend Trey's wedding.  Meanwhile, Carter gets to know other participants in Dr. Judith's study, particularly Michelle (Jessica Alba).

Though it pretty much plays as expected, A.C.O.D. is a decent comedy.  Thanks to director Stu Zicherman and his crazy cast, I chuckled quite a bit during this one.  What works for this indie comedy is the extremely talented ensemble that comprises this cast.  They deliver plenty of laughs despite their looming limitation on screen — the writing.  Because of the film's mediocre screenplay, the comedy is uneven.  The laughs never amount to anything more than hearty chuckles.  Lastly, the film is endlessly predictable. 

Despite the writing, the cast gives solid performances, whether zany or calm.  As our lead adult child of divorce Carter, Adam Scott brings the low-key, understated humor that always works well for him.  Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara step outside the box as Carter's crazy warring parents Hugh and Melissa.  As his brother Trey, Clark Duke gleefully torments Carter with all of his overblown wedding planning issues.  Amy Poehler even comically delivers a few caustic remarks as Carter's bitter stepmother Sondra.  With all these crazy performances from the aforementioned actors, it's a wonder that Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jessica Alba, and Ken Howard manage to deliver the calming performances as emotional anchors for Scott's Carter.  They do though.

A.C.O.D. could have been so much better.  The unique concept is there.  The talented cast is there.  We just lack the good writing.  While I don't love the movie, I did enjoy it at least.  A.C.O.D. gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a couple of glasses of Moscato with this one.