Flirting with Disaster, written and directed by David O. Russell
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Flirting with Disaster is a fabulous comedy.
The creator of this film is David O. Russell
And he is behind other great achievements like:
- Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and the little less significant for the under signed- Joy
There is a pattern that we can discover in the films of the writer- director.
And that is motion films that are creative, unpredictable, somewhat chaotic and at times crowded with characters.
But when there is a cast like in this movie, it is all an exquisite pleasure:
- Ben Stiller as Mel Coplin, Patria Arquette as his wife, Nancy; Tea Leoni as Tina Kalb, George Segal as Ed Coplin, Mel’s adoptive father; Alan Alda as the real father of Mel, Richard Schlichting with Lily Tomlin as his wife, Richard Jenkins as Paul Harmon, the gay partner of Agent Tony Kent, played by Josh Brolin…
Mel Coplin wants to find his biological parents and for that he pays for the services of an agency that tracks them down.
The agent is portrayed by the gorgeous Tea Leoni and at a certain stage, Mel is on the point of having an affair with her…
I guess no spoiler alerts are needed, given that the construction of this narrative implies so many surprises that they cannot all be mentioned here…
Even if I tried.
Nancy is the outré wife of Mel, but then everybody is unusual, to say the least, on this Ship of Fools that navigates through America.
Tina, the agent wants to film the reunion between Mel and his mother and for the “rights” to this action she will pay the bill.
Only things get complicated.
- “Agent Tony: Do you mind if I look at your armpit?
- Nancy Coplin: My armpit?
- Agent Tony: It's my favorite part of a woman's body.”
This is just one example on this joy ride that first stops at the address of the presumed mother that turns to be a case of mistaken identity.
Along the way, they meet with two federal agents, Paul Harmon and Tony Kent, who live together as gay partners.
Only the latter gets interested in Nancy, with whom he has the aforementioned scene that is witnessed by her husband:
- “Mel: [to Agent Tony] You got a lot of nerve. You come in here, you lick my wife's armpit. You know... I'm going to have that image in my head for the rest of my life with your tongue in there.
- Nancy Coplin: You deserve it.”
After quite a long, humorous journey, they finally reach the home of the biological parents that are called:
- “ Mrs. Coplin: [hearing the name Schlichting on the phone] The Shit Kings?”
And these parents, portrayed by Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin are such figures as revealed by this dialogue:
- “Mel: You made LSD? Is that what you're saying?
- Richard Schlichting: We made LSD…
- Mary Schlichting: It's really the only hope for the species.
- Mel: Did you take acid while you were pregnant with me?
- Mary Schlichting: You're not gonna bring that thing up, are you?
- Richard Schlichting: You know the stuff they tell you about, you know, chromosome damage and all that stuff?
- Mel: Yeah, I do!
- Richard Schlichting: That's government propaganda.
- Mary Schlichting: Total propaganda.
- Richard Schlichting: They just want to get a hold of your head, that's all.
- Mary Schlichting: I was relieved, though, when you came out in the hospital and you only had one head.”
A splendid comedy- 8 out of 10