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Flirting With Disaster Details


In this satirical comedy, Mel Coplin ([[Performer~P112816~Ben Stiller~benstiller]]) has a beautiful wife, Nancy ([[Performer~P2423~Patricia Arquette~patriciaarquette]]), and a four-month old son, and on the surface his life is good. But something's been troubling him: Mel knows he was adopted, and he can't resolve his issues with the mother who gave him away years ago, much to the annoyance of his adoptive parents ([[Performer~P64316~George Segal~georgesegal]] and [[Performer~P50344~Mary Tyler Moore~marytylermoore]]). Mel decides it's time he met his birth parents and resolved his feelings once and for all, and Tina ([[Performer~P41892~Tea Leoni~téaleoni]]), a psychology student, has offered to tag along to capture the event on video for a research project. But after a few minutes with Mel's "real" mother, they discover that a mistake has been made and they've been directed to the wrong person. A second meeting, this time with Mel's supposed dad, also turns out to be a mistake, and it's quite some time before Mel, Nancy, and Tina are finally face to face with Mel's biological parents -- a pair of burned-out hippies (played by [[Performer~P79264~Alan Alda~alanalda]] and [[Performer~P114336~Lily Tomlin~lilytomlin]]) who support themselves by dealing blotter acid daubed onto pictures of [[Performer~P59108~Ronald Reagan~ronaldreagan]]. It doesn't help that Mel finds himself attracted to the very leggy Tina, or that Nancy's head is turned by a bisexual ATF agent ([[Performer~P8657~Josh Brolin~joshbrolin]]). Writer/director [[Performer~P166478~David O. Russell~davidorussell]] previously made a splash with his independent debut feature, 1994's [[Feature~V131238~Spanking the Monkey~spankingthemonkey]]. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:March 22, 1996


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Richard Jenkins Best Supporting Actor 1996 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Lily Tomlin Best Supporting Actress 1996 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards David O. Russell Best Director 1996 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards David O. Russell Best Screenplay 1996 Nominee


Ben Stiller
as Mel Coplin
Patricia Arquette
as Nancy Coplin
Téa Leoni
as Tina Kalb
Mary Tyler Moore
as Mrs. Coplin
George Segal
as Mr. Coplin
Alan Alda
as Richard Schlicting
Lily Tomlin
as Mary Schlicting
Josh Brolin
as Tony
Richard Jenkins
as Paul
Shawn Michael Howard
as Roger
Charlet Oberly
as B&B Lady
Don Creech
as Cop #1
John Ford Noonan
as Mitch
Tony Kruk
as Detective
Cynthia Lamontagne
as Sandra
Beth Ostrosky
as Jane
Tori Davis
as Flight Attendant
Clarke Bittner
as Cop #2
Glenn Fitzgerald
as Lonnie Schlicting
Celia Weston
as Valerie Swaney
David Patrick Kelly
as Fritz Boudreau
Nadia Dajani
as Jill
Suzanne Snyder
as Alternative Wife


David O. Russell
Dean Silvers
David O. Russell
Eric Alan Edwards
Bonnie Greenberg
Musical Direction/Supervision
Stephen Endelman
Composer (Music Score)
Stephen Endelman
Christopher Tellefsen
Kevin Thompson
Production Designer
Judy Rhee
Art Director
Kerry Orent
Christopher Goode
Associate Producer
Bob Weinstein
Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein
Executive Producer
Trea Hoving
Executive Producer
Ford Wheeler
Set Designer
Susan Block
Set Decorator
Ellen Lutter
Costume Designer
Rolf Pardula
Sound/Sound Designer
Wendy Hedin
Sound/Sound Designer
David Wechsler
First Assistant Director
Todd Pfeiffer
First Assistant Director
Jolyon Handler
First Assistant Director
Sheila Waldron
First Assistant Director
Marco Londoner
First Assistant Director
Ellen Parks
Risa Bramon Garcia
Eddy Collyns
Location Manager
Jude Gorjanc
Second Assistant Director
Yvette Nabel
Foley Artist
Trea Hoving
Co-Executive Producer
Misako Shimizu
First Assistant Editor
Wayne Herndon
Hair Styles
Stuart Emanuel
Sound Editor
Julie Duvic
Unit Production Manager
Andrew Saxe
Assistant Location Manager
George Larkin
Post Production Coordinator
Kenny Mason
Transportation Coordinator
Brian Vancho
Foley Artist
Julie Oppenheimer
Script Supervisor
Ivor Shier
Victoria McGarry
Unit Production Manager
Gary Martone
Key Grip
Barry Wetcher
Still Photographer
Amanda Slater
Production Assistant
Alexis Arnold
Production Coordinator
Lowell Jacobs
Boom Operator
Mark Schwentner
Best Boy Electric
Arthur Schlenger
First Assistant Editor
Jana Ludwigova
Second Second Assistant Director
Lori Hicks
Margo Myers
Production Accountant
Richard Rutkowski
First Assistant Camera