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THE IN-LAWS

A bumbling podiatrist and a slick CIA agent get to know one another at the wedding of the klutz’s daughter to the spook’s son.

CAST: Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Ryan Reynolds, Lindsay Sloane, Robin Tunney, Candice Bergen, David Suchet, Chang Tseng, A. Russell Andrews, Miranda Black

DIRECTOR: Andrew Fleming

"Watching the remake of ‘The In-Laws’ is like listening to a drawn-out, gruesomely inappropriate toast made at a posh wedding reception by a dissolute best man…Brooks predictably uses the role of terminally uptight podiatrist Jerry Peyser as a vessel for his bourgeois anal-retentive grump shtick, while Douglas inflates his oily, corruptible persona to outsized proportions as swashbuckling secret agent Steve Tobias. They are so out of sync with each other that they seem to be looking for different movies to take their acts… Jokes at the expense of Jerry's ‘fanny pack’ and the arms dealer's gay attraction to Jerry wither and drop like rotten fruit from a tree." --Gene Seymour, The Los Angeles Times

"If it weren't for Albert Brooks, ‘The In-Laws’ would be unwatchable. It's often unwatchable even with him…The movie trots along amiably for a while. Then, about halfway through, it just stops. It keeps going, of course, but it's a zombie-movie, staggering along with no brain…The original ‘In-Laws’ didn't need a nuclear sub. This doesn't either, but it thinks it does, and that's the problem." Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Fleshed out by abundant gay jokes and Candice Bergen once more reduced to the sound fingernails make as they scratch a chalkboard, ‘The In-Laws’ plays like a midseason replacement series…It winds up like all Hollywood comedies these days--merely resembling something funny, offering up what you presume are jokes because every line ends with an exclamation mark followed by a wink, or an explosion or a leap from a very tall building or something so ridiculous you're meant to roll your eyes so far back in your head till your mouth automatically springs open and emits what sounds like a chuckle." --Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Observer

"Brooks is clearly the better half in this loose remake of the beloved 1979 comedy…His ball-and-chain is Michael Douglas, whose swashbuckling ‘Romancing the Stone’ brand of comedy is a bad fit… the new ‘In-Laws’ is big, bloated and only intermittently amusing…It has explosions, weapons-grade gizmos and a tidal wave that literally takes the wedding cake. But bigger is rarely better, and one wonders why anyone thought it necessary to improve upon a movie that was already so well-regarded." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"I was prepared to jump on this remake as if it were a rattlesnake in the nursery. It's like remaking ‘Casablanca’ or ‘Gone With the Wind.’ How dare they? And yet, I am hereby forced to admit that, with inspired casting and a clever script that emulates the style but does not directly copy the gags of the original, Andrew Fleming -- the gifted young director of 1999's ‘Dick’ -- has pulled off the impossible…It also helps that the star chemistry clicks so well. Douglas brings a hilarious kind of Gordon Gekko assurance to his character, and Brooks' long-suffering, naggy persona -- which hasn't had a showcase this strong since ‘Lost in America’ -- sparks off it like Hope with Crosby. --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Douglas, playing a CIA operative, isn’t really cut out for broad comedy, and he looks like he knows it; Brooks, playing a fussbudget podiatrist who wears a fanny pack, provokes a few titters. Why do filmmakers persist in remaking films that were already great to begin with? Why not instead remake bad movies that had terrific premises?" --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"The intention seems to be to comfort audiences by giving them nothing they haven't seen before or nothing they would object to dozing in front of after the meal on a transcontinental flight. This goes for the jokes as well, which turn on such moldy comic aperçus as the weirdness of Asian cuisine (a whole stuffed python is served at a Vietnamese restaurant) and the existence of homosexuality, especially in prison." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"The idea seems to have been ‘let's do it over like a family-film-cum-Bond-movie,’ but ‘Spy Kids’ beats it silly on that score…Brooks gets off a humorously fussy one-liner or two. But he can't be funny in a vacuum…By now, Douglas is a highly skilled and versatile performer, but he can do nothing more than flex and grin his way through a role that requires a deft farceur…Candice Bergen, as Douglas' ex-wife, resorts to desperate caricature; then again, it's not her fault that she arrives on the scene with a Buddhist monk to co-officiate at a Jewish ceremony." --Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun

"What’s cutting-edge comedy for one generation can become generic filler for the next--that's the lesson to be learned from ‘The In-Laws,’ a strenuous attempt to recycle a vastly funnier minor classic…Albert Brooks, who has avoided this kind of fluff during his long career as a writer-director, provides most of the laughs with his dyspeptic line readings…Robin Tunney, who had a breakthrough in last year's ‘Cherish,’ is pretty much wasted as Steve's sexy spy assistant." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post