HAVE YOU FLIRTED YET?
Young husband and father Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller) feels insecure; when he learns the identity of his biological parents, he decides to track them down. An original, entertaining film from an equally amusing director, a road movie about a man’s need to stand on solid ground as his life changes. The doubts and temptations tormenting the fledgling marriage between Stiller and Patricia Arquette make for a number of funny sequences. There is much craziness on display, but the movie doesn’t lose its grip and you do start to feel for these people. They’re played by a wonderful cast, including Mary Tyler Moore as Stiller’s neurotic foster mom.
1996-U.S. 92 min. Color. Produced by Dean Silvers. Written and directed by David O. Russell. Cast: Ben Stiller (Mel Coplin), Patricia Arquette (Nancy Coplin), Téa Leoni (Tina Kalb), Alan Alda, Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal… Lily Tomlin, Josh Brolin, Richard Jenkins.
Last word: “[Moore] was a very powerful, famous woman who I’d watched on television, and I thought there was no chance – zero chance – that she would be able to play this role, but I was excited to meet her nonetheless […] [But] she was so hungry and excited about working and talking about this role, that I thought she had no chance of doing, that she became the character in the bar. And we borrowed a cigarette from another patron in the bar, and she just started being the character and put on sunglasses in the bar. And it kind of was amazing to me. And then I couldn’t think of anybody else in the role.” (Russell, Vulture)