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THE IN-LAWS

About The Production
"The majority of us have gone through or will go through the process of getting married and meeting the new family,” says producer Bill Gerber, setting The In-Laws in its real-life context. "By the time you're in your 20s you've at least been a guest at a couple of weddings and you've watched your friends or family members plan their own ceremonies often enough to know the kind of stress and chaos that's part of it. I think all of us have our own war stories about that process.”

Now imagine that in addition to the logistics, scheduling conflicts, seating chart revisions and other standard wedding planning concerns, you have to deal with the father of the groom kidnapping the father of the bride and dragging him into a top-secret international arms-smuggling deal just days before the ceremony. Add to that a posse of federal agents, an insanely volatile foreign crime lord and his nuclear submarine crashing the party on the big day, and suddenly "freesia or lilies of the valley” doesn't seem like such an important issue anymore.

Inspired by the 1979 hit comedy of the same title, The In-Laws is the story of two fathers with dramatically opposite lifestyles and personalities who are thrown together on the eve of their children's nuptials. At the same time, one of them – who may or may not be working on orders from the CIA – is trying to wrap up a very important case that could affect the safety of countless lives worldwide, not to mention put a serious crimp into the wedding plans. However, this is where the similarity to the original film ends.

"The original In-Laws was a great movie,” says producer Bill Todman, Jr., who began developing a remake of the classic comedy several years ago with his partner, producer Joel Simon. "But while we start with the same premise, we've walked pretty far away from the rest of the original storyline. This is a different movie for a different time and audience.”

Screenwriter Nat Mauldin, who confesses he was so impressed by Andrew Bergman's 1979 screenplay that he sent Bergman a fan letter, provides some specifics. "There is more attention this time to changes the father of the groom undergoes, whereas in the original it was primarily the bride's father who experienced a transformation. Also, the young couple are more an integral part of our story and the groom's relationship with his father gets a deeper exploration.” When screenwriter Ed Solomon came aboard in the latter stages of development, the focus was fully on Mauldin's script.

To best serve the fresh storyline, the producers tapped director Andrew Fleming, known for his work on such films as Dick and The Craft, to helm the project. "Andy brings a young and unique perspective to the film,” explains Gerber. "His movies are somewhat left of center, not generic or predictable. We were looking for someone who would have a different take on what is essentially a buddy movie and we counted on Andy for a sophisticated and original approach.” "With Andy,” adds Todman, "the comedy is all organic to the picture; it never gets in the way.”

Fleming, who was initially attracted by the story's irreverence, sees weddings as "a goldmine of comic inspiration. They become so complicated like giant machines that lurch forward on their own power. Even if the technical aspects come off without a hitch you're still left with two strange families that are supposed to instantly bond and love one another and that's rarely the case. We just took all that stress and emotional excess and amplified it by ten.”

On the subject of surviving your own in-law troubles, Albert Brooks offers this practical advice: "It's best to find some way to like your in-laws or at least accept them, no matter what. Now, if they live with you, that's a different story.”

Already sold on the story, Flemin

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