William Stevenson
March 28, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Flirting with Disaster

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
92 minutes
performer
Alan Alda, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal, Ben Stiller, Lily Tomlin
director
David O. Russell
genre
Comedy

We gave it an B

Uproariously funny from start to finish, this ’90s screwball comedy deserves to find a wider audience on video than it did in theaters. Director David O. Russell’s smart script follows a likable nudge (Stiller), who had been adopted as a baby, as he seeks his birth parents. His wife (Arquette) and an adoption agent (a wonderfully loopy Tea Leoni) tag along, while his adoptive parents (George Segal and Mary Tyler Moore, who’s surprisingly convincing as a neurotic Jewish mother) get left behind. After amusing episodes involving car bumping and a dwarfish B&B owner, Flirting With Disaster climaxes at the home of the oft-mispronounced Schlictings (Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda, and hilarious newcomer Glenn Fitzgerald as their son). A sexy farce and a fast-moving road movie, it’s a trip you may want to take more than once.

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