Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  12 April 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,469 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 103 user | 49 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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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
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Did You Know?


According to Lily Tomlin, Ben Stiller and David O. Russell did not get along and had many heated arguments. See more »


At the airport when boarding the plane at 46 minutes in, the baby switches to a completely different baby. In the next shot they are on the plane and the baby has switched back. See more »


Mr. Coplin: Why is everyone getting worked up all of the sudden? I thought we were gunna talk about getting new carpeting. Taking out this crap and putting in the wall-to-wall.
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User Reviews

One of the Funnier Movies Made in the 90's
9 February 2004 | by (Bay Area, California) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film at the Theatres in 1996. I didn't know much about Ben Stiller at the time but liked Patricia Arqette. I didn't know what I was in for. I laughed my arse off. I was rolling in the isles. Maybe no expectations is a good way to go into a film because being pleasantly surprised is one of my favorite emotions. Ben Stiller is hillarious here as well as everyone in the cast. Great writing and Direction, a full laugh out loud riot. If you like Ben Stiller playing that innocent guy in the wrong situation "his best part" you will like this one. I highly recomend.

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