Irreconcilable Differences Movie Review Summary

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Shelley Long, Ryan O'Neal, Sharon Stone

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Irreconcilable Differences

Precocious nine-year-old Casey Brodsky (Drew Barrymore) sues her self-absorbed, negligent parents for emancipation, shocking them both. As Mr. and Mrs. Brodsky each take the stand and tell their side of the story, they reveal how the Brodsky marriage sadly deteriorated.
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Lucy Van Patten (Shelley Long) is a struggling children's book author, driving cross-country to meet her Marine fiancé, Bink (David Graf). Even though Bink has given Lucy explicit instructions not to pick up hitchhikers, Lucy disobeys when she sees a disheveled man stranded in a torrential Kansas downpour. Lucy's drenched riding companion is Albert Brodsky (Ryan O'Neal), another discouraged writer. Lucy and Albert infuriate one another, spending most of the drive heatedly arguing. Yet underneath the rage, a powerful attraction is brewing. It is not long before Bink discovers them in bed in a hotel room.

Years later, the happy couple is living in Los Angeles with their adorable daughter Casey. After a wealthy and influential producer offers Albert a chance to write and direct a big-budget movie, the couple is elated. Finding that he has severe writer's block, Albert asks his talented wife if she will collaborate. Lucy is delighted and they soon create “An American Romance”. The next obstacle is finding the right girl to play the female lead and Albert discovers her in gorgeous Blake Chandler (Sharon Stone). Albert decides his sexy ingénue will move into the Brodsky home, so they can constantly work with her and mold her into the character. Lucy is a bit hesitant at first, but soon forms a motherly bond with Blake. As the weeks go by, Albert becomes more and more distracted and distant. When Lucy discovers that Albert and Blake are having an affair, she packs up, taking a heartbroken Casey with her.

“An American Romance” proves to be a major hit and Albert and Blake are soon living the high life in a magnificent Hollywood mansion. Meanwhile, a bitter, depressed and comfort-eating Lucy is living with Casey in a bleak apartment, constantly fighting with Albert over child support payments. Lucy is saddened to learn that Casey has opted to spend New Year's Eve with Albert and Blake at their lavish party. Casey, ignored by her father and the rest of the partygoers, quietly rings in the New Year with loving housekeeper Maria Hernandez (Hortensia Colorado). While Lucy elects to feed her holiday despair by stocking up on junk food at the grocery store, she catches her reflection in the huge windows and does not like what she sees. Determined to change, Lucy rushes home and blows away the thick dust that has accumulated on her typewriter. Starting with the words “He said it was going to be forever”, Lucy proceeds to write a number one bestseller. Overnight Lucy seems to change from despondent and dumpy to euphoric and svelte, much to Casey's dismay.

While Lucy's career is soaring, Albert's is quickly fading with his next project, an ill-fated attempt at a “Gone with the Wind” musical knock-off. Albert loses everything, including his mansion (which Lucy soon buys) and Blake, who has run off with a crewmember. Feeling useless and unloved, Albert finally turns his attention to Casey.   Casey is eventually disgusted and tired by her parent's egotistical behavior and runs away, hoping to find the love and attention she deserves.

The review of this Movie prepared by Tara Dugan

Script Analysis of Irreconcilable Differences

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Comedy or Parody about    -   married couple fighting How much humor v. drama    -   Lot of humor, but significant serious drama

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   kissing    -   sex under blankets Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15

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