Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1984. Hemdale, Lantana, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer. Cinematography by William A. Fraker. Produced by Arlene Sellers, Alex Winitsky. Music by Paul De Senneville, Olivier Toussaint. Production Design by Ida Random. Costume Design by Joe I. Tompkins. Film Editing by John F. Burnett. Golden Globe Awards 1984.
Divorce between a couple is one thing, but what do you do when a little girl tells you she wants to divorce her parents? That’s the conundrum a judge faces at the beginning of this mostly entertaining but eventually sloppy comedy, with Drew Barrymore announcing she would like the legal custody her parents (Shelley Long, Ryan O’Neal) have over her to be taken away from them. She recounts for the court stories of her parents’ marriage, from when things were good to when they started to disintegrate. The entire time, it seems, mother and father were so busy concentrating on their own problems with each other that they completely ignored their daughter’s feelings, until she decided she was more at home with their loving housekeeper than with them. The couple is a thinly veiled recreation of Peter Bogdanovich’s divorce from Polly Platt, with a hilarious Sharon Stone filling in as Cybil Shepard and a riotously funny sequence involving a disastrous musical version of Gone With The Wind (based on Bogdanovich’s box office bomb At Long Last Love). Some great moments, and Barrymore is terrific, but it runs on too long and loses its momentum too early.