Son in Law

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This article is about the 1993 film. For other uses, see Son-in-law (disambiguation).
Son in Law
Pictures of a duck, a pig, a cow, a person. The person is labelled "The Weasel"
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Rash
Produced by Peter M. Lenkov
Michael Rotenberg
Written by Patrick Clifton
Susan McMartin
Peter M. Lenkov
Fax Bahr
Adam Small
Shawn Schepps
Starring Pauly Shore
Carla Gugino
Lane Smith
Cindy Pickett
Tiffani Thiessen
Dan Gauthier
Patrick Renna
Dennis Burkley
Brendan Fraser
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by Dennis M. Hill
Jerry L. Roof
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • July 2, 1993 (1993-07-02) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $36,448,400[1]

Son in Law is a 1993 American comedy film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett, Tiffani Thiessen, Patrick Renna, Dan Gauthier and Dennis Burkley.


Rebecca Warner moves from her small farm town in South Dakota to attend college in Los Angeles at California State University, Northridge. On her first day, she and her parents Walter and Connie meet Crawl; the resident advisor of Becca's coed dormitory. After they leave, the clash of cultures drives Becca into seriously considering returning home, but Crawl advises her to give it a chance and she soon begins to acclimate; cutting and dyeing her hair, dressing in a more Californian manner, and even getting a tattoo of a butterfly on her ankle. When Thanksgiving break approaches, Becca realizes that Crawl has nowhere to go, and she invites him to visit her family.

Shocked by her changes, the Warners and Becca's boyfriend Travis try to take it in stride and decide to put up with Crawl, who had gotten off on the wrong foot with Walter in L.A. At dinner, Becca realizes that Travis wants to propose marriage to her and she urges Crawl to speak. Unable to come up with anything off the cuff, Crawl tells them that he has already proposed and she had accepted. This upsets Becca's family who develops a disdain for Crawl, and Travis who becomes so jealous he punches Crawl in the face. Now acting as a future son-in-law, Crawl expresses an interest in farming, much to the amusement of Walter and his farmhand Theo, who send him through the pratfalls and tribulations of farming as he is tasked with daily chores. Crawl rebounds though, and begins to prove himself an avid farmer, quickly learning how to perform each task he's given. He also begins to endear himself to the rest of the family; he impresses Becca's little brother Zack with his computer skills, and Zack begins to see him as a big brother. He compliments Connie's appearance and helps to bring her out of her shell for Walter. And when Walter's father Walter Sr. has heart problems, Crawl tries to help by performing CPR on him; a gesture that horrifies the elder Warner, but impresses Walter himself.

While shopping for clothes, Crawl meets Tracy; a friend of Becca's from school. Travis appears to forgive Crawl and considers him a bigger man for proposing to Rebecca, inviting Crawl to a bachelor party he has Tracy come and dance for Crawl and the next morning, Becca finds the two of them waking up in the barn. Rebecca furiously calls off the wedding, but Crawl and Tracy can't defend themselves as they cannot remember the night before. Crawl leaves to head back to L.A. while Travis--who had been seeing Tracy on the side--berates her on her behavior the night before. When she gets in her car though, she finds the seat suspiciously left all the way back and discovers a bottle of pills under it. Picking up Crawl attempting to hitchhike, they return to the house and confront Travis and Theo while the Warners are sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Hoping to get out of trouble, Theo confesses that they drugged them and he set them up in the barn. Walter, appreciating the honestly immediately fires Theo. Becca stands up to Travis, who is immediately knocked down by Crawl who reveals he majored in karate for two semesters at school. After kicking Travis out, Tracy is invited to sit with the Warners while Walter offers his son-in-law a chance to cut the turkey. Becca tries to interject the truth about Crawl's proposal, but he stops her, saying they hadn't yet decided on a wedding date and they want to wait a little bit before making the decision; hinting he intends to legitimately propose to Rebecca, and earning Walter's full resepect.



After Encino Man, Disney had the option of two more films with Shore. Shore was considering a film Totally London with New Line Cinema, but was persuaded by Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to stay with Disney and make Son in Law.[2]


The promotional poster for the film is a parody of the painting American Gothic. The opening title sequence and graduation ceremony scene were filmed at Sierra Vista High School, located in Baldwin Park, California at the old football stadium.

To promote the film, MTV ran a contest to marry Pauly Shore in Las Vegas. Tanya Cinotti of Salisbury, Massachusetts, won the honor and the wedding was set for July 2, 1993. Though there was a ceremony, no marriage certificates were signed.[3]


Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 22% based on reviews from 18 critics.[4]

The Los Angeles Times suggests the film is trying to be a comedy version of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner although the lead character is genuinely a destructive jerk. The film is given some small praise for its "bright surface, brisk direction and even a few funny performances" but the reviewer bemoans "laborious innuendoes and slick double-entendres".[5]


  1. ^ "Son-in-Law (1993)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (20 September 1992). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : TOTALLY TINSELTOWN : The War Over Pauly Shore's Next Movie or Why Hollywood Is Sooooo Much Fun". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Meyers, Kate (30 July 1993). "Marrying Man". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Son in Law (1993)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. 
  5. ^ MICHAEL WILMINGTON (July 2, 1993). "MOVIE REVIEW : A Silly Mix of Bad Ideas in 'Son-in-Law'". Los Angeles Times. 

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