More id insanity from director David O. Russell (Spanking the Monkey), who wrote and directed this wild farce about a neurotic new father (Ben Stiller, in one of his defining early roles) who drags his wife (Patricia Arquette) on a cross-country search for his birth parents. Along for the ride is the severely unstable adoption agency representative (a sublime Tea Leoni) and
eventually a gay couple who also happens to work together as Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents. The lunacy keeps getting ratcheted up, but the movie always stays grounded in a uniquely cynical brand of humanism that goes something like this: we’re all screwed up, and we may keep screwing each other up, but in the end we still have each other for comfort. With priceless supporting roles as Stiller’s various parents for Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore and George Segal.