The In-Laws

May 23rd, 2003


The In-Laws

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Still of Michael Douglas and Candice Bergen in The In-LawsStill of Michael Douglas in The In-LawsJeffrey Katzenberg at event of The In-LawsStill of Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks in The In-LawsStill of Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks in The In-LawsStill of Ryan Reynolds and Lindsay Sloane in The In-Laws

Right before his daughter's wedding, a mild-mannered foot doctor discovers that his new in-laws are international smugglers.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 5.6/10 (9,459 voted)

Critic's Score: 46/100

Director: Andrew Fleming

Stars: Albert Brooks, Michael Douglas, Ryan Reynolds

When prospective fathers-in-law Steve Tobias and Jerry Peyser meet for the first time to celebrate their children's upcoming marriage, the cake hits the fan. Dr. Jerome Peyser is a mild-mannered podiatrist with a well-organized daily routine designed to eliminate all possible sources of stress. Meanwhile, daredevil CIA operative Steve Tobias moves through life like a heat-seeking missile. His average day consists of dodging bullets, stealing private jets and negotiating with international arms smugglers. Now he's giving potential father-of-the-bride Jerry a serious case of pre-nuptial jitters. Steve's dramatic entrances and exits, his cryptic references to a Russian runaway named Olga and his fight with a gunman in a restaurant washroom causes Jerry to see a vision of his daughter's perfectly planned wedding blowing up in his face. As far as Jerry's concerned, letting Steve into his family takes til death do us part way too literally...

Writers: Andrew Bergman, Nat Mauldin

Michael Douglas - Steve Tobias
Michael Bodnar - Cherkasov's Bodyguard
Vladimir Radian - Cherkasov
Robin Tunney - Angela Harris
Albert Brooks - Jerry Peyser
Boyd Banks - Patient
Susan Aceron - Nurse
Lindsay Sloane - Melissa Peyser
Maria Ricossa - Katherine Peyser
Ryan Reynolds - Mark Tobias
Tseng Chang - Quan Le
Tamara Gorski - Yadira
Matt Birman - Agent at Restaurant
A. Russell Andrews - Agent Will Hutchins (as Russell Andrews)
Richard Waugh - Agent Thorn

Taglines: He's not losing his daughter. He's gaining a madman.


Official Website: Official site | Warner Bros. [uk] |

Release Date: 23 May 2003

Filming Locations: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Opening Weekend: $9,222,334 (USA) (26 May 2003) (2652 Screens)

Gross: $20,440,627 (USA) (27 July 2003)

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:

Did You Know?

Working title was "'Til Death Do Us Part"

Continuity: When Steve and Jerry are on the plane to France, the clock next to Jerry reads 7:10. However, in the next shot during the same conversation the clock reads 12:00.

Steve Tobias: So have you ever been to Vietnam?
Katherine Peyser: No, but we hear it's lovely.

User Review

A new "odd couple" is born with a new spy-film twist.

Rating: 8/10

A new "odd couple" is born with a new spy-film twist.

Michael Douglas is Stephen Tobias, a rugged deep-cover CIA agent, who focuses more on his work that his life with his son, Mark (Ryan Reynolds) or his now ex-wife, Judy (Candice Bergen).

It turns out that Mark is about to get married to beautiful Melissa (Lindsay Sloane) but has yet to meet Mark's parents. Mark assures her that is a good thing. But Melissa's parents, Jerry (Albert Brooks) and Katherine (Maria Ricossa) insist on meeting at least Mark's father.

During the first meeting between Mark's father and Melissa's parents, mild-mannered foot-doctor Jerry stumbles in on one of Stephen's spy plans and finds himself swept up in Stephen's mess on the eve of his daughter's nuptials. How will this revelation effect the up-coming marriage and will the two fathers live long enough to get back to the wedding?

"The In-Laws" is one of the biggest surprises I have seen this year. I never thought in a million years that this film would be as funny as it is. The odd pairing of Brooks and Douglas pays off tenfold. Their odd pairing and hilarious antics made me think some of the classic film, "The Odd Couple". The film also reminded me a little of the 80s comedy, "Real Men" because of its off-beat way of bringing the audience into the story.

Brooks hasn't been this funny in years. His neurotic schtick, which is probably more famous when played by Woody Allen, gives his character such innocence. There were so many priceless moments involving Brooks and how he relates to the spy-world.

Douglas seems to have journeyed back to his Jack Colton character, which he played in "Romancing the Stone". There is definitely some of Colton in Tobias. You can really see it when Douglas allows Tobias to put his guard down. That was always the funniest part of Colton and it is the same for Tobias.

Another great thing about this film is the caliber of people who are in the cast. You have some great upcoming comedy actors like Reynolds and Sloane and on the other side veterans like Bergen and Brooks. I wanted to see more of Reynolds since he is such a great comedic find. I have high expectations for that guy. I also really enjoyed Sloane when she was in the short-lived WB series, "Grosse Pointe". I so miss that series. She to has a great potential to be more if given the chance in comedy.

This film knows where its strengths are and it continues the laughs over and over. I just wish we could have had more time with the supporting cast.

The film also has some interesting uses of music in its soundtrack. For instance the opening scenes involving Michael Douglas escaping from one of his spy missions involves a great car chase and a gun battle but the whole scene's overture is accented by Paul McCartney's infamous James Bond theme, "Live & Let Die". It is a great addition as it seems to help build the spy feeling of the scene. Throughout the film there are interesting musical additions, which help put interesting slants and accents on the various scenes.

"The In-Laws" was such a surprise and is by far the funniest movie I have seen this year, thus far. (4 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.


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