The In-Laws (2003) Movie Review

Has Michael Douglas found The Fountain of Youth in Catherine Zeta-Jones? Since the Gordon Gekko days of Wall Street fame, his body is certainly a little less nimble, his face a little more wrinkled, and his hair a shade too light. But the guy looks great, and he's once again an action hero. That bumps him up from "silver spoon" to "ageless wonder" in the Hollywood classification book - ever closer to the royalty of perennial good lookers Redford and Basinger.

In The In-Laws (based on the 1979 film of the same name), like most other Michael Douglas vehicles, his gaunt face is rarely off the camera. Wisely, director Andrew Fleming inserts a hilarious Albert Brooks as the perfect remedy for Douglas's self-absorption.

Brooks plays Dr. Peyser, an anal-retentive podiatrist whose daughter is engaged to marry Douglas's son. Dr. Peyser can be summed up by one distinct fashion faux pas: his fanny pack. He's been led to believe that Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas) is a salesman for Xerox, but Tobias is really a CIA rogue agent. When Dr. Peyser gets nosy and becomes involved in an exchange between Tobias and a Russian spy, he goes from innocent bystander to suspect on the FBI's most wanted list. From one misunderstanding to the next, Douglas and Brooks are partnered in a covert operation against the world's most dangerous nuclear arms dealer, Jeane-Pierre Thibodoux (David Suchet). But their most important mission is to see the wedding through without letting the hassle of saving the world interfere.

A sample of The In-Laws' brand of humor is seen in Thibodoux's character. He is a criminal in a quandary. He's French, flamboyant, and surrounded by beautiful men, but he despises homosexuality. That is, until he meets Dr. Peyser in disguise as "The Cobra." Intrigued by the girth associated with the nickname, Thibodoux's fascination with Dr. Peyser leads to a shot of Albert Brooks in a hot tub donning a G-string.

Candice Bergen appears as Douglas's vengeful wife and provides a much-needed boost of stature into an otherwise unknown cast of supporting actors. Douglas's son Mark is played by Ryan Reynolds and Dr. Peyser's daughter Melissa is played by Lindsay Sloane, two names that are hardly going to spring young people into the theatres over the weekend.

As usual, Brooks is nothing less than hilarious, while Michael Douglas is his typical cocky self. Part of his longevity lies in his voice, which is hands-down the best in the industry, and always adds credibility to his role. As if it were still 1985, Douglas recaptures the charm of past action comedies Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile.

Speaking of "ageless wonders," a live performance from a spry looking KC and the Sunshine Band reveals Michael Douglas's secret tonic to longevity... Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight.

The film's DVD adds a bunch of extras, including a gag reel, alternate takes, and a commentary from director Andrew Fleming.

See, it stretches.


Comments

The In-Laws (2003) Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: PG-13, 2003

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