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Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  12 April 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,355 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 103 user | 48 critic | 16 from

A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.


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Title: Flirting with Disaster (1996)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lonnie Schlichting
Jane (as Beth Ostrosky)
Sandra (as Cynthia Lamontagne)
Fritz Boudreau
John Ford Noonan ...


Mel Coplin departs on a mission of discovery dragging his wife and 4 month old son behind. He and wife, Nancy, won't agree on a name for their son until adopted Mel gets in touch with his roots. He assures her that once he knows who he really is, the right name for their boy will be a snap. Enlisting the aid of student-psychologist and part-time adoption agent, Tina Kalb, they embark on a journey across the United States to find Mel's "birth" mother. "The best part," Mel tells Nancy, "is it's all free." Tina is finishing her dissertation and will film the happy reunion of mother and child as part of her research. For this privilege, she's footing the bill. His adoptive parents are left behind feeling abandoned by an ungrateful son. Clerical errors, mistaken identities, Nancy's misplaced high school friend and his gay lover, and a super-charged libido here and there are thrown into the mix along the way until -- at last -- Mel's real parents, the Schlictings (mispronounced as "... Written by MARK FLEETWOOD <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Have you flirted yet?



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality and a comic drug scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

12 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amori e disastri  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)


$14,891,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dick Van Dyke was offered the role of Richard Schlichting. Originally, Mary Tyler Moore was to play the role of his wife Mary but she eventually switched roles in order to portray Pearl Coplin. See more »


When Mel and Nancy are in bed at end of movie and get a call that Mel's parents are in jail there is a microphone boom shadow on the lamp and wall (by the shape of the shadow the microphone appears to be a "Schoeps"). See more »


Nancy: Where'd you get the pup tent?
See more »

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User Reviews

7 August 2003 | by (Greenville, NY) – See all my reviews

Comedies like this are a real rarerity, especially nowadays. You almost never see a movie thats this intelligent and funny. Ben Stiller is hilarious as the man who is traveling around the US to find his biological parents. Lily Tomlin and Alan Alda are hilarious as well as his biological parents. This is definately a must see comedy, and I very rarely give comedies good reviews. ***1/2 out of ****.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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