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Flirting With Disaster Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    Upon all these folks, writer-director David O. Russell turns a bland, almost anthropological eye. Nothing surprises him and nothing outrages him, except for bed-and-breakfast lodgings, about which, at last, his movie tells the terrible truth. [1 April 1996, p. 72]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Flirting is a little too weighed down with stage business to soar. But episode for episode, it's one of the ha-ha-funniest movies currently around.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Not as corrosive as Russell's debut feature, "Spanking the Monkey," it's just as wild, just as strange, and even funnier.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Has the sort of headlong confidence the genre requires. Russell finds the strong central line all screwball begins with, the seemingly serious mission or quest, and then throws darts at a map of the United States as he creates his characters.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Mr. Russell's wonderfully mad odyssey of a movie, in which a man sets out to find his biological parents and winds up meeting more weirdos than Alice found down the rabbit hole.

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  • See all Flirting With Disaster reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Dark comedy about family includes some sexy stuff and drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark comedy about family relationships includes frank discussions of sex -- oral sex, gay sex, circumcision, and more. Actual sex is more implied than seen, though there is some kissing and groping, including between two men. Expect some smoking and a humorous portrayal of an LSD-induced trip. Adults swear occasionally ("s--t," "f--k," "ass").

  • Families can talk about Mel and Nancy's marriage. Why do you think they both find themselves tempted by others? What is the movie's message about family and coupledom?
  • How is drug-use portrayed in this movie?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Family is more about who you choose to be with instead of where you come from. Plus, it takes work to maintain a marriage and it's important not to neglect your spouse. There's a comical approach to drugs embedded in the movie.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The couple at the heart of this dark comedy both find themselves tempted by others, mainly because they take each other for granted and feel neglected, but belatedly realize they love each other. Mel in particular becomes more caring and less self-centered on the journey.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Two men threaten a couple who they suspect are trespassing. A drugged-out man gets conked on the head with a frying pan after he pulls a gun on a trio of drug dealers.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Several frank discussions about sex, oral sex, gay sex, circumcision, and fidelity. A woman prepares for a sex-date with her husband and oral sex is implied. Her husband later flirts with, and kisses, another woman, while the wife become entangled with an old friend who is not as gay as he claims to be.

  • language false4

    Language: Occasional swearing, including "s--t," "ass," "bitch," and "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some characters smoke cigarettes and drink socially. Two people make their living producing and selling LSD, and one character accidentally gets a large dose and spends a long, humorous night tripping.