Synopsis

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 "...

Director

David O. Russell

Cast

Ben Stiller
as Mel Coplin
Patricia Arquette
as Nancy Coplin
Téa Leoni
as Tina Kalb
Mary Tyler Moore
as Pearl Coplin
George Segal
as Ed Coplin
Alan Alda
as Richard Schlichting
Lily Tomlin
as Mary Schlichting

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pewterring 9 /10

Hilarious!

This is one of the few movies I find seriously funny. Stiller, Leoni, Moore, everyone does a killer job, and humor emerges from a variety of silly-crazy and intellectual sources, so you can respect yourself when you laugh. Human neuroses give rise to a lot of sympathetic laughter. Most of it is human frailty and absurdity. Tea Leoni is hilarious, and does a great job of getting on your nerves, and trying to get into Stiller's pants behind his wife's back while still being completely neurotic and self-absorbed. Her psycho-babble is highly effective. Stiller plays the usual awkward introspective man who lacks self confidence. His parents are magnificent, and so are his 'real' parents. I loved it. highly recommended. What else are you going to watch?

Reviewed by jotix100 8 /10

Roots

One of the most intriguing thoughts about anyone that has been adopted, and knowing about it, is trying to imagine what the real parents are like. Since much of the search will not happen until the adopted children reach a certain age nothing prepare them to accept the reality of how they came into this world and what motivated those parents to give them up in the first place.

Such is the dilemma that Mel Coplin faces. He has been adopted by a Jewish couple, Ed and Pearl, who have done well in bringing him up; Mel is a well adjusted man. After his own son is born, he decides to track down his natural parents. With the help of a young woman of the adoption agency, Tina, he and his wife, Nancy, embark in a trip to find the parents he never knew.

What seemed to be an easy task, Mel who is traveling with Nancy and the baby, plus Tina, turns out to be a complicated journey as the agency has botched the adoption papers and this quartet has to go through two sets of possible parents without any luck. When they finally get to the real parents, Mel is probably thinking if trying to meet his real family was worth all the trouble.

"Flirting with Disaster" is at times a road movie because of the many turns the story takes Mel and his own family. David O. Russell directed the film with great sense of style as he takes us along. Ben Stiller, who still had not made a splash in the movies, is impressive as the likable Mel, who gets much more than what he bargained for. Tea Leoni who is seen as Nancy, made a terrific impression on us when we saw the film originally. She proves here why she was destined for bigger and better things. Her inter action with Ben Stiller is the best thing in the film.

The rest of the cast is excellent. Mary Tyler Moore's Pearl Coplin is one of the best things she has done in her career. She makes this woman real. George Segal, a great comedy actor with great timing, appears as Ed Coplin. Patricia Arquette, who is Nancy, doesn't have much to do because she plays Nancy, the most grounded person in the film. Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin are the real parents, who are former hippies from New Mexico and in spite of being older, they still are young at heart doing the same things they did when they were younger.

"Flirting with Disaster" owes a lot to David O. Russell who also wrote the screen play and is a natural for this type of comedy.

Reviewed by GLPman 10 /10

Hilarious!

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.

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