Film Scouts Reviews

"Flirting with Disaster"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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March 14, 1996

"Spanking the Monkey" director David O. Russell's first feature film was such a strange, witty hit that he was able to attract an outstanding cast for his sophomore effort. I'm taking Mary Tyler Moore, Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin, George Segal as the parental crowd and Patricia Arquette, Ben Stiller and Tea Leoni as the kids. And Russell doesn't fail them. After the birth of his first child Stiller is driven to find his biological parents to the dismay of his adoptive parents Moore and Segal. Things are tense between Stiller and his wife, Arquette to begin with and when the adoption agency sends along an attractive agent to document the reuniting of parents and child, well, everyone is "Flirting with Disaster". Sounds like the makings of a "Young and the Restless" episode, I know, but it is a truly funny flick. Dialogue and pacing combine to give each situation every comic opportunity without squeezing too hard. Rated R for sexual content, "Flirting" is definitely for adults with an off kilter sense of humor.

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