My Divorce Party Image

My Divorce Party

By Sumner Forbes | July 11, 2024

In America, the divorce rate is around 42%. So, the probability that your newly married friend will get divorced is alarmingly high. This is one of the punchlines in My Divorce Party, a raunchy girl comedy written and directed by Heidi Weitzer. Why not make light of the low success rate of marriage because it just so happens that divorce will be something many of us end up going through? The tangle of finances, property, and (God forbid) children usually isn’t something to laugh at, but when we’re at our lowest, we might as well learn to lighten the mood.

Xan (Desiree Staples) is the divorcee in question. Her friends organize a get-together in Joshua Tree National Park to support her as she picks up the pieces from her crumbling marriage. Her eclectic friend group features Ren (Rumer Willis), Wendy (Michelle Meredith), and Amara, a take-no-prisoners attorney (Dionne Gipson). The plan is to imbibe in all sorts of revelry and a late therapy session designed to expel the demons of her marriage. It’s never that simple, and in a drunken stupor, Xan decides to spend all of her money that weekend so her ex can’t get any of it.

“…in a drunken stupor, Xan decides to spend all of her money that weekend so her ex can’t get any of it.”

This is a great set-up, and in the right hands, it could have been a fresh spin on the girl comedy. There’s definitely a fair share of chuckles to be had, but on the whole, many of the jokes don’t land. Ultimately, My Divorce Party never lives up to the true potential of its promising structure. There are a lot of eggplant emojis, sex jokes, and the requisite psychedelic desert sequence. Sadly, none of them elevate the film beyond the wavelength of The Hangover with a female cast.

That’s okay if that’s what you’re after as a viewer. I can see this being a success at a low-key party (the boxed wine kind) with friends where one doesn’t necessarily have to be glued to the screen to catch any nuance or important plot details. These joke-a-minute films need to be really, really funny, and that necessitates great writers (a commodity in the industry, for sure) and a great cast ready to deliver with aplomb. In many respects, comedies are one of the more challenging genres for indie filmmakers to tackle because of the inherent subjectivity in comedy and because there’s frankly no way to film around uninspired writing to make it palatable.

Marriage is hard. Sharing a life sounds great on paper, but it’s always more work than one anticipates. My Divorce Party is a fun diversion from the pain a split can cause, and even if it’s not an entirely successful comedy, one can appreciate the need for a library of buddy comedies from the female perspective that navigates the end of a marriage. At the very least, we can hope that Weitzer’s film inspires a slew of other filmmakers to follow suit and bring us more comedies from the female perspective.

My Divorce Party (2024)

Directed and Written: Heidi Weitzer

Starring: Desiree Staples, Rumer Willis, Michelle Meredith, Dionne Gipson, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

My Divorce Party  Image

"…fresh spin on the girl comedy..."

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