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acodThere has been lots of speculation about what affects people most in divorce. Are people most hurt by the inherent fracture of a family, or are they affected by the manner of the split? This is a question many people are currently struggling with, like social scientists, psychologists, and movie directors.

That’s right, movie directors. Actually, to be specific, one movie director. Stuart Zicherman is the first-time director of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival darling, “A.C.O.D.

What’s That Spell?

A.C.O.D. is an acronym for Adult Children of Divorce. The term A.C.O.D. has been a fairly recent development in the divorce culture.

Yes, there is a divorce culture, with participants being divorced spouses, divorced parents, children of divorced parents, and the entire family counseling sector (which includes psychologists, therapists, and researchers). Seeing as about 50% of Americans marry at least once, and 50% of marriages end in divorce, the American divorce culture is quite large.

Divorce Culture Poster Children

Since the divorce revolution in the 1970’s, the children of those divorces have become adults. The children of the 70’s divorce revolution have been the subject of speculation and intrigue for the family counseling and divorce culture community because they are the first generation “defined” by divorce. Their parents were the first tidal wave of divorcees, and they were the first to be affected by it en mass.

The first generation of A.C.O.D. has been researchers’ guinea pig, and has fuel much research and discovery in the largely unknown effects of divorce. There are books about how to help children heal from divorce, websites dedicated to fostering the A.C.O.D. community, informative self-help TV programs, and perspective-adjusting movies on the topic.

A.C.O.D. in the Sun

The lastest movie about adult children of divorce is just that, perspective-adjusting. “A.C.O.D.” was written by director Stuart Zicherman and Ben Karlin to be a fast-paced, quirky movie about the strangeness of divorce.

Carter, played by Adam Scott, is a well put together man who happens to be an adult child of divorce. Carter’s parents filing for divorce when he was 9 never stopped them from waging war. But now that Carter’s little brother has decided to do the impossible and get married, the loveable broken family is reunited. It’s during this mess of a family life when the epiphany comes: Carter’s life is too neat; he has lived a very protected, defensive life unbeknownst to him until now.

The movie creates that endearing, offbeat relationship with the audience, while also showing them the hilarity and stark reality of the life of A.C.O.D. Not to mention, the cast could not have been better selected. (Jane Lynch as a family psychologist is all we are going to say on that note.)

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