It was a rainy day, and my intention was to see Finding Nemo. But the facts of it just premiered and New York’s high kiddy-to-person ratio, I went to see The In-Laws, the remake of the 1979 Peter Falk/Alan Arkin classic.
And I am glad that I did.
And unfortunately, having not seen the original The In-Laws, I can’t make any nit-picky comparisons… but here’s what I can say:
The premise is simple enough… there’s a wedding in four days, two sets of parents that have not met yet, and one rogue nuclear sub. Now, I’m not one to throw around the phrase “and wackiness ensues,” but when Albert Brooks and Michael Douglass are the respective fathers, I guess I can make an exception just this once…
Put the aforementioned together, AND WACKINESS ENSUES. WACKINESS I TELLS YA.
Without giving too much away (not that there is much to give, but…), Douglass plays a CIA agent in deep cover, about to bust a world-class smuggler; a role that can be likened too his Romancing the Stone days – the super-cool-yet-no-better-than-us adventurer.
Brooks plays a neurotic, obsessive-compulsive foot doctor who happens across Douglass’ secret identity, and manages to get caught up in the middle of the whole thing (quite nicely I might add). Once noted for turning down When Harry Met Sally because it was too much like a Woody Allan script, Brooks nails the part of a spastic basket case.
Brooks and Douglass definitely work well together, or if not, they fake it really well on screen. Hollywood would do well to put these two heavy hitters together again in the future.
Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) plays Douglass’ character’s son, should also be mentioned. His facial reactions were great; I just wished he had more lines, because Reynolds can do funny.
The soundtrack rocks. A good choice of songs all around tat fit the scenes. However, the movie loses points due to the fact that while all other songs were used very loudly during action sequences, Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” was near muted and used during a drunken bachelorette party. I guess I can’t complain too much, they did use an ELO song after all.
Verdict of this vague review:
The In-Laws is a slapstick buddy comedy, nothing more. It's there to give you a chuckle on a miserable day. And this more than does the trick. Cinematography was decent and the writing was ok.
I'm going to give The In-Laws (2003) 6.9 out of 10 wheels of cheddar. Cheesy, but in a good way. (note - score does not reflect the ELO penalty).
It's an OK movie... I would say rent it, or buy it pre-owned when it comes out. If you happen to get shut out of another film in the theaters, or are adept at hopping, then by all means see it in your local movie house.
Wheels of Cheese