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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Flirting With Disaster Is 10 Years Old

It's very rare for me to go "wow, i wish i had made that movie" - because most movies are bad or just adequate, but the 90's flick Flirting With Disaster by David O. Russell is one of those very rare, truly excellent movies. I just watched it again, on DVD this time. In Flirting a young farther - played by Ben Stiller, goes all over America searching for his real parents, and his wife, his new yet-unnamed 4 month old son, & an accident prone adoption counselor come along for the ride. I saw Flirting in the theater when it came out many years ago. The movie is still a treat, with a younger Ben Stiller & a rarely-seen-in-features & super hot Tea Leoni who plays her adoption counselor role incredibly well (i think its Leoni's character & the performance that is the key to the flick's success, u r always expecting something to go wrong when she is around & u can't wait to see what it will be, also, she is a welcome point of escape from the domestic/family world & concerns that surround Stiller's character). Here is a Salon interview with David O. Russell re: Flirting:

This year is the 10 year anniversary of the release of Flirting, looks like it came out in '96 (according to IMDB).

On a purely writer-director geeky note that may be completely wrong, I think there were several moments in Flirting where some of the material may have come directly from Russell's life - like when Stiller's character's wife, played by Patricia Arquette, loses her car keys in the dessert. If I ever talk with Russell I will have to ask him if that was just something that he came up with or if that was from real life. Some moments in the movie feel classically Hollywood & good: wild, spectacular, and some moments feel indie in a very good way: observed, reflected on, well thought out. Flirting is an incredibly well written, well thought out movie. A good combination of what's best about indie & Hollywood. I wonder if I can make something as good as Flirting. Should try.

If you haven't seen Flirting in a while, or at all, check it out.

- Sujewa


Reel Fanatic said...

Flirting with Disaster was indeed an often-overlooked minor masterpiece by Mr. Russell .. Noah Baumbach wrote the script this one, I believe ... I think I'll go and rent it now, after your reminder

The Sujewa said...

Hey RF,

It was Russell himself who wrote the script. I think that's why it is so good. It was also his second or third feature, 1st for Hollywood (or at a higher budget level w/ well known stars). Enjoy watching it again.

- Sujewa



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