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Divorce American Style

Divorce American Style, starring Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Jason Robards

Synopsis for Divorce American Style

 After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they are re-united at a night club where they realize that their marriage was better than their divorce.

Divorce American Style, starring Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Jason RobardsEditorial review of Divorce American Style

An unhappy couple discover breaking up really is hard to do in this satiric comedy. Richard Harmon (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife, Barbara (Debbie Reynolds), are a typical married couple in American Suburbia – which is to say they’re not very happy with each other. After 15 years together, Richard and Barbara decide they’ve reached the end of their collective rope, and after several rounds of marriage counseling proves fruitless, they file for divorce.

Between negotiating child custody, alimony, and finding new places to live, Richard and Barbara discover divorce isn’t appreciably easier than being married; meanwhile, Richard makes a new friend in Nelson Downes (Jason Robards), a fellow divorcé who would love nothing more than for Richard to marry his former wife, Nancy (Jean Simmons), and take away the burden of alimony. Also featuring Van Johnson, Lee Grant, Shelley Berman, and Eileen Brennan in her first film role, Divorce American Style earned an Oscar nomination for Norman Lear and Robert Kaufman‘s original screenplay.