Flirting with Disaster (1996)

R   |    |  Comedy

Flirting with Disaster (1996) Poster

A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.




  • Patricia Arquette and Ben Stiller in Flirting with Disaster (1996)
  • Lily Tomlin at an event for Flirting with Disaster (1996)
  • Patricia Arquette in Flirting with Disaster (1996)
  • Téa Leoni and Ben Stiller in Flirting with Disaster (1996)
  • Téa Leoni and Ben Stiller in Flirting with Disaster (1996)
  • Téa Leoni and Ben Stiller in Flirting with Disaster (1996)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

3 September 2002 | cabaret_emcee
Why or why not is `Flirting with Disaster' a typical Hollywood movie?
`Flirting with Disaster' is definitely a typical Hollywood movie in many aspects but not in all of them. It fits the form of classical cinema or classical paradigm in that the director, David O. Russell, does not get distracted from telling the story with filmmaking techniques. It is a clear and precise comedy that never leaves the characters in action, and is done so in a way that works unlike many other films of this genre released today. The film is structured narratively, with a clearly defined conflict from the very beginning. Ben Stiller shines in his performance as a neurotic new father who is trying desperately to find his biological parents in order to name his newborn son. At one point in the film the viewer begins to become anxious and wonder if the same problem for the protagonist, Stiller, is going to continue on in the same form as it has in the past half of the movie, but luckily Russell then changes the flow of the film and brings it to a much more comedic finish than the first half.

The photography is shot in full and long shots throughout most of the movie. Russell must have used deep-focus shots when filming because the surrounding background is clear around the characters, using a wide-angle or short lens. The characters are never off of the screen except for a few instances when we see a plane flying or a car driving and then we have voice-overs. The dialogue is always continuous- there is never a break in the script which works well because the screenplay is well written and clever on its insights on the little inconveniences of everyday life. Although all of these events are too unbelievable too happen all at once, they are all real life comedic situations that could happen to anyone. When compiled together with this plot line, we have this film before us.

Although this is a typical movie in the sense that it does not break any barriers or do anything creatively in its techniques in telling the story, the plot and screenplay do enough justice in making the film entertaining for the audience and one of those films you can just sit down, relax, and have fun viewing because it makes sense and fits together. This aspect is not like many Hollywood films released today, with their gaping holes that leave the viewer feeling unfulfilled. Altogether this was a good film, even though it did fit many of the typical Hollywood stereotypes.

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Release Date:

12 April 1996



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Carefree, Arizona, USA

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$164,458 24 March 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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