The In-laws

The In-laws

DVD - 2016
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MPAA rating: PG.
A mild-mannered dentist becomes involved with his daughter's father-in-law's bizarre life with the CIA, which may or may not even be true.
Publisher: [United States] : The Criterion Collection, [2016].
Edition: DVD Special edition.
ISBN: 9781681431758
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (103 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
DVD video,4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,monaural,Dolby digital
widescreen (1.85:1)
video file,DVD video,region 1
Alternative Title: In-laws (Motion picture : 1979)


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Peter Falk is brilliant, and Alan Arkin perfects confusion-giving-way-to-rage-ending-in-satori, but the Andrew Bergman script, though there are a couple bright spots, is shot through with chauvinism and bigotry. This comedy didn't age well. Even if it is comedy, the idea that an upper-middle-class professional residing in the suburbs represents U.S. cultural terra firma no longer applies, and neither does the notion that the CIA is just a company of regular do-gooder guys.

Jun 03, 2017

The Guacamole Act of 1917!

I'm not going to trash the 2003 remake starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, partly because I like both actors a lot, and mostly because... I've never seen it. I don't want to see it; this 1979 screwball original renders any other version unnecessary.

Alan Arkin and Peter Falk are inspired casting in this hilariously deadpan take on the buddy films of the seventies. Sheldon Kornpett, a mild-mannered well-to-do Manhattan dentist, is trying to survive his unexpected and largely unwanted friendship with Vince Ricardo, the "businessman" father of his daughter's fiance. The opening sentence of my review references their dinner conversation, the first meeting between the families, in which Vince (Falk) calmly tells a lunatic story of witnessing small children carried off by giant tsetse flies during a consulting trip to Guatemala in 1954. For Sheldon (Arkin) this is the first of many confirmations to come that the affable Vince is absolutely out of his mind, but he's promised his daughter Barbara he'd give the new in-laws a chance.
Nevertheless, he gives Vince a skeptical look:

Sheldon (sarcastic): "Are you sure these are flies you're talking about?"
Vince (nodding sagely): Flies. The natives had a name for them: "Jose Grecos de Muertos." Flamenco dancers of death.

When asked what he did about this strange and awful phenomenon, Vince explains there was nothing really he could do, "given all the red tape in the bush." (Sheldon: "There's red tape in the bush?") Yes, Vince continues, it seems the flies are "protected against pilferage under the provisions of the Guacamole Act of 1917."

That's only 15 minutes into "The In-Laws," which gets weirder, wilder and more absurdly hilarious from there. This Criterion Collection version is a single disc but includes a 2003 Commentary track featuring director Arthur Hiller, writer Andrew Bergman and co-stars Arkin and Falk. Their amused observations and recollections about the making of the film (including a lengthy discourse on the classic "Serpentine, Shelly, serpentine!!" scene) are so entertaining it actually enhances the movie, making it even funnier.

Whatever your thoughts about the remake, borrow this DVD and see the original at least twice--once for the movie (these guys talk and laugh a lot, obscuring much of the dialogue) and then again with the commentary track, which confirms all involved had a wonderful time making this action-comedy classic.

Feb 22, 2017

This is the Criterion Collection release of the original 1979 film. It is an insane romp with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin at their best. Anyone who's seen it can spot a fellow fan with one word... "Serpentine!"

Oct 01, 2016

Ugh! Avoid. Stilted "comedy" although with a great cast.

Nov 25, 2015

the first one is far and away the best with peter falk and alan arkin. a great comedy and you really feel for the characters. the later one is ok but nothing special

Aug 25, 2014

Some fun bits, but the big stand-out is David Suchet in a bit-part.

Feb 25, 2014

I haven't seen this version but it would be hard to beat the first version with Peter Falk and Allan Arkin - check it out

This movie is hilarious! The actors are great, very well done. I highly recommend if you like spy movies, rom-coms, comedy's, or adventure films! It's all that, put together. Good job!

wayne19711012 Apr 07, 2012

franchise ? i am thrilled

Dec 08, 2008

A light, easy to watch film.
Michael Douglas plays an off the wall CIA spy.
His son (Ryan Reynolds) wants a normal life and is about to get married. His father in law to be (Albert Brooks) has a love hate adventure with Michael Douglas.
Entertaining with some funny parts.


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