Mel Coplin departs on a mission of discovery dragging his wife and 4 month old son behind. He and wife, Nancy, won’t agree on a name for their son until adopted Mel gets in touch with his roots. He assures her that once he knows who he really is, the right name for their boy will be a snap. Enlisting the aid of student-psychologist and part-time adoption agent, Tina Kalb, they embark on a journey across the United States to find Mel’s “birth” mother. “The best part,” Mel tells Nancy, “is it’s all free.” Tina is finishing her dissertation and will film the happy reunion of mother and child as part of her research. For this privilege, she’s footing the bill. His adoptive parents are left behind feeling abandoned by an ungrateful son. Clerical errors, mistaken identities, Nancy’s misplaced high school friend and his gay lover, and a super-charged libido here and there are thrown into the mix along the way until – at last – Mel’s real parents, the Schlictings (mispronounced as “Shit-kings” by Mrs. Coplin), are discovered in remote New Mexico. There, Mel begins to wonder if he would have been better off not knowing these people, after all. –IMDb
David Owen Russell born in August 20, 1958 is an American film director and screenwriter. He has been praised for the loose, comic energy that characterizes his work, and notorious for his explosive confrontations with cast members.
Russell was born in New York City, New York to a Jewish father and an Italian American Catholic mother, and was raised in an “atheistic” household. He graduated from Amherst College in 1981, majoring in Political Science and English. He is good friends with film directors Alexander Payne and Spike Jonze.
His first directorial effort was the independent dark comedy Spanking the Monkey in 1994, starring Jeremy Davies as a troubled young man who develops an incestuous relationship with his mother (Alberta Watson). Despite the controversial subject matter, the film received critical acclaim and won him Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. read more
Hilarious work from all involved. iI's a little slight, but Russell and company nails the screwball tone and pacing, with "best in show" honors going to Mary Tyler Moore. This is an unjustly overlooked and highly entertaining film.
Russell's most underrated movie. It's like a mix of Woody Allen meets Hal Ashby ( I think Russell is the Ashby of his generation). Every actor playing an adopted/real/presumed real parent was amazing in this. My only complaint...needed more Mary Tyler Moore...loved her character/performance.