Wednesday, 22 January 2014

REVIEW - A.C.O.D.


Funny is as funny does, but funny does not when funny is not. It doesn't matter how many comic talents you enlist to beef up your cast, if the material isn't good enough, there's very little they can do. The writing is bland and laboured and the direction like an episode of Modern Family (expect Stu Zicherman's career to flourish on TV rather than in cinema), and this poor, talented cast must gurn their way through the charade as though this were legendary stuff. It's to their credit that they wring some considerable juice out of the screenplay, which aims to get by on trite comedic conceits which might have passed for genuine set-pieces thirty years ago, but which now are as humdrum as the next. Dear Catherine O'Hara and Richard Jenkins display their natural flair for humour as warring divorcees whose younger son is getting married to a girl he's known for mere months - their twenty-year feud has set their older son, played by Adam Scott, on edge about relationships, and his efforts to control every aspect of his brother's wedding only make things much worse... for him, at least. A supporting ensemble of familiar faces keeps materialising at odd junctures, distracting from the central narrative thrust, which takes a few more twists and turns than it can sustain since it's so thinly conceived. That said, hands down the best thing in A.C.O.D. is Jane Lynch as the opportunistic Dr. Judith - the role is no stretch for Lynch, but she shows off her impeccable ear for comedy in the role far better than she's been allowed to on screen for some time. She and a few choice moments here and there brighten up an otherwise rather tedious, though short, film; Nick Urata's score attempts to do similarly, but is immeasurably annoying instead.