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Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R | | Comedy | 12 April 1996 (USA)
2:18 | Trailer

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


1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

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?


John Cusack was considered for the role of Mel Coplin. See more »


The amount of brie cheese that Mrs. Coplin is waving at her husband. See more »


Sheriff: Bobby, take these forms back to the office, these release forms and get these nice people their car keys. This is all over here. This is a Federal agent here, and he just told me the whole story about the Shlytings.
Mr. Coplin: Schlitinooks.
Sheriff: Shitkings.
Mrs. Coplin: No, Schlichtings
Sheriff: Well, anyway, it's clear that we have the wrong people here.
Mel: That's what I've been trying to tell this guy for the last half hour.
Mrs. Coplin: Thank God for this Federal agent. And by the way, w-w-why are you not wearing pants?
Agent Paul: I had an experience, ...
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Camel Walk
Written by R. Miller
Performed by Southern Culture on the Skids
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User Reviews

Funniest Movie. Period.
19 June 2005 | by (Vancouver) – See all my reviews

I'm under the impression that 'Flirting With Disaster' JUST isn't getting the respect it totally deserves. No special DVD or anything, it just sits there, waiting to be discovered. I saw this when it first hit the theater, and I have it on VHS (yeah yeah I know, I'm just waiting for the special edition DVD to come out!). I love the plot of this one. Ben Stiller travels with his perfectly cast wife, Patricia Arquette and the adoption agency agent, played by Tia Leoni to try to discover his parents who gave him up for adoption. He needs to have a sense of closure, and also to give a name to his son. He probably didn't realize that this would involve Indian wrestling, truck driving lessons, or a married male couple of FBI agents. The story just piles one hilarious situation after another. I've seen this film at LEAST 10 times and I STILL laugh out loud. It's just THAT funny!

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