Bye Bye Love Review

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Dave, Vic and Donny are best friends, who all three find themselves divorced in their mid-30s, and dealing with an assortment of wives, girlfriends and kids.


At first sight things look pretty ghastly: the requisite song-title title, a plotline that is pure sitcom, a pristine neighbourhood still caught in the grip of 80s materialism, a cast that sounds distinctly B-list and the hint that things are going to turn very moralistic indeed. All this turns out to be true, yet squeezed into this slender tale of three divorced fathers, their ex-wives, their current flames, their kids and a sanctimonious radio shrink, are some sound performances and a fair few knocks on the funny bone.

It's more-or-less three tales in one, but each spills into the others as best buds Dave (Modine), Vic (Quaid) and Donny (Reiser) pluck their respective offspring, from a huge pool of kids, for some weekend quality time only to end up facing a trial by responsibility. The womanising Modine learns to stop spreading his phone number like confetti and get serious with his lovely new girlfriend, the neurotic Reiser gets to bond with his moody daughter, and the short-fused Quaid leaves the sprogs to their own devices and goes out on a horrific, jaw-achingly funny blind date with hypochondriac New Ager Lucille (Janeane Garofalo).

Meanwhile, in a quasi-narrator role, an uncredited Rob Reiner rants on about American divorce rates on his weekly radio slot. This is pat, formula stuff, occasionally stifled by sentiment and too often blase about serious issues, but it somehow avoids being the save-the-family-unit diatribe it always threatens to be. The direction is light and uncomplicated, the actors appealingly ordinary, and there is even the odd bit of realism peeking out from its stern conclusions.

American adult-orientated serio-comedy comes a heck of a lot worse than this.