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The In-Laws

Starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds and Candice Bergen
Screenplay by Nat Mauldin and Ed Solomon
Based on a screenplay by Andrew Bergman
Directed by Andrew Fleming

The In-Laws is a funny verging on very funny comedy for grownups – that means no silly teen-themed disgusting stuff. Just two actors dumped in increasingly implausible situations which gain much of their comedy from their ridiculousness. Fine by us. The couple off the center of this story are the soon to be married Mark Tobias (Ryan Reynolds) and Melissa Peyer (Lindsay Sloane) . . . but enough about them

Hunted by the FBI, this world traveling Xerox salesman aka"rogue" CIA operative Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas) roams the world on a quest to bring down the foreign power that has been trying to get its hands on the submarine Olga, stolen from the Russians back in the USSR days. On the other hand, there's Chicago's Podiatrist-of-the-Year three years running Jerry Peyser (Albert Brooks), a humorless bad cook with a fear of heights who, thanks to a bit early on in the film, thinks his soon to be (whatever you call fathers-in-law up the other side of the marital tree) trafficks in underaged runaway girls. Trust us, if a script can get laughs from something that reads as awful as that last sentence does, the rest of it isn't going to let you down either, in our humble opinion. A whole buncha steps up from amusing and funny is that area just short of continually very funny that allows for just enough character background to be introduced that critics like us have little film school shtick to complain about.

It isn't enough that these two not-even-close-to peas in a pod gentlemen are about to be linked by their kidlet's nuptials, there's also the 9.4 millilitres of nuke waste that Steve has slipped into Jerry's jacket that has brought the FBI down on the good doctors head. Also involved in Steve's machinations is 176 millions of dollars in cash, the end result of part of his scheme to bring down French gangster and international feared bad guy Jean-Pierre Thibodoux (David Suchet), a smuggling fool who will come to believe that Jerry is the legendary crimester nicknamed The Fat Cobra -- Steve's introduction does the deed -- and J-PT finds himself mysteriously attracted to the American who, like him, is "into feet" <ahem>; said scheme involves a stolen Russian nuke sub which will surface in the middle of Lake Michigan [hell if we know how it got into the landlocked Great Lakes; at least we think they're landlocked.)

Steve's ex-wife Judy (Candice Bergen) has brought a Buddhist monk to co-officiate with the rabbi at the wedding service; Steve's exceptionally fine looking -- a fact that the never concerned with political correctness senior agent seems to have overlooked time and time again -- CIA partner Angela (Robin Tunney) is not invited to the services. She'll take care of that oversight with a vengeance by the time all is said and done.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The In-Laws, he would have paid . . .


We laughed. That's enough for us.

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