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G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 08/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Divorcing Jack is a hilarious, preposterous romp that ain't gonna be up most folk's alley. It's got a top drawer cast that one wishes, perhaps, were in a slightly better film, but they make the most of the material and often take it up a notch or two beyond where one expects it to go.
David Thewlis is terrific as Starkey and he bumbles through plot twists that are almost dizzying. Joining him is a terrific performance by Aussie actress, Rachel Griffiths, who at this point in her career seems capable of doing just about anything. Her gun toting stripper nun bit is priceless.
Obviously, from so many negative reactions, Divorcing Jack is not a typical feel good film, but for those who enjoy figuring out the nearly indecipherable, double crossing agents, chase scenes, strippers in nun drag, symbolism, the ongoing situation in Northern Ireland tossed with some bitter, black and often delicious humour, check out Divorcing Jack. You just might surprise yourself! "
A black comedy with a message; highly underrated
Itamar Katz | Ramat-Gan, Israel | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A vastly underrated film that was practically ignored by both critics and viewers, Divorcing Jack is a highly enjoyable, and often powerful, film with a terrific cast and a very clever title that keeps you interested to the last minute. It's good to see David Thewlis, one of the finest British actors of his generation, play the lead in a British film - as he did in his prime, and not a side character in Hollywoodian films like Harry Potter. His performance in Divorcing Jack isn't quite as remarkable as the one he gave five years before in Naked but it's fantastic by its own right, and just like in Naked Thewlis creates an anti-hero that is egoistic, weak, detestable, and entirely believable; if you're looking for a noble hero to sacrifice himself for the greater good because that's the right thing to do, look elsewhere. Dan Starkey cares for himself and makes excuses for nobody; and that makes him a protagonist you can relate to.
There are some neat surprises in the supporting cast: Australian born Rachel Griffiths - AKA Brenda Chenowith of HBO's terrific Six Feet Under - who was practically anonymous in 1998, is terrific as Thewlis' stripper-in-nun's-clothing sidekick, and supplies some of the film's funniest moments. Jason Isaacs, who, like Thewlis, has recently familiarized himself with American audiences through the Harry Potter movies, in bone-chillingly excellent in the lead villain role. The beautiful Laura Fraser (who had recently made a career for herself in Hollywood with supporting roles in movies like Titus, Vanilla Sky, and A Knight's Tale; but anyone who happened to catch the excellent BBC mini-series Neverwhere will surely remember her as the charming Door) has a part that's brief but unforgettable. American TV regular Richard Grant is lovely and believable as the visiting reporter from the US who came to cover the upcoming elections but is more interested in learning about the difference between the different types of scotch. And experienced British actor Robert Lindsay steals the show as the dodgy candidate. Finally, a brief but hilarious cameo from the charming Bronagh Gallagher (The Commitments) as a taxi driver.
The film's messages about the horrors and idiocy of war and particularly the Irish civil war are familiar and would have been corny in a straight drama, but as in Catch-22 and other classic black comedies, the absurd humor of the film makes it powerful. If you take any of the two aspects of the film - comedic or political - and separate it from the other, maybe it really isn't all that good. Perhaps that's why it failed to find its audience in the US and most of Europe. Myself, I've lived my entire life in Israel, and am familiar with a war between two neighboring factions that always seems on the brink of resolution just before the situation explodes again, and that has its highest price in the innocent lives of people on both sides who just want to be left alone in peace, while the leaders of both peoples carry on their senseless warmongering. Divorcing Jack has a simplistic view of the situation but it's important to make it heard. The ending is inevitable and almost predictable, yet it's the only proper ending this story could possibly have. Divorcing Jack is highly recommended; it's neither a romantic comedy nor a straight thriller, but it's a good and powerful film to enjoy and to think about."
Black comedy at its best
Itamar Katz | 06/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a comedy classic - filmed at a time when peace was just breaking out in Northern Ireland after nearly 30 years of pain, hurt and suffering. The Northern Irish have a good laugh at the stupity of the war and indeed themselves as only they can!"
If you like Irish and British Comedy
I. Shiraishi | Germany | 08/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
".... This movie is for you. Now, now one shouldn't make fun of the Northern Irish situation the way it was 10- 15 years ago, but the movie isn't all about it. Do not misunderstand me the whole Irish war thing plays a part in this movie but let's meet the main character....
Starkey.... A drink-a-lot -of- beer happy Irish guy who works for a news paper always on the edge of being kicked out if he doesn't deliver a good story soon!!! He happens to meet some high positioned politicians daughter who happened to be the ex girlfriend of a loony terrorist/ dealer named Cow Pat Keegan < I think I wrote the name right > . And even though Starkey is married and loves his wife he falls for the gal who is killed in the 1st third of the movie.
Starkey now on the search for the gals killer meets a whole bunch of people along the way some of em funnier then others, realizing somewhere down the road that the last words of the dieing gal weren't Divorcing Jack but...... oh I almost told you ... you going to have to find that one out for yourself.
Fact of the matter is one either likes this movie or hates it. I personally liked the dark humor. It's a change from the usual oh so happy bubbly comedies that we have come accustomed with. And even though some of the parts in this movie don't seem to make sense I believe that's the point making the movie even funnier.
Sadly there haven't been any extra's on the DVD; so if you are looking for interviews on the movie by cast and crew you are not going to get that. And it's a movie for grown ups only due to all the bad words in it you know F and S words which one shouldn't be surprised by since the movie is as Irish as it can be. Some of you might have trouble to understand the sometimes thick accent but its still worth seeing this movie!!!! "
Amaze your friends with this "sleeper" hit!
John C. Glindeman | Harrisburg, PA USA | 05/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When my friends come over and want to see a movie, I always keep this one as a recommendation. The movie is funny, action packed, and features some wonderful performances by brilliant actors. I recommend picking up a copy for those nights when you and your friends can't make up your minds."