Flirting With Disaster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flirting With Disaster Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 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.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2016
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.
½ January 7, 2016
Totally original and just keeps getting funnier with each step along the way.
½ January 2, 2016
Pretty good film with some dark comedy moments. A very good cast too.
September 23, 2015
One wouldn't expect hilarity to ensue when in the process of searching for one's biological parents, and I suppose "Flirting with Disaster" is one of the first screwball comedies to find the facetious humor in a subject matter so usually serious. It's no surprise that it comes from the abhorrent mind of David O. Russell, who has given us comedy gems like 2004's polarizing "I Heart Huckabees" and 2012's instant classic "Silver Linings Playbook". Only his second feature, "Flirting with Disaster" further establishes his eye for character driven comedy, putting his leads in precarious situation after precarious situation just to delight his viewers and boast his enviable ability to act as a '90s era Preston Sturges. Plot comes second to sublimely crafted misunderstandings.
It stars Ben Stiller as Mel Coplin, a new father convinced that he cannot name his son until he meets his biological parents, much to the annoyance of his wife, Nancy (Patricia Arquette), and his neurotic mother and father (Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal). After a few visits to his former adoption agency, he is finally given the answers needed to track down the people who abandoned him so many years ago; and so he and his wife hit the road, baby and sexy adoption agency employee Tina (Téa Leoni) in tow. But what should be a simple journey of self-discovery goes haywire when Tina's incompetence leads them to a various number of strangers, one comic situation piling on top of another. And it doesn't help that Tina, effortlessly tempting, acts as a sex symbol in comparison to the moody, out-of-sorts Nancy. She could easily derail their marriage.
Funny how much of the film's humor doesn't branch off of Stiller, Arquette, or Leoni - they are a gaggle of straight-mans in a land of scene-stealers. Comedic champions await us after every wrong turn comes to an end. First we're introduced to Moore and Segal, who bicker with the over-the-top ticklishness of George Costanza's parents and make shrewd observations to Arquette's Nancy without noticing their inappropriateness. Then we get Celia Weston (the first in a line of faux biological parents), a blond screwball who forgives Mel for knocking over her entire China collection - it's a chance to make up for all the childhood accidents that never got to happen! - until Tina delivers the news that they're not related and it's demanded that damages must be paid. After, we find ourselves in the presence of the gay cops (Josh Brolin and Richard Jenkins) who arrest Mel for a misunderstanding involving a semi-truck and hey! - one of them knows Nancy from a few years ago. Our final destination comes in the form of Mary and Richard Schlichting (Lily Tomlin and Alan Alda), Mel's actual parents with an angsty teenage son and a bad habit of lawbreaking.
"Flirting with Disaster" is irreverent in the most giddy of ways, finding its comedy in unusual places, thoroughly appealing and fantastically written. Perhaps Russell should be in charge of more comedies of this sort; humor on a chaotic, human level is much more appetizing than bodily fixated gross-outs. "Flirting with Disaster", dare I say it, is one of the most underrated movies of the 1990s, not necessarily because it's a masterpiece but because it is so often sidelined as an early Russell project instead of a singular, wonderfully amusing film.
½ September 20, 2015
Muy visible screwball comedy de David O. Russell, con varios momentos divertidos.
August 26, 2015
Flirting With Disaster is directed by one of my personal favorite directors, David O. Russell. This director did what I never thought could be fully possible, I found a movie where I liked Ben Stiller! The whole cast, Ben Stiller included, was brilliant and perfect. The leads were fantastic and really realistic portrayals of real people involved in marriage troubles. The real scene stealers, however, were George Segal, Mary Tyler Moore, and Richard Jenkins. I laughed at every moment they were on screen and played a major role in what made this movie so funny. Besides the characters listed, the other laughs were basically based on situational or physical humor, like Mel's parents being acid dealers. The story in a nutshell involves Mel in search of his long lost parents he never knew and him along with his wife, Nancy, and the adoption agency woman. Both of them struggle to stay calm with each other and slowly start to fade towards other people. While I read the plot for the movie, on paper, it sounded like it was going to be one bad event after another sort of situation but it resulted in a lot of great comedic writing and realistic themes. While the film shows off a couple sort of breaking apart a bit, it explores what marriage is really like sometimes and that we aren't always thinking about what we have already. What I mean is that we sometimes misjudge people for acting selfish when it could really just be yourself in the end. Both the characters of Mel and Nancy could be disliked by an audience but I find it impossible to simply because they still love each other and are able to jump over an obstacle because they realize what is right for them. There's a few conversations throughout the film about what's morally right and how to handle a situation like they did. This film perfectly blends two plots together and they really go hand in hand. You can call this movie a romantic comedy, a road trip movie, or even a realistic drama. What makes films like this so great is when they are able to stick to the plot without branching off to other unnecessary subplots. The cast had excellent chemistry, Patricia Arquette and Ben Stiller are really likable once you realize that this is a real life thing, and I felt kind of a connection to this movie because anyone who has gotten into an argument with someone they love knows how some of these characters feel. Flirting With Disaster is a really good film that accurately displays what it means to be in a relationship/married. It's hard to watch at times but in the end I knew that this realistic plot is meaningful and really sweet. B+
½ August 13, 2015
It's an average comedy that does not stand out in any way.
July 17, 2015
One of the best comedies of the 90's, Flirting With Disaster stars an a great ensemble cast with an even better script. Full of strongly developed characters and hilarious moments, its dark, heartwarming, and goofy in all the right ways.
July 6, 2015
A lightweight, beautifully scripted tale told with a sense of adventure, Flirting With Disaster represents an early successor in David Russell's filmography that delivers with scene after scene of some of the talented director's most outstandingly witty lines communicated through a phenomenally charming cast.
½ July 4, 2015
What a movie! A great mix of road trip film and screwball comedy drama. Only David O. Russell can come up with and pull off such things. It's hilarious, energetic, and quite heartwarming, I loved Mr. Russell's direction and his writing (as always), loved the characters and the performances, and loved the unpredictable story. Russell breaks all kinds of comedy cliches in Flirting With Disaster. The result is a total blast. Loved it!
June 9, 2015
pretty decent flick but the ending was too abrupt.
½ June 2, 2015
Low end of 3 1/2 stars. The comedic aspect of this film is pretty good. I laughed a lot, and there's a wide variety of colorful and strange characters, including the four central parents, the characters MISTAKEN for Mel's parents, and Lennie, Mel's weird new brother. The cast is the main draw; Richard Jenkins is hilarious, especially when he's on an acid trip late in the movie. I also loved Lily Tomlin, and laughed really hard when she was trying to help Paul through his trip by asking him to pick a dog, then yelling "shut the fuck up" after he kept picking different dogs. George Segal and Mary Tyler Moore were great, too.

So yeah! For the comedy, this movie was a success (if not constantly hilarious), and elevated it a lot. As for the conflicts and character arcs, I thought it was pretty lacking. All the relationship drama felt really forced and unnecessary to me, taking up time when there could've been more comedy. Téa Leoni was funny as a very tightly wound Tina, and Patricia Arquette was funny groaning at all the annoying things Tina would say, but why did it have to turn to an actual love triangle? Each time Mel would suddenly kiss Tina, I was pretty mad, because his marriage to Nancy still seemed pretty strong, even if parenthood got in the way of sex a little.

And then Josh Brolin comes in as Tony, and he was a weird, quirky guy too, contributing a lot of funny moments with his gay marriage to Paul, but they had to go and make him an alternate love interest for Nancy. I would've much preferred if it was just this weird gang of people (Mel, Nancy, Paul, Tony, and Tina) working together to find Mel's parents and experiencing weird hijinks, but the conflict was more boring and forced.

Overall, I'd say I liked this movie, but the silly conflicts and needless relationship drama took away from a lot of the really solid comedy throughout.
May 21, 2015
A great movie. Funny and intelligent. Ben Stiller is perfectly cast.
May 16, 2015
Review:
It's always good to watch actors earlier work so you can see how far they have come. In this case I chose Ben Stiller who hasn't really changed his style of comedy that much since 1996. His mannerisms and silly face expressions are more or less the same but he's got bigger budgets to play with nowadays so he doesn't have to rely on his performances to much, like in Tropic Thunder and Night At the Museum. Anyway, this movie is about Stiller hunting for his biological parents after his wife gives birth to his son. With the help of his wife and his sexy adoption agency worker, who wants to film the whole event, they start there journey which has its ups and downs. The adoption agency ends up getting Stillers biological parents identify wrong so there journey becomes bigger then they first thought. When he finally tracks down his parents, the situation goes from bad to worse because of his parents weird habits and strange lifestyle. The movie was quite funny in parts but the storyline is extremely far fetched. The young Josh Brolin and his gay partner, played by Richard Jenkins, was quite a weird choice by the director but they played there parts quite well. I've always been a fan of George Segal and I liked the chemistry between Alan Ada and Lily Tomlin but I did lose interest after a while. Anyway, it's light hearted fun which is silly in parts, but watchable. Average!

Round-Up:
It's weird seeing Josh Brolin star in a comedy were he is playing a gay role after seeing him in butch movies like Oldboy, No Country For Old Men and Sin City. The movie was made earlier on in his career so I can't blame him for taking on the project. This was also made earlier on in Ben Stillers career and it really does prove that his range is limited because he hasn't progressed as a comedian that much. His films always gross a lot at the box office and with Rentaghost and Zoolander 2 in the pipework, he is still a bankable actor for the big studios. I know a lot of people that are fed up with his movies but I doubt that he will go down the same route as Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy, who find it hard to pull in the big audiences nowadays. 

Budget: $7million
Worldwide Gross: $15million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their comedies about a man whose trying to find his biological parents so he can name his newborn baby. 4/10
½ March 27, 2015
Flirting with Disaster was a fun yet shallow movie that had many highs and lows. The characters were really fun to watch interact but some of the things that happened needed to be shown in depth to really make any sense. The film was full of laughs especially at the beginning and toward the end things just went way over the top crazy and ended a little abruptly. The cast was full of random stars and watching the journey one man goes on to find his biological parents was interesting to watch unfold. Plenty of laughs were had but the crazy turns the story takes and very shallow relationships between characters makes this a very average comedy.
½ March 23, 2015
This film is completely hilarious. Lily Tomlin is hysterical, and Ben Stiller plays his usual smart yet neurotic self. The jokes are smart and funny and the characters are offbeat and absurd. A great sleeper. A comedy for the branier set.
January 26, 2015
An amazing supporting cast of parents and potential parents as well as Josh Brolin and Richard Jenkins, but the lackluster plot, white top of its class, is overwhelmingly predictable and boring.
January 21, 2015
David O. Russells second film is a story about an adopted man in search for his biological parents follower by a wife, baby and a fussy adoption office case worker. Pretty screwballish comedy from the 90's which has its moments but is a bit dated. Worth checking out though.
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