Flirting with Disaster

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Released 1996

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Movie Summary

Director:
David O. Russell
Released:
1996
Rating:
R
Flirting with Disaster shows viewers what can go wrong when people travel across the country without knowing exactly where they are going. The comedy film stars Ben Stiller as Mel Coplin, a married man who was adopted by Pearl (Mary Tyler Moore) and Ed (George Segal). Mel feels something is missing even though he lives a good life with his beautiful wife Nancy (Patricia Arquette) and his unnamed newborn son. After his adoptive parents refuse to tell him anything about his birth parents, he decides to look for them on his own before he gives his son a name. Mel meets Tina (Tea Leoni) who works at the adoption agency that placed him years before and manages to get his real mother's address from her. Mel and Nancy agree to have Tina tag along with them as they head south to find Mel's real parents. The trio arrives in Alabama and meets a disturbed woman who Mel discovers is not his mom. The couple starts to realize that Tina is incompetent after she takes them across the country meeting people who never heard of Mel. Viewers find out in the end if Mel finally meets his real mother or goes crazy during the road trip.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Mr. Russell's wonderfully mad odyssey of a movie, in which a man sets out to find his biological parents and winds up meeting more weirdos than Alice found down the rabbit hole.

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Has the sort of headlong confidence the genre requires. Russell finds the strong central line all screwball begins with, the seemingly serious mission or quest, and then throws dar...

  • 80

    Variety

    Although it eventually throws more balls in the air than it can easily juggle, Flirting with Disaster is, most of the time, a diabolically clever satire that has its way with any n...

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    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    Independent, Romantic Comedy, Cult