6.8/10
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103 user 51 critic

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

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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:

Have you flirted yet?

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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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amori e disastri See more »

Filming Locations:

Carefree, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,891,000, 31 December 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Cameraman visible in mirror in detectives office. See more »

Quotes

Fritz Boudreau: I dropped a lotta baby batter in my day; this is the first son I ever met.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Yes, Dear: Flirtin' with Disaster (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Anything But Love
Written by Don Raleigh/Squirrel Nut Zippers
Performed by Dr. John and Angela McCluskey
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User Reviews

 
When A+ Actors Tackle an F- Script
21 June 2012 | by bababearSee all my reviews

Scanning the other reviews on here, I realize I'm totally in the minority here. But I thought this was a total stinker.

I kept watching, hoping that it would get better. But the more I watched, the more I thought the screenplay was the byproduct of watching too many Woody Allen movies.

The biggest problem was that I just couldn't believe what was going on before my eyes. Maybe I'm too much of a "meat and potatoes" mindset, but the characters and situations just got more and more unrealistic and I cared less and less about these people.

This is only the third David O. Russell film I've seen. SPANKING THE MONKEY was clever. After trying to watch it three times I finally gave up on I HEART HUCKABEES. After this, I've added him to my mental checklist of Film Makers to Avoid.

Hack though Mr. Russell may be, though, he couldn't get a bad performance out of Richard Jenkins.


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