"I'm Not Waterproof!"
The In-Laws
Review by Ross Anthony

Very Funny. Apparently this film is a remake of a 1979 Alan Arkin/Peter Falk flick (which I haven't seen, but would like to); I could have sworn it felt more like a sequel to the 1994 Cameron/Schwarzenegger, flick "True Lies" (which I absolutely loved).

Btw, for those of you eager to see "True Lies 2" well you'll just have to settle for "In-Laws;" I talked with James Cameron a month ago at which time he said, "I am so not interested in that project." (Click here for that interview.)

"In-Laws" employs that same family-member-is-a-secret-agent theme. Douglas (as Schwarzenegger did) plays the role with a certain nonchalant, good-humor, all-in-a-day's work attitude, which is charming amidst gunfire, aircraft emergencies, and FBI ambushes. Couple the slick silver-tongued Douglas (the groom's father) with the fidgety, pent-up, phobia-ridden whiner Albert Brooks (the bride's father) and you've got half the film right there. Douglas wouldn't have topped my list for this project, but he actually does a fine enough job. (Some other possibilities: Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, and who knows... maybe even Steven Seagal?) Brooks, on the other hand, nails it. Whereas, his performance as the voice of Nemo's father in "Finding Nemo" borders on bothersome, here, Brooks really completes the movie.

Though the plot and progressions are solidly less than rock solid, their main purpose is merely to provide a backdrop for the fun, gags, strong pace, and comedy between Douglas & Brooks. But In-Laws goes even further with quick fun laughs from supporting cast members. It's light and it doesn't take itself seriously. Actually, I'd have expected much cheesier action sequences, but some of them are shot quite well and backed with pop song selections that create a wonderfully surreal texture against the images.

Bride, "Isn't this supposed to be about us?"
Groom, "Oh my sweet funny whimsical Melissa...."

It's playful and good spirited; "Last one to the plane gets to take one hundred and seventy million through customs!"

  • The In-Laws. Copyright © 2003.
  • Starring Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds, Candice Bergen, David Suchet, Lindsay Sloane, Maria Ricossa, Russell Andrews.
  • Screenplay by Nat Mauldin and Ed Solomon.
  • Directed by Andrew Fleming.
  • Produced by Bill Gerber, Elie Samaha, Bill Todman, Jr. and Joel Simon at Warner Bros.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:07:51 PDT