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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Edition No 894 

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IN-LAWS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Vince (Peter Falk) is an unlikely CIA agent who gets involved with the Kornpett family via the impending marriage of their respective kids. The Kornpetts never knew what hit them, as Vince, the agency's loose canon (is he REALLY CIA?) involves the dentist father of the family, Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin), in a crazy caper involving loot and a Latin American dictator. That's all we're telling.

"The In Laws is one of my favourite comedies of all time. Alan Arkin and Peter Falk play it dead funny but deadpan, in this exquisitely crafted contemporary comedy - or is a drama that simply is it too real to be real, if you know what I mean - about a dentist, a CIA agent and lots more. Director Arthur Hiller, with a natural penchant for comedy, takes Andrew Bergman's superbly honed script and fulfills every promise with pay off after pay off. One of the many memorable scenes involves an off the wall sequence in a flight on a small plane. The comedy is heightened by Hiller's tight rein on the performances and the camera work: nothing is allowed to be bigger than life, creating a black undertone that pumps the humour with pathos - but the zing is in the tale. It's first a very good story and the humour spurts from the combination of character and situation. Watch this without interruption. Tape it. Steal it…see it any which way you can."
Andrew L. Urban

"The In-Laws is the funniest comedy I've ever seen. It doesn't matter how many times I see it, it still feels fresh and makes me laugh as if for the first time. In fact, it has got funnier with time. Parts of the script have even become in-jokes for my entire family. A marvellous script with the perfect cast - beautifully executed - makes this one of those films that deserves to sit with the best comedies of all time. It's all played for real, not for laughs but the characters have been created with comedic flair and imagination; Peter Falk steals every scene, while Alan Arkin, his total nemesis, is wonderful as the unwilling accomplice. There are so many memorable scenes and situation, but my favourite is at the conclusion of the fabulous flight sequence that Andrew describes above, when Vince instructs Sheldon to 'serpentine' from the plane, through the flying bullets to the safety of the waiting car. Its bizarre nature typifies what the film is all about. Special mention to dentists, who will enjoy the scene when Sheldon is absconded from his dental surgery, while a patient waits (for a very long time) with mouth wide open, while a cast hardens. Clever, wacky and very, very funny, The In-Laws is the best in-joke for movie lovers."
Louise Keller



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed:0

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IN LAWS, THE
(US)

CAST: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Richard Libertini, Nancy Dussault, Penny Peyser, Arlene Golonka, Michael Lembeck

DIRECTOR: Arthur Hiller

PRODUCER: Arthur Hiller, William Sackheim

SCRIPT: Andrew Bergman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David M. Walsh

EDITOR: Robert Swink

MUSIC: John Morris

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Pato Guzman

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes







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