You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Don’t Divorce Me’ Delivers Heavy-Handed Lesson

No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me!
Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by
Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children.

The style, alas, is something else again.

At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.,
obviously aimed at reaching tykes as
Dontdivorceme01well as adults — hardly overstays
its welcome. But using six- and seven-year-old kids to deliver their
pleas directly to parents, complete with home-made signs saying things
like “Learn to get along for our sake,” can’t help but feel preachy and
manipulative.

O’Donnell has turned herself into a self-anointed
maven of such messaging, having previously produced “A Family is a
Family is a Family” for HBO, which — with a stronger political foundation, validating same-sex couples and parenting — felt considerably less irritating. The director here is Amy Schatz,
responsible for the channel’s “Classical Baby.”

My least favorite
part involved a kids round table, in which youngsters sit around
discussing their feelings and sharing divorce stories. The best moment
was the kid who said being able to divide and conquer — exploiting
guilty parents for two Christmases, etc. — is kind of cool. At least that was
a refreshing change of pace from all the angst and sappiness.

In essence,
this is just “Kids Say the Darndest Things: Divorce Edition.” Fine, send every child and
family counselor in America a copy of it, to show kids they’re
not completely alone in dealing with these situations.

But nobody really wants to be lectured to — even if (or perhaps especially if) it comes from children.

Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t separate myself from “Don’t Divorce Me” fast enough.

More Voices

  • RWS Entertainment Group Marquee Holland America

    RWS Entertainment Launches Theatrical Development Department (EXCLUSIVE)

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    ‘Hamilton,’ Broadway and the Duel Over Paperless Tickets

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

  • HadestownNew York Theatre WorkshopBy Anaïs MitchellDeveloped

    Streaming to Broadway: How New Titles, Talent Grow Buzz Online

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

  • Randall Arney Geffen Playhouse

    What No NYC Nonprofit Theater Likes to Talk About

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

  • The Lion King Broadway

    How 'The Lion King' Ushered in the Era of the Blockbuster on Broadway

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

  • Kevin Spacey Clarance Darrow Broadway

    Broadway Gets Serious About Sexual Harassment

    No one could possibly quibble with the message of “Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce,” an HBO documentary — produced by Rosie O’Donnell — about the impact of divorce on children. The style, alas, is something else again. At 31 minutes, the special — which premieres Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m., obviously […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content