Irreconcilable Differences (1984)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 28, 1984 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Perry Seibert

If Irreconcilable Differences had been produced twenty years later, it would have been made for the cable channel E!. Those familiar with Hollywood scandals will enjoy this film. Ryan O'Neal's character, a film scholar who had written a thesis on the films of Ernst Lubitsch and favors studious looking think-lensed glasses, is an obvious evocation of Peter Bogdonovich. The character's marriage to Lucy (Shelley Long), and his rise to fame closely resembles Bogdanovich's relationship with Polly Platt and his own early career success. What turns Irreconcilable Differences into something more than Hollywood gossip is the preternatural maturity of Drew Barrymore. Here cast as a child who sees the emptiness of her father's Hollywood lifestyle and mourns the crumbling of her family, she communicates a weariness that would be disturbing from someone so young were it not for her superb comic timing. Barrymore, and the rest of the cast, makes this material worthwhile for any audience, even those who know nothing of Bogdanovich, Platt, or Cybill Shepherd - hysterically spoofed here by a very young Sharon Stone.