Saturday, February 13, 2016

'A.C.O.D.': public health menace and/or hilarious movie?

An interview with director Stu Zicherman

'A.C.O.D.': public health menace and/or hilarious movie?


“Against the assault of laughter,” Mark Twain once wrote, “nothing can stand.” Not even a bad divorce is safe from that assault, as you’ll quickly learn if you go see the new film A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce), opening this weekend in Philadelphia.

As your resident public health expert I could tell you that you should head to the Ritz at the Bourse because laughter is the best medicine. After all, laughter has been shown to relieve stress and pain, improve your mood, and even induce changes in your immune system. I could also tell you that if you are looking for new ways to burn calories, look no further than a good, sustained, hearty laugh—one study suggests 10-15 minutes of laughter a day might be all you need.

I could go on with the public health explanations of why you should see this insightful, funny, and bittersweet film about how adult children cope (or don’t) with their parents’ divorce. But let’s turn instead to A.C.O.D.'s director, Stu Zicherman (full disclosure, Stu is an old friend), who offers up advice about suffering from and laughing at being an A.C.O.D.

Michael Yudell: Can you tell us more about the affliction of A.C.O.D.?

Stu Zicherman: Well, the affliction of A.C.O.D. usually comes with upset stomach, migraine headaches, both brought on by warring parents and broken hearts. Actually, A.C.O.D. is not so much an affliction, but rather a club you were forced to join.

What are the symptoms of being an A.C.O.D.?

A paralyzing fear of commitment, blaming your parents for things that both are and aren’t their fault, and sitting at weddings wondering why everyone is crying because you think they just don’t get it.

Who are some famous A.C.O.D.s?

Well, Barak Obama was one, Jennifer Aniston and Kim Kardashian too.

Can you offer some advice for people with chronic A.C.O.D.?

You wouldn’t say chronic A.C.O.D. You’d say A.C.O.D.-ism.

Does seeing this film increase your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease?

Yes, that is possible, because it may make you not want to get married, which may lead you to sleep around and catch an A.C.O.D. S.T.D.

Is there a cure for A.C.O.D.?

Yes, to grow up and get over it. Or, I hear that amoxicillin works sometimes, too.

Stu Zicherman's
A.C.O.D. opens Friday at the Ritz at the Bourse  and is will arriive on more screens soon You can also read what Inquirer Movie Critic Steven Rea has to say (***).

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About this blog

What is public health — and why does it matter?

Through prevention, education, and intervention, public health practitioners - epidemiologists, health policy experts, municipal workers, environmental health scientists - work to keep us healthy.

It’s not always easy. Michael Yudell, Jonathan Purtle, and other contributors tell you why.

Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MSc Assistant Professor, Drexel University School of Public Health
Janet Golden, PhD Professor of history, Rutgers University-Camden
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