This is a good human comedy that suffered at the turnstiles because it may have been marketed incorrectly. It was billed as the story of a nine-year-old (Barrymore), who sues her parents (O'Neal and Long) for divorce. The picture is far more than that, however. It's about how the parents
meet, work together, succeed together, and then fall into Hollywood's velvet snare, the trappings of success. When their relationship begins to crumble, Barrymore seeks an attorney's help in finding a more loving pair of parents. O'Neal and Long are excellent comic actors and demonstrate several
changes of character. Barrymore is good as the child whose story transcends the Hollywood movie industry; she represents any child who is caught in a marital chess match. The screenwriters knew the movie business and filled the picture with inside jokes and insights about films that went right
over the heads of most of the public. Shyer's direction was on the money most of the time but was just a little flabby occasionally--perhaps because he cowrote the script with Meyers and hated to lose a precious word. This should have been a bigger hit than it was.
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