A new father, his wife, their four-month-old baby and an odd-ball adoption agency psychologist embark upon a zany quest for his biological parents in this wickedly funny screwball satire from David O. Russell. Mel Coplin wants to find his… More A new father, his wife, their four-month-old baby and an odd-ball adoption agency psychologist embark upon a zany quest for his biological parents in this wickedly funny screwball satire from David O. Russell. Mel Coplin wants to find his real parents before he chooses a name for his son. One meeting with his hyper-neurotic adoptive parents explains why he wants to name the kids after someone else. They, already normally loud and domineering, nearly go ballistic when they find out about the search. Mel's wife Nancy goes along with the search despite the severe post-partum depression she feels. She and Mel haven't had sex since before the baby came and matters are not helped by the nearly divorced agency shrink, Tina, with her ultra svelte body and long, long legs. The quartet first go to California where he meets a large, conservative Aryan vision Valerie, who acts like a character from a Tennessee Williams play. He meets his two buxom twin sisters too. She makes a major mistake when she thinks that Tina is Mel's wife and that Nancy is the nanny. Trouble follows after Tina and Mel have an argument over a video camera and she demonstrates her skill with Indian wrestling. A large amount of Valerie's priceless china is destroyed. It is then Mel learns that Val is not his mother. Their search then takes them to Michigan where he meets his possible father, a burly biker turned truck driver who informs poor Mel that he is father and that his mother has run off to San Francisco. Before they go, the generous trucker lets Mel drive his rig. More disaster ensues and suddenly a pair of gay agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, one of whom knew Nancy in high school and finds himself having unusual heterosexual yearnings. They decide to join the entourage and head for a lonely town in Antelope Springs, New Mexico, where at long last Mel meets his real parents, a pair of aging hippies who haven't quite left the psychedelic age behind.
Consensus: Darkly funny, solidly cast, and surprisingly thoughtful, Flirting with Disaster proved David O. Russell's Spanking the Monkey was no fluke.