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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?


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


Tony calls Paul "Phil" when they are in the restaurant, just as Paul gets up to leave. See more »


Tina: I guess it's just one of those ex-felon, pro-acid kind of non-smoking homes.
See more »


References Leave It to Beaver (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

15 June 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

This movie is truly a masterpiece. The plot, the acting, the scenery...everything!

It is about Mel Coplin (Stiller) who is puzzled who he really is a couple months after his baby is born. He becomes addicted to the fact that he indeed doesn't know who he is. Finally, he receives information of where his birth mother is. He gets on a plane with his wife, Nancy (Patricia Arquette), and the adoption agency associate that he is working with, Tina (Téa Leoni). Together they all fly to San Diego only to discover that there has been some terrible mistake--this woman in San Diego is not his birth mother.

Well, I won't ruin the rest of this hilarious and ongoing plot for you. I guarantee that you will laugh sometime in this movie...whether it is at the little old lady in the bed and breakfast, or when Tina maces the church workman in San Diego.

26 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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