The title may be the same as the 1979 Peter Falk?Alan Arkin knee-slapper, but Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas swear their movie isn’t a remake. (In fact, during shooting, the film was alternately called ”Til Death Do Us Part” and ”The Wedding Party.”) ”The only thing that remains the same is the fact that he’s the father of the groom and I’m the father of the bride and that’s gonna be a story whether you call it a remake or not,” says Brooks. ”’Meet the Parents’ was almost that [setup].” True, but that one didn”t feature a hot-tubbing Brooks sporting a thong. ”This is broader than anything I think I’ve ever done,” says the actor-filmmaker, who plays an uptight podiatrist (in the original, Arkin was a dentist) unwittingly brought undercover to France with CIA agent Douglas. ”I have scenes here where I’m yelling louder, I am naked, I am doing things that I’ve never done in my own movies. It”s not just working without a net; it feels like working without a floor.” (Meanwhile, the movie’s other couple — the soon-to-be-marrieds?consists of ”Van Wilder”’s Ryan Reynolds and ”Bring It On”’s Lindsay Sloane.)
Douglas has problems of his own dealing with his aggressive CIA partner (”Vertical Limit”’s Robin Tunney) and his intimidating ex-wife (Candice Bergen). But the actor says his comedy is quite different from that of his costar. ”We sort of have two different styles,” Douglas says. ”Mine’s instinctual and impulsive, his is analytical.” So who’s funnier? Let’s ask Brooks. ”What I like about Michael is that he plays effortless beautifully,” he says. ”He’s like Dean Martin. We’re more like Martin and Lewis than anything else. And Dean Martin got a lot of laughs. So obviously he’s integral to the comedy. How many laughs will he get? We’ll see when it comes out. We can count. There’s a new thing The Sharper Image sells, it counts every laugh.” Call us crazy, but we have a feeling Brooks will win this one.