Flirting with Disaster

Flirting with Disaster

David O Russell (1996)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Less abrasive than Spanking the Monkey, David O Russell's second feature is a madcap, country-crossing comedy, which makes up in eccentric characterisation what it occasionally loses in control. Ben Stiller is suitably neurotic as the orphan hoping to trace his roots before naming his new baby, as ditzy psychologist Téa Leoni leads him up endless blind alleys. But it's the cameos by adoptive parents Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal, and ageing hippies Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin that steal Stiller's thunder and further marginalise the underused Patricia Arquette, as Stiller's wife, who seeks solace with a bisexual FBI agent. Great screwball, shame about the slapstick.


The birth of his first child prompts an adopted man to begin a search for his own biological parents. However, he has to contend with several cases of mistaken identity, his adoptive parents' feeling of rejection and his own attraction to a psychology student helping him in his quest. Comedy, starring Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Mary Tyler Moore, Tea Leoni, George Segal, Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin.

Cast & Crew

Mel Coplin Ben Stiller
Nancy Coplin Patricia Arquette
Tina Kalb Tea Leoni
Mrs Coplin Mary Tyler Moore
Mr Coplin George Segal
Richard Schlicting Alan Alda
Mary Schlicting Lily Tomlin
Paul Richard Jenkins
Tony Josh Brolin
Director David O Russell
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudity.Available on: video and DVD