The In-Laws (2003)

The In-Laws (2003)
Film review by: Witney Seibold

The In-Laws 2003
            To its credit, Andrew Fleming’s new comedy “The In-Laws” does have a few slight improvements to the usual Wedding Comedy. For one, it’s a Jewish wedding, and we briefly glimpse a female rabbi. There’s also a part in it for Robin Tunney who, while having made other crappy movies in her day (“End of Days” springs to mind), is able to keep dignity, and bring a shred of integrity to the otherwise dull proceedings. O.k. Maybe those aren’t stellar improvements, but at least they’re differences enough to make “The In-Laws” stand out. O.k. O.k. “The In-Laws” doesn’t stand out. It’s a mediocre comedy that wastes the talents of the people involved.
            Mark and Melissa are about to be married. The families have to meet. The father of the bride is Jerry, and is played by Albert Brooks. The groom’s dad is Steve, and is played by Michael Douglas. Jerry is in usual Albert Brooks form, i.e. a wiggy neurotic shlump. Oh, and he’s a podiatrist. How funny! Steve is a suave undercover CIA agent. Oh, boy, and I can’t wait to see the comic sparks fly as these two wacky incompatible personalities go on wacky adventures together. Oh, stop. My sides are splitting. Witness as Steve forces Jerry to pose as a gay crime lord, and the funny, funny scenes where the film’s villain (David Suchet) finds him attractive! Tee hee! Tunney plays Steve’s capable CIA assistant. Mark, the groom, is played by Ryan Reynolds, the only good part of the crappy films he stars in (call it the Matthew Lillard syndrome), but is given very little to do here. Oh, and Candice Bergen is in it as Steve’s volcanic ex-wife. Marvel as she makes hysterical comments about Michael Douglas’ bedroom skills.
            There are themes of fatherhood as well, but I couldn’t help but see a pitch session while I was watching it. A collection of big names put in wacky situations, and the thing writes itself, right?


            … Right?


            Well, the set-up was fine enough by fluffy Hollywood standards, but the execution was awful. Not only were there editing problems – scenes fit in sideways, gags that should have been cut weren’t, and it felt about 40 minutes too long – but there was no comic power from any of the actors. Michael Douglas, usually fine, is obviously not a comedian, and can’t handle “madcap.” Brooks was given nothing of interest to do with his talents.

Published in: on June 3, 2009 at 6:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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