Flirting with Disaster - Disaster rarely comes alone

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German title Flirting with Disaster - Disaster rarely comes alone
Original title Flirting with disaster
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1996
length 89 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director David O. Russell
script David O. Russell
production Dean Silvers ,
Bob Weinstein ,
Harvey Weinstein
music Stephen Endelman
camera Eric Alan Edwards
cut Christopher Tellefsen

Flirting with Disaster is a 1996 American comedy film directed by David O. Russell .


Entomologist Mel Coplin was adopted as a child. He and his wife Nancy have a four-month-old son who they refuse to be baptized until Mel finds his birth parents. The psychology student Tina Kalb helps with the research and wants to write her thesis on the search.

Mel, Nancy and Tina head to San Diego , where Mel's alleged mother, Valerie Swaney, lives. Mel gets to know her and his sisters. However, it turns out that he does not come from this family, as a data error by the adoption office brought the wrong family members together.

As a result of this mistake, the progress of the film increasingly turns out to be an odyssey for the main character, in which he threatens to lose his true self step by step. After a further detour, Mel finds his real parents, Mary and Richard Schlichting, in New Mexico , who - compared to the previously experienced inconveniences - turn out to be the real catastrophe from which only a headless escape is possible.


The lexicon of international films describes the film as “an over-the-top comedy about ancestry and identity that vacillates between parody and satire”. However, the "contrast between restrained image design and content-related curiosity show [...] only in individual moments" is convincing.

Edward Guthmann wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle that the comedy exceeded expectations and that the gags were enough for "three films". Roger Ebert praised Patricia Arquette's “subtle” play in the Chicago Sun-Times . The film has the elements that a screwball comedy needs.



The comedy was shot on a budget of about $ 7 million.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Flirting with Disaster - Disaster rarely comes alone. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. Edward Guthmann: 'Flirting Is No Disaster' / 'Spanking the Monkey' director follows with hilarious screwball farce . In: San Francisco Chronicle , March 29, 1996.
  3. ^ Roger Ebert: Flirting with Disaster . In: Chicago Sun-Times , March 29, 1996.