Tag Archives: divorce

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The War of the Roses (1989)

How do you get someone who wants to leave to stay, 3.5 readers?

And how do you get someone who wants to stay to go?

BQB here with a review of yet another 1980s movie as my corona movie marathon continues.

The film is narrated by Attorney Gavin d’Amato, played by Danny DeVito.  The story begins with Gavin meeting with a client who is determined to divorce his wife.  Gavin tells the cautionary tale of his old friends, Oliver and Barbara Rose and their petty, destructive and violent divorce that ruined it all.

Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) were young once, and they truly loved each other.  Though largely an incredibly dark comedy, it’s also an epic piece, as Gavin goes back and forth between the recent past as well as the course of twenty years, providing tidbits of the couple’s courtship, marriage, early life, having children and finally, their success that turned to unbridled hatred.

Thus is the crux.  Relationships begin with the tenderest of love and they end with the cruelest of anger.  As time goes on and age closes one door after another, the resentments build.  Unhappy partners begin thinking about what they could have done had they not betrothed themselves to this person who no longer makes them happy.  Each truly believes his/herself to be the wronged party and they seek to get even through the legal system, hoping to take it all and leave the other with nothing.

Both have good cases.  Oliver is the Harvard trained lawyer who made all the money. Barbara is the wife who stood by his side, taking care of home and family, focusing on every little detail so that Oliver could put all of his focus on his career, a career that Barbara never had because she was so busy taking care of him.

Ultimately, “the war” comes down to the couple’s magnificent house.  Oliver paid for it.  Barbara took care of it.

Gavin, Oliver’s co-worker who represents him in the divorce, finds a loophole that states that as long as both parties live separate lives while residing in the same house (i.e. they live in the same house but have little to no contact, like a couple of detached roomates) then neither party can lay claim to push the other out and thus, Oliver can’t be forced out.

Great legal advice but realistically, not so much.  While the first half of the movie drags a bit, the last half of the film where the couple trashes their house to bits all in an effort to hurt each other is where the dark comedy gold lies.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You might cry a bit more.

I don’t think I’m giving much away but offering Gavin’s parting words up front.  He advises his client, the one he’d been narrating the story to all along, to be generous to his wife.

Perhaps that’s something we all need to keep in mind.  Again, relationships begin with love and typically, they end in hate.  Indeed, you might have been wronged.  Sometimes when there’s cheating, abuse, alcoholism or what have you, it’s easier to draw that clear cut line where you say that person’s an a-hole and they need to be out of your life for good.  The harder situation is where a couple just grows apart, as the Roses did, and for whatever reason, one spouse just wakes up one day and decides they don’t love the other.

Hard as it is, no amount of revenge can get you back the years you spent on someone that you could have spent on someone else.  Be generous enough to bring the matter to an amicable close, though maybe don’t be a chump and leave yourself homeless and penniless either.

Sidenote: Danny DeVito directs and he did a great job here.  I googled his directing credits and didn’t realize he had directed so much and some big name films like Hoffa, though I think this was the best.

Also fun fact this is the third big 1980s movie starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.  They had also starred together in the Indian Jones-esque Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Moral of the story?  If someone doesn’t want to stay, you should suck it up and let them go.  However, if someone refuses to leave, then you probably should.

PS – Obviously, it’s named after the War of the Roses, the series of battles in old British history waged over the course of many years.  One can assume both sides of countrymen once loved on another, then war broke out.  They fought viciously over turf and destroyed so much that any victory surely rang hollow.  War is a lot like a non-amicable divorce, 3.5 readers.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Are You Going to Watch the Royal Wedding?

Are you going to watch the royal wedding, 3.5 readers?

I hate to be “that guy” but I have a little reservation.  Meghan Markle is lovely and she and Prince Harry seem happy together…but…

35 READERS: How dare you rain on our parade, BQB?

Meghan is a) divorced and b) her parents are divorced and statistically speaking (look it up because I’m not making this up), your chances of divorcing your partner go up with every divorce you experience…if your parents get divorced then that means its more likely you will get divorced and the likelihood rises if you have been divorced yourself.

I assume the issue is that as a society, we are taught divorce is awful – you made a big promise and to get out of it, well, that means the world should stop spinning and life as you know it should cease to be…except…life carries on, doesn’t it?  Maybe life becomes a little harder, a little sadder, but the earth doesn’t fall off its access and life goes on.

So, I assume if you’re a kid and you see your parents split and that’s sad but then life goes on, and then you get divorced and well, once you rip off that band aid, it might be hard and it might hurt but the more band aids you rip off the easier it gets.

I know, that’s awful and people are more than statistics and stats aren’t everything and after all, they make a nice couple and seem very happy.

I also might be biased.  I briefly dated a woman who was divorced and the littlest thing wrong, like on the level of picking a restaurant she didn’t like or a movie she didn’t like or something, that would be enough for her to send her into a tizzy.

I’ve seen it in a friend’s marriage too.  He married a divorcee and sure enough, she threatens to leave at the drop of the hat.  Too many dishes in the sink = I’m leaving.  Toilet seat up?  I’m leaving.  Forgot to walk the dog? I’m leaving.  You bought the wrong brand of ketchup?  I’m leaving.  He’s way too patient.  I’d of told her to leave already.

But ok.  These are my personal biases coming into play.  I’m just saying if I were the Prince of England, I might have tried for a non-divorced woman but then again, you never know, sometimes going against the grain works and maybe if he had done that he would have ended up being mismatched with someone snooty.  Harry seems like he has always been the brother who defies convention (i.e. joining the army and insisting on fighting on the battlefield, etc).

I’m just saying if they get divorced it wouldn’t surprise me but screw it, in today’s age, if two people who had never been married before get divorced, that wouldn’t shock me either so I guess you just gotta go for that babe who revs your engine and hope for the best.

Discuss in the comments, 3.5 readers.

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How to Tell Your Children Their Parents Are Getting Divorced


By: Monica Duncan, Professional Bad News Breaker

Hi 3.5 readers.  I’m Monica Duncan and I hate to break it to you, but I am the best when it comes to breaking bad news.  That may be due to the fact that there really isn’t anyone else in the professional bad news breaker game, but it’s a burgeoning field and unlike BQB’s blog readership, I expect it to grow substantially by 2020.

I’ve broken some of the worst news in history:

  • In the 1990s, I told Al Cowlings that OJ needed a ride.  I was only a kid at the time, so it was one of my very first bad news breaks.
  • I was the one who had to tell Obama that oil rig in the Gulf would just NOT stop chugging oil into the sea.
  • I told the Winklevoss twins that their friend Mark started a new website.
  • I had to break it to John McCain that just because Sarah Palin was the governor of Alaska doesn’t mean she’s a gift speaker.
  • I told Brad and Angelina they didn’t like each other anymore.  They would have not figured it out for another 20 years had I not intervened.

And today, I’m here to tell you how to tell your kids that you and your spouse are getting divorced.

So…you and your better half are calling it kaputs, overs-ville, adios, bye-bye, sayanora, see you later.

Who will tell the children?  Those lovable cherubs you brought into the world love you both.  This news will shatter their world and frankly, destroy their little lives, and may even have negative ramifications for their future.

Here are some things to do:

#1 – Be Sure To Tell Them This Was Entirely THEIR Fault

Honesty is always the best policy and divorces are no different.  Sit Junior down and explain it all to him:

  • Your mother works all day and is exhausted when she comes home.
  • We told you we don’t remember how many Goddamned times to pick up your toys and clean up your room but you just wouldn’t do it you selfish little jackass.
  • Despite her exhaustion, Mommy had to spend her evenings cleaning the house you wrecked and were too lazy to clean up.
  • Mommy was so tired after that she was unable to perform her wifely duties and please Daddy.
  • Daddy was left with no choice but to seek release in the form of a fat truck stop waitress named Lucille.
  • Enjoy Lucille as your new step-mommy and that 50 year old white guy with gray dreadlocks that your mommy will marry and make you call him new daddy.
  • Know that all of this could have been avoided if you’d just picked up your Goddamned toys like you were told.  Oh well.  A lifetime of misery is worth the extra time you saved by leaving your fucking action figures all over the place you obnoxious little shit.  Hang your head in shame.

#2 – Do My Parents Still Love Me?

No.  No they don’t.  How could they?  You’re a horrible, awful little child and they were so much happier before a nasty little eating, pooping, crying, money sucking machine came into their lives and ruined everything.  Daddy used to have hair.  Mommy used to have perky tits.  All your fault, you little loser.

#3 – Will I Get to See Daddy Again?

Probably not…or barely.  You see, while there has been great advancement in women’s rights laws, divorce laws continue to favor women based on the antiquated notion that a woman’s only means of support was in her ability to find a quality husband and that ability declines drastically after a divorce.  Today, women work and divorce doesn’t just carry the stigma in the dating world.  (Don’t worry.  It still carries a stigma in the high school popularity world.  Everyone will call you that divorced family kid, the one who broke his/her parents up.)

Mommy will drain Daddy’s money with child support and alimony so he’ll have to work 80 hours a week but barely afford a one room apartment in the ghetto.  He’ll resent this so much he’ll barely be able to stand seeing her for the five minutes required to pick you up, so he’ll do it less and less.

Ironically, Daddy will eventually realize he has the best of both worlds.  He accomplished a goal in life to have a kid…but he doesn’t have to take care of the kid that often.  He can’t because he doesn’t live with Mommy.  He’ll pick you up one weekend a month…then every 3 months…6 months…before long he’ll start a new family with a hotter, younger wife and use the knowledge of all the mistakes he made to be a great husband and father…to the new family…that you won’t be a part of….because remember, old gray white dreadlock step-daddy is your daddy now.

You really wish you’d picked up that fucking troll doll off the floor don’t you?  Yeah you do.

#4 – Will This Ruin My Future?

Almost certainly.  You’ll pit your parents against each other.  You’ll gravitate towards the one with the least amount of rules.  Whichever one you make the guiltiest will agree to all kinds of crazy shit.  You’ll basically be the boss of your parents because they feel bad, but you won’t get any real parenting, so you will have a wasted youth that leads to a jaded, ruined adulthood.

Romantic partners will consider you damaged goods.  You’ll get divorced yourself because you know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

#5 – Will I Ever Be Happy Again?

Nope.  That feeling will elude you for life.  It is all your fault.


If you forget everything else, 3.5 readers, ALWAYS remember to tell your kids that your divorce is THEIR fault.  You can’t sugarcoat every piece of shit that comes your kids’ way and believe me, as divorced life begins, there’s going to be a lot of shit, so let them take it straight.

What kind of bad news would you like me to explain how to break?  Tell me in the comments.


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An Ode to My Vagina – An Original Poem By New Bookshelf Battle Blog Proprietor Video Game Rack Fighter


Dear 3.5 Readers,

Divorce is never easy, especially when you’re BQB and you learn that you were married due to a legal technicality.  Divorce is especially difficult on the children, or in your case, the readers.

I know all 3.5 of you must feel some sort of loyalty to BQB but don’t, for he is an epic douche who peed on the toilet seat one too many times without dropping to his knees to apologize and beg for mercy, and he now he must suffer for the rest of his life as penance.  Really, it’s only fair.

I mean, I regularly took time away from my passion of playing Car Thief Mayhem to help BQB run his stupid blog, his stupid BQB HQ, and to even walk Bookshelf Q. Battledog and the Yeti.  So when you think about it, I really deserve to take everything and BQB deserves to live in a seedy motel for the rest of his days with Leo McKoy.

I feel like I was pretty generous in the settlement negotiation process.  Not only did I let Attorney Donnelly talk me into not calling for BQB’s genitals to be slammed in a steel door for the rest of his life, but I also let BQB retain custody of the Yeti.  So really, when you think about it, I’m the good guy here.

Things are finally going to be run differently around here.  I don’t know what exactly inspired me to cast BQB into a life of misery so I could fully recognize my full womanly potential.  I’m not going to lie though, I felt motivated as soon as I watched Ashley Judd give her deranged poem on the National Mall.

As Ashley ranted and raved about the blood stains on her bedsheets that weren’t her choice, I found myself shouting at the TV, “Yes!  Yes!  I don’t need a man! Bookshelf Q. Battler is the source of all my problems!”

Listen, don’t worry.  This blog has been missing a woman’s touch for far too long.  It will still be totally awesome.  Don’t listen to all that nonsense BQB spouted that under my watch, this blog will turn into a collection of daisy photos and vagina poems.

In conclusion, please enjoy this photo of a daisy…


…and also this original poem I wrote about my vagina.

An Ode to My Vagina

An Original Poem By New Bookshelf Battle Blog Proprietor, Video Game Rack Fighter, May BQB Never Sully This Website With His Inability to Put Urine Into the Toilet Ever Again

Vagina!  Whoa, my vagina!

Giver of life and of mirth.

Is it the source of my inner-self?

Should it be the sum total of my self-worth?

Colin Firth.  Bridget Jones could do so much better.

Won’t someone write my vagina an appreciative letter?

Eddie Vedder.  Lead singer of Pearl Jam and to him

And any other man after my vagina I say, “Scram!”

Isn’t that the plan?  A world conquered by vaginas!

An end to rule by man.  Oh, vagina!

Sing me a song!

Give me respite from the days that are so long.

Dong!  Destroy anyone who has one.

And when that happens, my vagina will have won.

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My Side of the Story – Bookshelf Q. Battler


Hey 3.5 readers.

A sad day in East Randomtown.  As my attorney, Ms. Donnelly, has notified you, VGRF and I are done, over, kaputsville.  Even worse, I have lost the Bookshelf Battle Blog, BQB HQ, Bookshelf Q. Battledog, and my action figure collection in the divorce, which, by the way came as a big surprise to me because I didn’t even know that VGRF and I were married.  Thanks Obama.

So this will be my last post.  This was a site for manly nerds and no, that’s not an oxymoron.  Now I can only assume that Video Game Rack Fighter will turn this fine website that I have spent three years of my life building into an online repository of daisy photos and vagina poems.  I mean, I don’t know that for sure, but I can only assume that most women spend 99.99% of their time looking at photos of daisies and writing poems about their vaginas.

It all started when I left one errant pee sprinkle on the toilet seat.  Totally wasn’t intentional.  It’s not like I meant to.  When VGRF brought it to my attention, I immediately dispatched the Yeti to clean it up.  I don’t know why, but the Yeti is into cleaning up weird messes.  I don’t know why.  I don’t ask.

But Video Game Rack Fighter was all like, “Well, you made the mess so you should clean it up and not make the Yeti do your dirty work” and I was all like, “Who cares?  He’s just a stupid yeti” and then she was all like, “It doesn’t matter.  You should take responsibility.”

So then I was all like, “You know, I don’t give you this much shit over the giant toe nails that you clip and just leave strewn all over BQB HQ.  This is a place of online blog business yet everywhere I go I’m stepping on toenails the size of Fritos!”

At that moment, I was reminded that it is impossible to win an argument with a woman because VGRF gave up on having any kind of rational discussion and proceeded to round house kick me in the face repeatedly until I passed out.

When I woke up, I found myself in the Random Motel with my freaking archenemy Leo McKoy of all people as a room mate.

By then, Attorney Donnelly had worked out the details of the divorce I had to a woman I didn’t even know I was married to and I don’t know how but I’m still blaming this on Obama.

Part of me is mad that Ms. Donnelly didn’t get me a better settlement, one that would have allowed me to retain BQB HQ and the Bookshelf Battle Blog.  Then again, part of me thanks her for keeping me from suffering VGRF’s first bid, namely, that I end up with my genitals slammed in a steel door repeatedly for the rest of my life.

Women always have to go right for the junk, let me tell you.

So I guess that’s it.  I’m stuck as Leo McKoy’s roommate indefinitely.  Probably forever because, did you hear this?  I have to also pay VGRF 99.99% of the paycheck I earn from Beige Corp.  I don’t know why.  It’s not like VGRF is getting up every day and assisting people who assist people who assist the people who sell beige products and accessories.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to post again, 3.5 readers.  VGRF’s settlement calls for me to be shot out of a high velocity cannon and directly into the sun if I post on this blog again.  Yeah, part of me was surprised that the court system approved that part and then again, part of me wasn’t surprised at all.

I haven’t decided yet but I might ditch Leo and explore the universe with Alien Jones for awhile.  I asked him over the space phone if he would like to be intergalactic roommates but all he did was make a few staticky noises with his mouth then say, “Um…sorry…the space phone is breaking up…bzzt bzzzt….talk to you later…”

Poor guy really needs a new space phone.

Thanks for the memories, 3.5.

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Zomcation – Chapter 3


At times like these, Abby needed princesses.

She opened her desk drawer and found her collection of animated princess films, all produced by Carruthers Brothers Amalgamated Studios, the parent company of Wombat World.

Abby thumbed through the plastic DVD cases. There was Princesses Forever, The Happy Princess, Princesses vs. Unicorns, Sally Sloane: Undercover Princess, Princess Force, Princess Power, The Puppy Princess, The Princess of Vamagaroon and Princess Party, just to name a few.

The Princess and the Witch was Abby’s personal favorite. She took the disc out of the case, popped it into her computer, and put on her headphones. The library was still using those big oversized ones from the 1980s.

An instrumental number played over the credits as an old fashioned 1930s era announcer read them allowed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the Carruthers Brothers are proud to present, The Princess and the Witch, now in fabulous technicolor!”

The opening scene featured a bright eyed blonde princess in a pink dress brushing her hair in front of a mirror. She looked rather sullen and spoke in a Marilyn Monroe-esque baby doll voice.

“Oh, I’ve been ever so lonely ever since that nasty old witch locked me away in this tower! Perhaps if I sing loud enough my friends will come visit me.”

The princess stood up, walked over to a window and began to sing. “Tra la la la la, tra la la la la! Animals of the forest, how I miss you!”

With that, a flock of adorable chirping blue jays flew through the window, carrying Chester Chimp and Ferdinand Ferret with them.

Chester Chimp wore a yellow plaid coat and an orange bow tie, but no pants. Ferdinand wore a pair of trousers over the bottom half of his elongated body, but no shirt.

“Lord have mercy,” Chester Chimp said. “Princess Paulina, did that dirty old witch lock you up again?”

“She sure did Chester,” Paulina said. “What ever will I do now?”

“Probably just sit here until you rot,” Ferdinand said. “Everyone knows that dames are useless.”

Abby frowned but then she remembered this was a 1930s film and powered through it.

“Perhaps if you call upon your fairy wombat,” Chester said.

“My fairy wombat?” Princess Paulina asked. “What’s that?”

“He’s not a what,” Chester said. “He’s a ‘who.’ Everyone has one and yours will help you.”

“Well,” Princess Paulina said. “How do I call him?”

Chester pulled a violin out of his pocket, which made no sense, seeing as how his pockets weren’t big enough to hold a violin. He then broke out into a musical number.

“If you’re face has a frown, and you’re feeling down, call your fairy wombat…”

“My fairy wombat?” the princess sang in response.

“Oh if you’re locked up by a witch, who is a big stupid…meany…call your fairy wombat!”

Princess Paulina smiled. “My fairy wombat!”

Ferdinand pulled a flute out of nowhere, tooted it, then joined in. “If you’re down for the count, and your woes are starting to mount, call your fairy wombat!”

Chester brought the diddy home. “If you’re up against the wall, there’s no one better to call than your fairy wombat!”

Poof! A gust of smoke swirled around the center of the room then disappeared to reveal a rather goofy looking character – a chubby little googly eyed fur ball with a set of wings that had been stapled onto his back and a cone shaped hat on his head.

“Did somebody call for a fairy wombat?” the little guy asked.

“I did!” Princess Paulina said as she raised her hand.

“Glad to meet you, princess,” the wombat said. “Willy the Wombat’s my name. Getting folks out of a jam is my game. What can I do you for?”

“A mean old witch has locked me in this tower and I’ll never be able to get out on my own,” the princess said.

“Of course you won’t,” Willy said. “You’re a woman and as we all know, the only thing slower than a woman is a bag of molasses in January.”

Abby winced but kept watching.

“Sister, what you need is a man,” Willy said.

“A man?” Princess Paulina asked.

“A big strong handsome prince to do all the thinking for you on account of your feeble female brain.”

“Ugh,” Abby said.

“A handsome prince?” Princess Paulina asked. “Your really mean it?”

“I really do,” Willy said as he waved his magic wand. “Abracadabra, hocus pocus, hippitty dippitty do, a prince I present to you!”

Poof! Another smoke cloud. This time it disappeared to reveal a handsome prince with an impressive physique and a walnut cracking jaw.

“Did someone call for a prince?” the prince asked.

“Me!” the bubbly princess said. “I did!”

“Princess Paulina,” Willy said. “I present to you, Prince Handsome. He’s a super rich stud muffin who will do all your thinking for you from now on.”

“Oh thank goodness,” the princess said. “I so hate to think.”

“Princess,” Prince Handsome said. “You are by far the most beautiful princess in all the land but tell me, why are you so sad?”

“A witch has locked me in this tower and I can’t figure out how to escape,” Princess Paulina said.

The prince walked to the door, turned the knob, and sure enough, it opened.

“Now why didn’t I think to do that?” Princess Paulina asked.

“Because you’re a woman!” Chester declared.

All the characters grabbed their bellies and laughed and laughed and laughed.

“Hoo wee!” Willy said. “Broads sure are dumb.”

Abby turned the movie off, ejected the disc, and put it back in its case.

“They really need to update this.”

Abby’s cell phone buzzed. She looked at the screen. It simply read, “My Prince.” It was a pet name she’d listed husband down as in her phone contacts during happier days.


“‘Sup babe.”

Abby felt her heart flutter. Scott had moved out a year ago. They kept in touch once in awhile over stuff involving the kids but Abby hadn’t heard from him in a month.

“Not much,” Abby said. “What uh…what’s up with you?”

“Nothing,” Scott said. “You good?”

“Me?” Abby asked. “Oh yeah. Real good.”

“Kids?” Scott asked.

“They’re good,” Abby said. “They’re looking forward to Wombat World.”

There was a long pause.

“Oh I forgot about that.”

“Yeah,” Abby said. “Umm…you know…”

“What?” Scott asked.

“I mean we planned this trip so long ago and your park pass is non-refundable so if you wanted…”

“Ahh no,” Scott said. “Can’t, babe.”

“OK,” Abby said.

“Still need my ‘me’ time, you know?” Scott said.

Abby sighed. “I know.”

“Cool,” Scott said. “What’s up with this orthodontist bill you sent me?”

“Oh,” Abby said. “You said you were going to help with the kids.”

“Five hundred bucks?” Scott said. “Shit, I could just go at Paige’s teeth with a pair of pliers and a wrench for free.”

“That’s….not really that funny,” Abby said.

“Yeah,” Scott said. “Well, I don’t know babe but I can’t help you with this. I’m broke.”

“You’re broke?” Abby asked.

“Yup,” Scott said.

“That’s funny because Dylan said when you picked him up and took him out for the day two months ago you were driving a fancy new sports car…”
Long pause.

“Abs, you’re really harshing my mellow…”

“I’m sorry,” Abby said, reflexively.

“Every time you get like this I feel like I need more ‘me’ time, you know?”

“I know.”

“You can’t really expect me to find myself while you’re always nagging me, can you?” Scott asked.

“I suppose not,” Abby said.

“Cool,” Scott said. “OK babe. I gotta run.”

“Scott,” Abby said.


“Do you think you’ll be finding yourself anytime soon?” Abby asked.

“I don’t know, babe,” Scott replied. “Its a whole process. Later.”


Abby went into her contacts and changed Scott’s pet name from “My Prince” to “Assface.”

“My prince my ass,” she said.

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Movie Review – Daddy’s Home (2015)

Being divorced sucks.

Do I really need to call a spoiler alert for that? Probably not.  But I will for this review.

BQB here with a review of the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy, Daddy’s Home.

Do you remember when Ferrell and Wahlberg crushed it in The Other Guys? That was a comedy about the cops who never get the hot cases with lots of action.  They were the other guys, the guys who get stuck with lame, boring cases, who find themselves in the midst of an action laden case.

I remember laughing my ass off in that one.  This one? While it has a few knee slappers, I have to say, not so much.

I’d never tell someone to stay in a marriage that’s making them miserable.  On the other hand, I worry people don’t have the stick-to-it-tiveness that past generations had when it comes to nuptials.

“To love, honor, cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” People seem to take those more as general guidelines than hard and fast rules. People get divorced over silly things now. He left the toilet seat up. She uses all the hot water so I can’t take a shower.  He doesn’t give me butterflies in my stomach anymore. She got a little chubby and there’s a girl at work who’s way hotter.

I dunno.  That’s just my complaint. Especially when kids are involved. Like I said, I wouldn’t tell someone to stay in a terrible relationship but on the other hand, don’t pass up someone who’d be good for you just because she’s not perfect because you’re waiting for Angelina Jolie to show up (or Brad Pitt as the case may be.)

I digress. The setup?  Linda Cardellini (Sarah) divorced her first husband, Dusty (Wahlberg), for a good reason – he just wanted to keep living a wild and crazy lifestyle instead of being there for his kids.

Enter Brad (Ferrell). Sarah and Brad get married and while Brad absolutely loves being a stepdad and all that comes with it (volunteering for field trips, helping out with school activities etc.) the kids won’t give him a chance because they miss their biological father, Dusty.

So bottomline. Dusty returns after being away. He wants his wife and kids back. Brad wants to keep them.  The kids won’t connect with Brad but he is like a perfect male homemaker, which makes Sarah happy.  Dusty, with his motorcycle and manliness and fun guy attitude is a hit with the kids, but no so much for Sarah, who doesn’t like being in the situation where she has to be the parent that doles out the rules while Dusty’s the fun guy.

The war is on with Brad vs. Dusty in a battle to win over the family’s hearts.  Hijinx, pranks, and backstabbings ensue.

As a comedy, its more sweet than funny. The takeaway for me came from Brad/Ferrell’s advice on being a Dad to Wahlberg/Dusty – “Being a good dad is about getting shit on.”

In other words, you want the best for your kids.  So you put up with a lot of crap.  You take them to visit their friends even though you might think the friends’ parents are jerks. You get roped into volunteering to do a lot of extra activities and other adults complain about the help you are providing – you’d like to quit because you don’t want to do it at all but you keep going because you love the kids.

Even your kids will say and do shitty things to you.  You can’t let it get you down or give up on them.  They’re kids and they don’t know any better.

And especially, when you’re a stepdad, there are times when the kids hit you one too many times with the “you’re not my real dad” line when you’re trying to get them to do the right thing…and you might feel like, screw it, let the kid be a jerk then but you just have to get back in the trenches and be a good dad anyway.

So as I said at the start, being divorced must really suck.  Sucks for the kids because they miss whichever parent isn’t there.  Sucks for the parent that’s not around as much because he/she misses everyone. Sucks for the new step parent because he/she might want to be a positive part of the kids’ lives but the kids naturally see the new step parent as a replacement of the other parent.

So I guess try not to get divorced but if you have to, try to be as mature as possible about the situation.  The kids aren’t really little monsters.  They just don’t understand.  Be like Brad.  Take their shit and keep being a good stepdad anyway.


By the way, I remember Linda Carellini as the teenage girl from Freaks and Geeks.  Why am I so old that she’s able to play a divorced and remarried mom now? And where the hell did all that time go?

STATUS: Not shelfworthy.  You wouldn’t want to rush out to see it but worth a rental.




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