After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
After Mel has crashed the truck and is at the police station, Paul and his partner leave the questioning room. When they re-enter the questioning room, Paul opens the door with his left hand. In the next shot, he is entering with a clipboard in his left hand. See more »
Where did you two come down on the whole circumcision controversy?
Personally, I think a boy's penis should look just like his father's.
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Why or why not is `Flirting with Disaster' a typical Hollywood movie?
`Flirting with Disaster' is definitely a typical Hollywood movie in many aspects but not in all of them. It fits the form of classical cinema or classical paradigm in that the director, David O. Russell, does not get distracted from telling the story with filmmaking techniques. It is a clear and precise comedy that never leaves the characters in action, and is done so in a way that works unlike many other films of this genre released today. The film is structured narratively, with a clearly defined conflict from the very beginning. Ben Stiller shines in his performance as a neurotic new father who is trying desperately to find his biological parents in order to name his newborn son. At one point in the film the viewer begins to become anxious and wonder if the same problem for the protagonist, Stiller, is going to continue on in the same form as it has in the past half of the movie, but luckily Russell then changes the flow of the film and brings it to a much more comedic finish than the first half.
The photography is shot in full and long shots throughout most of the movie. Russell must have used deep-focus shots when filming because the surrounding background is clear around the characters, using a wide-angle or short lens. The characters are never off of the screen except for a few instances when we see a plane flying or a car driving and then we have voice-overs. The dialogue is always continuous- there is never a break in the script which works well because the screenplay is well written and clever on its insights on the little inconveniences of everyday life. Although all of these events are too unbelievable too happen all at once, they are all real life comedic situations that could happen to anyone. When compiled together with this plot line, we have this film before us.
Although this is a typical movie in the sense that it does not break any barriers or do anything creatively in its techniques in telling the story, the plot and screenplay do enough justice in making the film entertaining for the audience and one of those films you can just sit down, relax, and have fun viewing because it makes sense and fits together. This aspect is not like many Hollywood films released today, with their gaping holes that leave the viewer feeling unfulfilled. Altogether this was a good film, even though it did fit many of the typical Hollywood stereotypes.
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