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The In-Laws

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The In-Laws

Starring: Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks
Director: Andrew Fleming
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: May 2003
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Ryan Reynolds, Lindsay Sloane, Chang Tseng, Robin Tunney, Candice Bergen, Maria Ricossa, David Suchet, Miranda Black

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

The master is back. Comedy king Albert Brooks plays Jerry Peyser, an anal retentive podiatrist who fines himself trapped in an international arms deal in the action comedy, THE IN-LAWS, directed with hilarious precision by Andrew Fleming (DICK). Jerry very reluctantly finds himself teaming up with Steve Tobias, his in-law to-be, if the wedding ever happens.

Steve, played by a never funnier Michael Douglas, is an international arms merchant who may or may not be a CIA agent as well. Steve is currently in the finally boarding stages of selling a stolen stealth submarine to a gay French bad guy (David Suchet), who finds that he has eyes for Jerry. The wedding is scheduled to happen on the same day as the sub sale. Meanwhile, the FBI is on Steve and Angela (Robin Tunney), Steve's girl Friday, "like trailer trash on Velveeta." Yes, the plot is ridiculously convoluted, but you'll never care because you'll be way too busy laughing to ever let your brain get in gear. My wife was laughing so hard that I started worrying that she might injure herself.

Brooks and Douglas turn out to be a great comedic duo. Douglas's Steve is as gregarious and likeable as Brooks's Jerry is unsure and cute. Steve loves playing practical jokes on Jerry, as when he makes him think that they are going to crash. Jerry is the original white knuckle flier, since he literally gets anxiety attacks just watching airplane commercials.

From the opening number, set to James Bond's "Live And Let Die," the movie has great music and acting to match. The casting, right down to the smaller parts like those of the bride and groom (Lindsay Sloane and Ryan Reynolds) and Steve's hated ex-wife (Candice Bergen), is all terrific. Although the movie does lose some steam in the last act, it is wonderfully entertaining and infectiously fun. It is also that rare PG-13 comedy that is just barely PG-13 rather than a mislabeled R. Take the whole family. You'll all have a blast.

THE IN-LAWS runs 1:35. It is rated PG-13 for "suggestive humor, language, some drug references and action violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 8 and up.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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