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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 98 Minutes
• Commentary by director Andrew Fleming
• Deleted and extended scenes
• Gag reel
• Theatrical trailers
“The cooky ‘odd couple’ vibe just never gets old, no matter how many times it’s rehashed. We’ve got to capitalize on the Albert Brooks phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation and remake a 1979 comedy no one even cares about any more!"
Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds and Candice Bergen
The plight of the lonely asshole. Always the bridesmade, never the bride.
Steve Tobias’ son and Jerry Peyser’s daughter are getting married, which means lots of fuss getting the festivities taken care of and obligatory mingling with total strangers. Regular in-laws are bad enough, but Steve has a wacky secret that throws things into even bigger chaos – he’s a CIA agent in deep cover! Strap your seatbelt because you’re on a collision course with wackiness as Jerry, an innocent and pedantic podiatrist, gets pulled into the seedy world of arms smuggling and secret agent antics!
Jerry hates flying, so Steve slips him a roofie and throws him on Barbara Streisand’s private jet! Jerry hates heights, so Steve leaps off a rooftop with him and glides down with a parachute. Jerry hates homosexuals, so Steve forces him into a hot tub with a gay arms dealer! Ok, there’s nothing in the film to suggest that Jerry is a homophobe, but the comedy works even better if you just assume he does.
Haven’t you seen Street Trash? This is going to end with someone being stabbed with a femur knife.
What’s the point in remaking a slapstick, odd-couple comedy like The In-Laws? This isn’t like The Poseidon Adventure, where an executive could convince themselves that young people are just as interested in watching a boat sink as audiences were thirty years ago. This is an old school screwball comedy that young people couldn’t possibly care less about. On the demographic flipside, the age bracket most likely to even have a remake of The In-Laws register on their radar most likely saw the original film back in 1979. It’s highly unlikely the team-up of Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas is going to entice them to see a remake of a film they probably weren’t that pumped up about in the first place. A “world’s finest” caliber team-up it isn’t.
To be fair, Douglas and Brooks do a great job in the roles, but it’s not exactly like they had the most challenging roles to perform. They’re basically portraying sitcom characters on the big screen. Douglas’ role requires him to be a charming jerk and wryly smile throughout the entire film. Brooks’ role requires him to overreact to every single event and whine like a child. The other actors are given similarly two dimensional roles and excel at them. Ryan Reynolds is so good at acting smarmy that he can do it in his sleep. On a related note, Robin Tunney is so good at act like an emotionless automaton that you’ll be wondering if she’s sleepwalking through the film.
The In-Laws is filled with entirely predictable comedic situations from its beginning all the way to the conclusion you’ll see coming a mile away. It’s bland and inoffensive, but is so full of cliches that anyone over the age of ten won’t be surprised by any of it.
"Wow. So that’s what a prolapsed anus looks like."
The hilarity never stops with this disc, even once the feature is over! With the gag reel and Albert Brooks’ bloopers, your sides will be splitting due to the laughs. In all honesty, the flubs and improvisations of the cast in the gag reel are more entertaining than the generic jokes present in the actual film. Albert Brooks has been in more than a few clunkers, but he’s still a funny enough guy that he could have made this film much more enjoyable if he had been allowed to run with it.
The disc also includes a feature length commentary by director Andrew Fleming and deleted scenes. Fleming gushes all over the cast, as well he should. It’s a harmless, inoffensive film with a harmless commentary to match it. The deleted scenes don’t add much to the film itself and their absence certainly doesn’t hurt it. In fact, some additional scenes should have been removed from the film, especially a plotline about a drunken bridesmaid’s confession that goes absolutely nowhere.