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|Index||77 reviews in total|
This was an outstanding comedy when released nearly 30 years ago. Seen
again now, it is just as enjoyable, and with the added feature of being
a period piece of its times.
Although exaggerated for humor, the small dictatorship where much of the film occurs was much more like the banana republics, which were more a part of Central America and the Caribbean during this era, than one might assume today.
Falk and Arkin were absolutely outstanding as a comedy duo, and one wishes that perhaps they had been coupled in other work as well.
Unlike most other films - even among the best - this picture had no slow or dull parts. The entire period on-screen was a continually interesting and humorous presentation.
I liked the "re-make" of this film better than most seemed to, perhaps because of liking Michael Douglas' and Albert Brooks' work so much. But it was re-made in name only, and like most fell short of its predecessor (Martin and Hawn in "The Out-of-Towners" is an even better example).
Catch this film when possible, not only for its humor, per se, but as a fine piece of nostalgia.
Alan Arkin and Peter Falk made a great comic duo in this classic
comedy. Each one bounces off the other in excellently timed humor.
The story is wild and off the wall. Peter Falk's secret agent guy is too, and he has you and co-star Alan Arkin guessing whether he is a legitimate government agent, or some kind of schizophrenic maniac. The two are the respective dads of two soon to be wed kids, and their shenanigans take precedence over their offspring and the upcoming nuptials. Arkin's straight-laced everyman who rapidly waxes panicky, then neurotic due to being suddenly cast in the bizarre world of Falk makes for brilliantly hilarious contrast between the two.
Needless to say, Falk is on a case and gets Arkin inexorably caught up in the situation, which soon degenerates into a wild romp with loud explosions, shootings, and other confusion. The "Serpentine!" routine is a classic of riotous buffoonery.
Falk and Arkin understand comedy, and manipulate it well. Their comic chemistry is worthy of comparison to some of the classic duos over the years, as they ping-pong the lunacy back and forth with expert timing and delivery. This original is far better than its recent remake, and is recommended.
There have been many comedies focusing on weddings, but "The In-Laws" may have brought the genre to its panacea. Featuring Alan Arkin (as the bride's father) and Peter Falk (as the groom's father) going on a series of crazy adventures right before the wedding, the whole thing's a laugh a minute. It just makes one happy that cinematic humor in the '70s shifted to the completely loony, and Arkin and Falk make a great comic team. I would imagine that everyone had a lot of fun on the set. Featuring Ed Begley Jr. and David Paymer in his debut. There was a remake, but I heard that it was pathetic. So stick with this one and you'll have a really good time.
Dentist Sheldon S. Kornpett's (Arkin) daughter Barbara (Penny Peyser) is getting married to Tommy Ricardo (Michael Lembeck).Sheldon finally gets to meet the groom's father, Vincent J. Ricardo (Peter Falk).It is found out that Vincent works for the CIA and gets Sheldon in all sorts of troubles.He almost gets shot many times and eventually finds himself from Tijada, Honduras.Arthur Hiller's The In-Laws (1979) is an action comedy that's really well written.It also works so good due to great team work of the two main actors.Peter Falk, 78, and Alan Arkin, 70, have more chemistry between each other than in a chemistry factory.Falk, who takes me to my childhood with his Columbo character, gives a great performance here as the wacky government agent.Arkin is very funny with his "Don't shoot the dentist" routine.They're both very funny and they share some incredible amount of energy as does the whole movie.There's also Richard Libertini as the stark raving mad General Garcia, Ed Begley Jr. as the CIA guy Lutz, James Hong as Bing Wong and so on.Every single actor is incredible in the movie.This is a movie that will make you laugh.If it doesn't, seek help.
This is, as you have read in other reviews, a great movie. My reason for writing this review is not to review the movie, you can read that in other reviews, but to let you know that the DVD is so much better than the VHS (I bought the VHS copy a couple of months before the DVD was available for pre-order, because I didn't think it would be coming out on DVD). That said, the banter between the Peter Falk and Alan Arkin is really great, and at some point, you will find yourself quoting parts of the movie. My wife, who does not like "these kinds of movies" laughed throughout the entire film. Anyway, get the DVD and give the VHS away, that's what I did.
I agree. Saw this originally in Twin Cities when it debuted in 1979 and
can't get enough of it. Great all around comedy, writing, timing, slap
stick, parodies (Cavalry to the rescue, hundreds of cops in Mafia type
suits attacking the bull ring, also akin to the final shootout in Butch
Cassidy and Sundance, the chase car slipping and sliding on banana
"Flames. I have flames on my BMW!" "I thought you came down to buy a magazine." "I did but all they had was Hustler, in Spanish, Hustlero!" And Sheldon -- Alan Arkin -- running down the street in Manhattan with the briefcase in hand being fired at by the unknown spy --"Oh, God, don't let me die on West 34th Street!" or something to that effect. Then dodging around the taxi cab as the spy shoots at him, while Peter Falk casually sips his cup of instant coffee in the coffee shop watching the cat and mouse game around the taxi cab. Priceless.
Unlike contemporary comedies which focus on sexual innuendo and subtle sarcastic wit, this movie uses core personality and character decisions to put two unlikely partners into hilarious situations and choices. This movie is actually funny! The insanity continues throughout, until the unlikely climax. Falk is characteristically a combination of accidental competence and possible insanity. Arkin is great as the unwitting accomplice. The plot gets crazier as it goes along, shifting locations and perspectives. You never know who's really working with whom (at least I didn't). We laughed and laughed mostly in sympathy for the NY Dentist.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the In Laws in the theaters and was with others who were older and I think I was the only one who really really enjoyed it, I thought it was just the funniest movie I could have seen! It's just so screw ball and the dialog is delivered extremely dead-pan and if you can follow that kind of humor you will love it! I played it for my family recently and I was the only one laughing, oh well (though when Arkin is running through the streets of NY they were rolling for that one). I guess it's not for everyone, I think it was because they don't think old movies can be funny, or maybe because there was so much to laugh at it just got numbing. Falk is priceless here with his outrageous stories and Arkin acting as the sane one who ends up involved in the madness that is true that he finally buy's into it then it's getting really funny (no those are real bullets, Shelly!). Is that pea soup good?...(Faulk asking Arkin after he's been shot at multiple times), just totally dead-pan funny stuff! I loved this movie so much that I actually loved Big Trouble, hell I'd probably be entertained watching Faulk take a dump! I give it a definite 10/10, I can't watch the remake because it's like a sacrilege, I loved this movie so much. Shelly looking at VELVET gallery of the evil General:"My General, those are beautiful paintings, who is she?" General:"Oh, she's some hooker in the village." Classic.
I would give this film 100 out of 10 if I could. This has got to be THE funniest movie ever made. It has become a cult classic with a large cadre of people having seen it 20-30 times. I've seen it probably 25 times and I still laugh hard every time. The characters are so brilliantly written and magnificently played that they make the wacky story believable. Just when you think the movie will slow down, it takes off on another wild, crazy, hilarious tangent, completely in keeping with the characters. Alan Arkin, Peter Falk, and Richard Libertini are fantastic. This film has lines you will take with you: The 'Guacamole act of 1917', Jose Greco del Muertos, Flies? Flies with beaks?, Serpentine, My car has flames, and much much more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is undeniably an extremely entertaining film. It has timing worthy
of the earlier comedy classics, a building complexity of plot, and a
brilliant interaction between Arkin and Falk.
From the improbable opening of the film through the first contact the two principals, the film gives few hints to a first-time viewer where it's going.
Possible spoilers follow.
To me, one highpoint in the film is the dinner, where Vince relates his experiences in the jungle. His explanation, "There's a lot of red tape in the bush," is the capper to an unusual tale.
Subsequent viewings of the film show just how well crafted it is. Little items that seem random take on meaning when a viewer knows what's coming next.
As soon as I saw it was available on VHS, I picked up a copy. The same when I found it on DVD. Doubtless the best comedy of its decade.
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