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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Flirting With Disaster (1996)

A neurotic young husband (Ben Stiller) whose wife (Patricia Arquette) has recently given birth is seeking his birth parents. With the aid of an adoption agency employee (Tea Leoni), the three set out on a trek to track down his birth parents. Written and directed by David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE), this was his breakthrough film in the mainstream sense after getting some critical attention for SPANKING THE MONKEY. It's the contemporary equivalent of a classic screwball comedy and pungently entertaining which is surprising considering that with one exception, the characters are all eminently unlikable! The exception is Arquette's young wife who seems to be the only grounded character in the film where dysfunction seems to be the order of the day. The scene stealers here are the two sets of parents: the uptight New York adoptive parents (Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal) and the laid back hippie birth parents (Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda). All four comedy pros who show how it's done. It takes a bit to get its rhythm going but at heart, it's a road move and as such an enjoyable romp. With Josh Brolin and Richard Jenkins as a gay couple along for the ride, Celia Weston, David Patrick Kelly and Glenn Fitzgerald.

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