The In-Laws (1979)
Alan Arkin, Peter Falk, ...
Credit: The In-Laws: Everett Collection

Funny film dads: Alan Arkin and Peter Falk in ”The In-Laws”

PLAYED BY Alan Arkin (Sheldon, left) and Peter Falk (Vince, right)

WHO ARE THEY? Shelly’s an uptight dentist whose daughter Barbara is about to marry Tommy, son of renegade CIA agent Vince. On the eve of the wedding, Vince gets Shelly involved in a seat-of-the-pants adventure in a Central American banana republic.

SETTING AN EXAMPLE Actually, almost nothing Vince and Shelly do in this film sets a good example.

EMBARRASSING MOMENT At the meet-the-families dinner, secret agent Vince blows up at Tommy over his son’s offhand remark about ”Dad and his mysterious phone calls.” After dinner, Shelly demands that the wedding be called off, lest his daughter marry into such a flaky family.

FATHERLY ADVICE ”The son is the acorn. The father is the oak,” Shelly warns Barbara.

WHY YOU’LL WATCH Much funnier than the 2003 remake, this shaggy-dog story will keep you and your dad (and your father-in-law) in stitches.

MORE FATHERLY FUN Arkin played memorably funny dads in Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Slums of Beverly Hills (1998). Falk plays a mafioso with a teenage daughter (Emily Lloyd) in the comedy Cookie (1989).

The In-laws
  • Movie
  • 96 minutes