Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE IN-LAWS (1979) - Arthur Hiller

"I'm being irrational? I sit there listening to stories about the Guacamole Act of 1917 
and tsetse flies carrying off small children, and I'm being irrational?"

Arkin as Sheldon Kornpett, D.D.S., mild-mannered Manhattan dentist turned reluctant Central American spy. I had higher expectations for this one, a comedy "classic" I'd actually never seen before. High-strung everyman Arkin paired with lackadaisical bull-in-a-China-shop Falk? Sounds like a winner on paper...if only there were more incisive jokes on that paper. The humor is mild, PG-friendly gags, and Arkin seems to spend the majority of the film dodging stray bullets ("Serpentine! Serpentine!"). I think I prefer this film's obvious R-rated buddy movie precursor, the one where Arkin does far more firing than serpentining. A shame with two improvisational talents like Arkin and Falk there couldn't be better banter and fewer ballistics.

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