: : : Flirting With Disaster

Story

Sometimes a filmmaker's second movie gets labeled as a sophomore slump. David O. Russell (Spanking the Monkey) shreds that fate with Flirting with Disaster, an outrageous, free-spirited comedy about private people forced into public situations. Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller) finds the opportunity he's been waiting a lifetime for: an adoption agency rep (Téa Leoni) has located his birth parents and the agency will fly him to California if they can record the reunion. With wife Nancy (Patricia Arquette) and new son in tow, the neurotic Mel is compelled to discover his origins, despite the protests of his neurotic adoptive parents (a wonderful Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal). To give away the plot any more would be a crime, but as the title states, Mel is on a collision course of Oedipal proportions. Russell, who made incest an intriguing black-comedy topic in Spanking, is very liberal with sex and permits dangerous situations. His characters mix it up at a moment's notice. The two women along for the ride are not just bit players: Leoni (Deep Impact) keeps her high-energy comic routine flying, while the grounded Arquette keeps the baby in arm, despite the mad wanderings of her husband. Stiller is a perfect comic foil. --Doug Thomas

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Ben StillerMel Coplin
Patricia ArquetteNancy Coplin
Tea LeoniTina Kalb
Mary Tyler MoorePearl Coplin
George SegalEd Coplin
Alan AldaRichard Schlichting
Lily TomlinMary Schlichting
Richard JenkinsPaul Harmon
Josh BrolinAgent Tony Kent
Celia WestonValerie Swaney
Glenn FitzgeraldLonnie Schlichting
Beth OstroskyJane
Cynthia LamontagneSandra
David Patrick KellyFritz Boudreau

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 92 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMar 22, 1996
    EuropeJan 24, 1997
    JapanFeb 1, 1997
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJan 13, 2004
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