6.8/10
16,447
103 user 51 critic

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

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 »

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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
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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?

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1996 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Amori e disastri See more »

Filming Locations:

Carefree, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,891,000, 31 December 1996
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cusack was considered for the role of Mel Coplin. See more »

Goofs

At the airport when boarding the plane at 46 minutes in, the baby switches to a completely different baby. In the next shot they are on the plane and the baby has switched back. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff: Bobby, take these forms back to the office, these release forms and get these nice people their car keys. This is all over here. This is a Federal agent here, and he just told me the whole story about the Shlytings.
Mr. Coplin: Schlitinooks.
Sheriff: Shitkings.
Mrs. Coplin: No, Schlichtings
Sheriff: Well, anyway, it's clear that we have the wrong people here.
Mel: That's what I've been trying to tell this guy for the last half hour.
Mrs. Coplin: Thank God for this Federal agent. And by the way, w-w-why are you not wearing pants?
Agent Paul: I had an experience, ...
[...]
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 The Simple Life: Flirting with Disaster (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

For Duty and Humanity
Written by Stimy, David Hepler, Christopher Spanninga
Performed by Inch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hilarious!
15 June 2004 | by GLPmanSee all my reviews

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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