A Bit Too Over-The-Top Perhaps, But At Times This Is Hilarious
This is a very funny movie, featuring the usual good performance from
Michael Douglas as "deep under cover" CIA agent Steve Tobias, whose son
is about to marry the daughter of Chicago podiatrist Jerry Peyser
(Albert Brooks, who also put on a good performance.) The movie follows
but freely adapts the story from the 1979 original of the same name
that starred Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. The characters have different
names, this version is set mostly in the U.S. and Europe, whereas the
'79 version was set mostly in Central America, and this version deals a
lot more with the wedding. The main difference, though, is that this
one is way more over the top than the '79 movie, which tried to take
the subject a little more seriously. Comparing the two, then, which you
think is better will depend on whether you like over the top comedies.
I do, and I prefer this one.
Tobias is a bit of a James Bond type, with lots of gadgets and a
beautiful sidekick (played by Robin Tunney) to go along with them.
Peyser's role as a podiatrist somehow seems funnier than the dentist
character from '79. The FBI agents on their trail are more bumbling
than anyone faced by the "heroes" of '79. Finally, the part of the
bizarre general in '79 is replaced by a totally bizarre international
arms dealer (played absolutely perfectly by David Suchet) who says that
homosexuality disgusts him but then falls madly in love with Peyser.
All these things add up to what I thought was a hilarious ride.
Worthy of note is Candice Bergen who was strong in a limited role as
Tobias's ex-wife. Some of the story was a bit too over the top. The
nuclear submarine in Lake Michigan was a bit of a stretch. One wonders
how this thing got through the St. Lawrence Seaway. (I would think it
would have been pretty hard to hide going through the Welland Canal!)
Overall though, even if it's a wee bit too over the top at times, it's
still really funny. 7/10.
asienka_princess watch The Other Boleyn Girl movie
great movie, very funny, you will nor regret watching this for sure!.
rubiria watch Smother movie
this is a most excellent comedy. fatigue will never shroud this subject, in-laws are always a problem. i enjoyed this movie. 5 stars out of 5 possible..
neveyboo123 watch Tommy Boy movie
good as movie well done!!.
cikgu sheri watch The Park Is Mine movie
The movie is funny and enthralling. Michael Douglas is dishy at any age..
funny in spots, but ultimately a flop
What do you get when you put a neurotic Jewish foot doctor from New York
together with a CIA agent on a case to bust an arms-smuggling ring? And then
have their kids get married? You get Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas as
`The In-Laws', a remake of a film by the same name from 1979. Unfortunately,
the marriage of these two actors doesn't seem as compatible.
Both movies follow essentially the same plot line: the daughter of a
conservative and traditional family man from New York is about to marry the
son of a CIA agent who happens to be in the midst of cracking a huge
international case wide open. When things go inadvertently awry, the fun
begins as the doctor gets caught up in the scheme and almost blows the whole
thing, and gets himself and his soon-to-be in-law killed at the same
What made the original movie work is precisely what failed about the current
version: the movie is not supposed to be about the `sting', it's supposed to
be about the relationship between the neurotic in-laws. In the case of the
doctor, Albert Brooks is perfectly cast as the doctor/father, blundering and
fearful exactly as you expect him to be, as he faces everything from near
death to being in a hot-tub with a dangerous (and gay) arms dealer. He
eventually learns to ease his anxiety and deal with his situation, just like
his predecessor, Alan Arkin, did in the original film.
The problem with the film has more to do with Michael Douglas' role. Unlike
his predecessor, Peter Falk, Douglas is far too polished. The role of Steve
Tobias is supposed to be that of a quirky, unassuming and somewhat innocent
but lovable guy, much the character Falk made famous in his series,
`Columbo.' With Tobias, you never really know whether his stories are true,
or if he can be trusted, or even if he knows what he's doing. This would
drive anyone nuts if they were in a tight situation with this guy, and Falk
was made for this role. Douglas, however, is quite the contrary. He's not
nuts enough he can't be; that's just not him. He's too good looking. In
the original film, you never really knew if Tobias was a CIA agent till
quite close to the end of the film, whereas the new film makes only one
half-hearted attempt at hiding the fact, but it doesn't really fool anyone.
Because of how poorly Douglas was cast, and how too many quirky aspects of
the film were replaced by high-tech effects and more modern and threatening
villains, there is no chemistry between anyone to carry the
On the positive side, `The In-Laws' certainly had its share of comedic
lines, and I found myself laughing far more often than the movie deserved to
be laughed at. But that's me. I love Albert Brooks, and I make no apologies
or excuses for being easily amused. That said, I left the film disappointed.
In fact, so much so, that I rented the original film again, just to enjoy it
one more time. Not that I want to turn this into a video review, but it
should be noted that the original 1979 version is well-worth seeing,
especially if you were a Columbo fan..