Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. A buoyant, picaresque farce that hums with goofy energy and mines enough ideas, jokes and setups for three movies of this description.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    100
    Upon all these folks, writer-director David O. Russell turns a bland, almost anthropological eye. Nothing surprises him and nothing outrages him, except for bed-and-breakfast lodgings, about which, at last, his movie tells the terrible truth. [1 April 1996, p. 72]
  3. Mr. Russell's wonderfully mad odyssey of a movie, in which a man sets out to find his biological parents and winds up meeting more weirdos than Alice found down the rabbit hole.
  4. Flirting With Disaster, like that Energizer Bunny, keeps on going. But in this case, the perpetual motion is a deliciously hysterical rush.
  5. 90
    Writer-director David O. Russell's exhilarating follow-up to "Spanking the Monkey," is even wilder, giddier and more unpredictable than that irreverent debut.
  6. A comedy that surfs from beginning to end on a wave of high spirits. The tone is young but not juvenile, sexy but not cynical, optimistic but not stupid. [22 April 1996, p.28]
  7. 88
    Has the sort of headlong confidence the genre requires. Russell finds the strong central line all screwball begins with, the seemingly serious mission or quest, and then throws darts at a map of the United States as he creates his characters.
  8. 88
    Not as corrosive as Russell's debut feature, "Spanking the Monkey," it's just as wild, just as strange, and even funnier.
  9. 80
    Hilarious--a terrific updating of ancient farce conventions for the '90s.
  10. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    Although it eventually throws more balls in the air than it can easily juggle, Flirting with Disaster is, most of the time, a diabolically clever satire that has its way with any number of contemporary shiboleths.
  11. 78
    Taking the concept of the dysfunctional family to a degree that might even boggle Leo Tolstoy's mind, Flirting With Disaster is every son or daughter's nightmare… multiplied.
  12. Flirting is a little too weighed down with stage business to soar. But episode for episode, it's one of the ha-ha-funniest movies currently around.
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    70
    Highly unlikely plot complications never once threaten to throw this remarkably amusing film off-track, thanks to the narrative intelligence of writer-director David O. Russell, the only member of the filmmaking bratpack who seems to understand how movies work and why they entertain.
  14. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    70
    The old pros cavort grandly. Moore even strips down to a black bra and panties, and rolls in bed with her husband (George Segal).
  15. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    60
    Despite some expert performances --the picture remains as confused as its hero; unlike him, it never does find its identity.
  16. The results are watchable enough--sometimes funny, sometimes over the top--and fairly fresh, though also a bit calculated.

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