Divorce American Style (1967)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jun 21, 1967 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although Divorce American Style has lost some of its bite since 1967, it still packs a considerable punch. Norman Lear and Robert Kaufman's dialogue may occasionally come off as dated, and the attacks on marriage, divorce, and relationships may not feel as fresh as they once did, but there's still an abundance of wit in this sharp, abrasive movie -- as witness the opening, in which an orchestra conductor directs a concerto of domestic unhappiness. Director Bud Yorkin does not make the most of all the comedic opportunities presented in the screenplay, and there are stretches when the material cries out for a more imaginative approach, but he has cast it with a sterling ensemble, with Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds turning in solid comic performances that still have warmth and humanity (not a small feat, considering the darkness of much of the humor). The supporting cast is a feast of character talent, from Lee Grant and Shelley Berman to Eileen Brennan and Dick Gautier, and not a weak link among them. Divorce may not be a timeless classic, but it's good, wicked fun.