Flirting With Disaster


Flirting With Disaster

Critics Consensus

Darkly funny, solidly cast, and surprisingly thoughtful, Flirting with Disaster proved David O. Russell's Spanking the Monkey was no fluke.



Total Count: 53


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,612
User image

Flirting With Disaster Photos

Movie Info

In this wickedly funny screwball satire, Mel Coplin, his wife, their four-month-old baby, and an adoption agency psychologist embark on a zany quest to find Mel's biological parents. Wanting to meet his real parents before naming his son, Mel drags his family all over the country before finding them.

Watch it now


Ben Stiller
as Mel Coplin
Patricia Arquette
as Nancy Coplin
Téa Leoni
as Tina Kalb
Mary Tyler Moore
as Mrs. Coplin
George Segal
as Mr. Coplin
Alan Alda
as Richard Schlicting
Lily Tomlin
as Mary Schlicting
Celia Weston
as Valerie Swaney
Glenn Fitzgerald
as Lonnie Schlicting
David Patrick Kelly
as Fritz Boudreau
Don Creech
as Cop #1
Tony Kruk
as Detective
Tori Davis
as Flight Attendant
Suzanne Snyder
as Alternative Wife
View All

News & Interviews for Flirting With Disaster

Critic Reviews for Flirting With Disaster

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (10)

  • David O. Russell has a twisted mind; I like that in a man.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • This whacked-out road comedy about a young man's search for his real parents takes any number of unexpected turns, most of them bitingly funny.

    Mar 26, 2009

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • The neurotic frenzy threatens to annoy, but Russell's edgy, abbreviated style generates farcical comic friction without sacrificing character.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Hang on and prepare to laugh continually.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • There are conventions in this sort of story, and Russell seems to violate most of them. He allows the peculiarities of his characters to lead them away from the plot line and into perplexities of their own.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [A] 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Flirting With Disaster

  • Jul 05, 2016
    A classic awkward comedy starring Ben Stiller as a father on a quest to find his biological parents with the help of an incompetent case worker, 2 gay BTA workers and his wife. It had some really hilarious moments and the cast were all great at playing their characters. I like the amateur look of the film that made it all the more realistic to put yourself in their shoes.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 26, 2015
    Pointless shlock, Flirting with Disaster lacks focus and doesn't deliver very many laughs. After becoming a father Mel Coplin attempts to discover his roots by finding his birth mother, but the journey takes some strange turns as his case worker tries to track her down. Starring Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, and Tea Leoni, the casting's fairly solid, however the performance aren't that good. And the comedy is all over the place, resulting in an uneven tone. A poorly made film, Flirting with Disaster is an unfocused, rambling mess.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2013
    A great "existential farce" that only gets better as Stiller unwittingly collects more oddball characters on his bizarre journey.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2013
    Hilarious literally from start to finish, Flirting with Disaster is a great dysfunctional family comedy that stars Ben Stiller in his prime. The movie is funny from its first scene to its last, with laughs coming almost naturally with the absurd situations that the characters are thrust into. A very fun comedy from David O. Russell.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

Flirting With Disaster Quotes

News & Features