6.7/10
17,003
104 user 53 critic

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R | | Comedy | 12 April 1996 (USA)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.

Director:

David O. Russell
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

About to stay a summer internship, promising young medical student, Raymond Aibelli's mother, Susan, breaks her leg. Housebound and immobile, his father, Tom, makes Raymond stay home and ... See full summary »

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jeremy Davies, Alberta Watson, Elizabeth Newett
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Naomi Watts
Three Kings (1999)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, four soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube
Soldiers Pay (2004)
Documentary | Short | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Filmmakers Tricia Regan, David O. Russell and Juan Carlos Zaldivar interview dozens of people about the 2004 Iraq war, including soldiers, journalists, politicians, psycholgists, and even a... See full summary »

Directors: Tricia Regan, David O. Russell, and 1 more credit »
Stars: David Dreier, Matt Novak
Zero Effect (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O'Neal
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A comedy writer struggles to overcome his addiction to heroin.

Director: David Veloz
Stars: Ben Stiller, Maria Bello, Jay Paulson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, D.C., where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator who takes up her cause - but what happens when love interferes with what you stand for?

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jessica Biel, Raymond L. Brown Jr., Jenny Gulley
Citizen Ruth (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place
Past Forward (2016)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Allison Williams, John Krasinski, Freida Pinto
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A small town prepares for the homecoming of superstar Roxy Carmichael, as does a young outsider, who believes Roxy is her mother.

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Winona Ryder, Jeff Daniels, Laila Robins
Drama

Carlos Marcello and his possible involvement in the murder of JFK.

Director: David O. Russell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Stiller ... Mel Coplin
Patricia Arquette ... Nancy Coplin
Téa Leoni ... Tina Kalb
Mary Tyler Moore ... Pearl Coplin
George Segal ... Ed Coplin
Alan Alda ... Richard Schlichting
Lily Tomlin ... Mary Schlichting
Richard Jenkins ... Paul Harmon
Josh Brolin ... Agent Tony Kent
Celia Weston ... Valerie Swaney
Glenn Fitzgerald ... Lonnie Schlichting
Beth Stern ... Jane (as Beth Ostrosky)
Cynthia LaMontagne ... Sandra (as Cynthia Lamontagne)
David Patrick Kelly ... Fritz Boudreau
John Ford Noonan John Ford Noonan ... Mitch
Edit

Storyline

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 "... Written by MARK FLEETWOOD <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Have you flirted yet? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality and a comic drug scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flirting with Disaster See more »

Filming Locations:

Carefree, Arizona, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$164,458, 24 March 1996

Gross USA:

$14,702,438

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,702,438
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Patricia Arquette; and six Oscar nominees: Josh Brolin, Alan Alda, Richard Jenkins, George Segal, Mary Tyler Moore and Lily Tomlin. See more »

Goofs

After Mel has crashed the truck and is at the police station, Paul and his partner leave the questioning room. When they re-enter the questioning room, Paul opens the door with his left hand. In the next shot, he is entering with a clipboard in his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Mel: You made LSD? Is that what you're saying?
Richard Schlichting: We made LSD.
Mary Schlichting: Yes, yes. We made acid.
Richard Schlichting: And we gave it out to people who needed it. You know that there are hundreds of pharmaceutical executives in this country... that are selling drugs, FDA approved drugs.
Mary Schlichting: On the open market.
Richard Schlichting: Over the counter with incredible side...
Mary Schlichting: Horrible side effects.
Richard Schlichting: Terrible side effects. And these people are not in jail.
Mary Schlichting: They're not in prison anywhere.
Richard Schlichting: They're, they're, they're in country clubs or playing golf. They're having ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The VHS and laserdisc versions (but not the DVD release) feature additional scenes during the end credits, not included in the original theatrical cut, showing the whereabouts of Tina and Tony and Paul. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes, Dear: Flirtin' with Disaster (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Anything But Love
Written by Don Raleigh/Squirrel Nut Zippers
Performed by Squirrel Nut Zippers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Outstanding black comedy; one of Stiller's best
13 March 2003 | by george.schmidtSee all my reviews

FLIRTING WITH DISASTER (1996) **** Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda, Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal, Lily Tomlin, Richard Jenkins, Josh Brolin. Hilarious and wickedly sharp satire about a young man (Stiller in a memorable turn) searching for his identity by trying to locate his biological parents while alienating his neglected and lovely wife (the yummy Arquette) and Leoni (simply wonderful) as his adoption broker. Fine ensemble cast (especially Moore in an inconoclastic poke at her image) and Alda (ditto). Subversive good, clean fun and seriously dysfunctional family values (thank God!) from filmmaker David O. Russell beating the Sophomore Jinx (in this his second turn at the helm).


14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 104 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed