Some movies don’t age well. That’s the feeling I got watching David O. Russell’s 1996 comedy Flirting with Disaster. It was well received at the time, and if I had seen it upon its original release I imagine I would have enjoyed it more than I did last night on Netflix. But this movie felt old, clunky and tired to me. Whenever a comedy, or any movie in general, starts off roughly, I remember Sideways, and that sometimes movies just take a while to rev up.
Well no such luck here. It was funny here and there, but for the most part the comedy felt forced and awkward. Not awkward in the good, Steve Carell – Office way, awkward in the it’s not funny even though it’s trying really hard way. And it plays like Ben Stiller’s practice round for Meet the Parents. The type of movie he did before he found his comedic groove.
Flirting with Disaster redeemed itself a bit in the second half when Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin got involved, and I liked Téa Leoni, but this movie was formulated like a sequence of mediocre concatenated sitcom scenes. So chalk up another David O. Russell failure. There is no reason at all that someone needs to watch this 20 years later. 4/10