The Schmooze

Finding the Funny in Divorce

When Stuart Zicherman was 11 years, it seemed like every family in his suburban Long Island, N.Y., neighborhood was getting divorced. His parents sat him down and told him that wouldn’t happen in their household. A year later, his father moved out.

This piece of personal trivia is relevant because Zicherman, now 44, is the co-screenwriter and director of “A.C.O.D.,” which stands for Adult Children of Divorce. The film, which is at once humorous and poignant in its portrayal of the lasting effects of parents’ split on their children, opens in select theaters October 4.

No one would describe Hugh (Richard Jenkins) and Melissa’s (Catherine O’Hara) divorce as amicable. They interrupt their loud argument during their son’s 9th birthday party to ask him — in front of family and friends — whom he wants to live with.

Zicherman has assembled an outstanding cast, including Amy Pohler, Jessica Alba and Jane Lynch. But the key player is Adam Scott (from “Parks and Recreation”), who plays Parker, the elder son forced into adulthood and a role as family mediator.

The crisis arises when Parker’s younger brother, Trey (Clark Duke) gets engaged and wants both parents (who have remarried and not spoken to each other since the divorce) to attend his wedding. It’s Parker’s job to mediate and make it happen.

Zicherman spoke to The Arty Semite about the impact of his parents’ divorce on him, their reaction to the film, and four-hour Seders.

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Finding the Funny in Divorce

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