6.7/10
17,592
109 user 55 critic

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R | | Comedy | 12 April 1996 (USA)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.

Director:

David O. Russell
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Stiller ... Mel Coplin
Patricia Arquette ... Nancy Coplin
Téa Leoni ... Tina Kalb
Mary Tyler Moore ... Pearl Coplin
George Segal ... Ed Coplin
Alan Alda ... Richard Schlichting
Lily Tomlin ... Mary Schlichting
Richard Jenkins ... Paul Harmon
Josh Brolin ... Agent Tony Kent
Celia Weston ... Valerie Swaney
Glenn Fitzgerald ... Lonnie Schlichting
Beth Stern ... Jane (as Beth Ostrosky)
Cynthia LaMontagne ... Sandra (as Cynthia Lamontagne)
David Patrick Kelly ... Fritz Boudreau
John Ford Noonan John Ford Noonan ... Mitch
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The story of a man who went searching for his roots, and got tangled up along the way. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Stiller and Téa Leoni would collaborate once again 15 years later, in the film Tower Heist (2011). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The VHS and laserdisc versions (but not the DVD release) feature additional scenes during the end credits, not included in the original theatrical cut, showing the whereabouts of Tina and Tony and Paul. See more »


Soundtracks

Truckin'
Written by Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Robert Hunter
Performed by Grateful Dead (as The Grateful Dead)
See more »

User Reviews

Doesn't Belong
10 June 2005 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I'm amazed at how much context matters when watching movies. I saw this when it was new and was impressed at how gently it moved. It wasn't frantic. It didn't rely on penis and excrement jokes. It mentions Jews comically but doesn't get mean. It deals with relationships straightforwardly: the humor from this end coming from our unease at natural misfits.

In short, it is everything that the "Fockers" movies aren't. I went back and watched it simply out of protest, out of feeling slimy from having to encounter them again.

And I was shocked that it seemed too slow until the third act. Part of the problem was that I knew where it was going, and much of the development depends on you having the same insecurity about the future as Stiller's character. But the larger part was simply that subtle, soft humor may be dead, even for someone like me who thrives on the slight brush.

Perhaps now "50 First Dates" is as soft as we can get these days.

I urge you to see this for a dive into gentle humor, even though it may be too faded. Screwball keeps. This stuff doesn't. It is a film that doesn't belong about a man who doesn't.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flirting with Disaster See more »

Filming Locations:

Carefree, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$164,458, 24 March 1996

Gross USA:

$14,702,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,702,438
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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