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Meet the Parents (2000)

Comedy movie directed by Jay Roach

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Honor Thy Girlfriend's parents. Wreck their House

  • May 21, 2001
Pros: De Niro and Stiller.

Cons: It ain't funny and it's all been done.

The Bottom Line: Watch it on TV.

If you want to winh the love and respect of your girlfriend's ex-CIA agent father,you should let him hook you up to a lie detector, lose his cat, spray paint another cat to pass him off as the first cat only to have him wreck the parents' house, burn down the backyard, and of course lie, lie, lie to try to cover your tracks.
These atrocities, along with several others, helped Ben Stiller win the love and respect of Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents. They also sum up what this movie is pretty well- an atrocity. A rather sweet atrocity, but an atrocity nonetheless. And one of the biggest wastes of talent I have ever seen.
It goes something like this: Ben Stiller plays your average, kind, good hearted, well meaning male nurse named Greg who is madly in love with his girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo) and decides he wants to pop the question to her. But just when he is about to do just that, Pam's sister calls. Sis has just gotten engaged, and the fiancee was nice enough to ask dad's permission. So Greg calls off the proposal and goes to the wedding with his girlfriend to seek dad's approval.
Sounds like a plan. But Greg overlooks the fact that maybe, just maybe, dad is just a wee bit overprotective. So naturally, he hates Greg at first site. Everything about him. Of course Greg, who desperately wants dad's approval, starts causing all sorts of calamities in his efforts to please Jack and starts lying about them to cover his tracks and fun ensues. Lots of fun.
Too bad it's not all that funny. Aside from all the usual slapstick comedy that everyone already knows about, there is a terrible running joke about Greg's last name. "An interesting last name you have" one of them says upon their first meeting. "How is it pronounced?". "It's pronounced the way it's spelled" Greg replies. "F-O-C-K-E-R. Focker". If there are any readers who don't get this, let me explain. Focker rhymes with Fu@ker. Therefore, we get a lot of jokes using Focker in place of the forbidden f-word, like Jack saying "When you and Pam have a bunch of little Fockers running around...". And that's only the beginning. From there it only gets worse and worse until it's been milked for every last drop.
If this movie can boast one thing, it's the comedic talent that was wasten on it. Playing Jack is Robert De Niro, universally considered the greatest actor in the history of movies, attempting to flex his comedic muscles once again. He has a different comedic style than your Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler. Instead of just playing the comic scenes, he plays the whole part. It works. Ben Stiller plays Greg, and Blythe Danner and Owen Wilson are in it. The director is Jay Roach, who directed the Austin Powers movies. So while Meet the Parents had the potential to be the funniest family comedy since Christmas Vaction, it fails because of a weak script. Most of the jokes have been done to death, so they don't help anything.
I guess it's worth watching once, though, on TV, to see one of De Niro's rare comedic turns. But the only time you'll really smile is at the end. Except for the final scene between Jack and his wife:
Jack: "I guess sinse Greg's going to be our son in law, there's only one thing left to do".
wife: "What's that?"
Jack: "Meet his parents".
Oh, Lord.


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More Meet the Parents reviews
review by . January 22, 2011
I just finished watching this movie and all I can say is "Poor Greg". Seriously, he can't seem to do anything right and everyone just keeps bullying him. This film introduced some future beloved characters and spawns two sequels. This also provides us with an enjoyable comedy with an interesting and relatable premise with some creative characters. This was a movie that was created pretty much solely for Ben Stiller to have a franchise under his belt and it was pretty well done.   …
review by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What does Ben Stiller and Divine have in common?
I was strolling through the community, I saw this movie and I remember I saw it ONCE and it left an impression on me that I endure to this day: my finger is NOT on the pulse of what is considered funny today.  I can't stand Dane Cook.  I don't see Jennifer Aniston as a comedienne like the rest of the world does and I can't stand this movie.  I rarely give negative 5's here on the site, even the loathed Family Guy (hey another example of what is seen as funny) I gave …
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
Instant Classic... this movie is hilarious! Robert DeNiro plays the perfect overprotective DaD!
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If not for Robert DeNiro this movie would not be nearly as funny. Too much Ben Stiller can get a bit stale.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A movie that makes me sympathize with Ben Stiller can't be good. A movie that thinks it's funny to continually treat it's nice guy lead like garbage no matter what he does in the name of humor is even worse.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
All I can think of in this movie is a cat that can use the toliet lol
review by . May 15, 2009
There comes a time in a man's life when everything seems to be going accordingly...you get that big promotion at work, you meet the woman of your dreams and you're finally ready to pop the big question...you buy the ring, have the kids in her daycare spell out "will you marry me" only to be interrupted by a phone call from her sister who just got engaged to Dr. Bob...but all isn't a total loss...you've just learnt that asking daddy's permission to marry his daughter is a step that is important in …
review by . May 10, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Meet The Parents is an amusing slapstick comedy that describes the struggles of meeting one's potential in-laws. Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller both give commanding performances. Also Blythe Danner is noteworthy in her role as Jack's wife. As good as the acting is, the script suffers from excessive overkill. The scene where the champagne cork pops and tips over the urn containing Jack's mothers remains is way too ridiculous. The scene where Greg is on the roof pursuing Trixie is also …
review by . March 04, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
MEET THE PARENTS may not be the best comedy of 2000, but it comes pretty close. Granted that many of the laughs can be seen setting up a mile before they arrive. Still, that doesn't make them any less funny. Ben Stiller is a great comic actor and has the poor schmuck routine down perfectly. However, Stiller doesn't steal the show here. He shares center stage with Robert DeNiro. DeNiro isn't known for his comic abilities, but if he can make a few more great comedies like this, he may become known …
review by . October 25, 2000
Pros: good cast; the cat that uses the toilet; nice script     Cons: The slapstick comedy and physical humor got old     Meet Greg Focker (Ben Stiller), a male nurse living in Chicago who is absolutely in love with his elementary school teacher girlfriend. All he wants to do is propose to her, and live happily ever after.      Meet Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), Greg's girlfriend. Pam is the eldest child of the Byrnes family, a family living in …
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Nicholas Croston ()
Ranked #17
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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About this movie


Randy Newman's opening song, "A Fool in Love," perfectly sets up the movie that follows. The lyrics begin, "Show me a man who is gentle and kind, and I'll show you a loser," before praising the man who takes what he wants. Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is the fool in love inMeet the Parents. Just as he's about to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo), he learns that her sister's fiancé asked their father, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), for permission to marry. Now he feels the need to do the same thing. When Greg meets Jack, he is so desperate to be liked that he makes up stories and kisses ass rather than having the courage of his convictions. It doesn't take an elite member of the CIA to see right through Greg, but that's precisely what Jack is. Directed by Jay Roach (theAustin Powersmovies),Meet the Parentsis an incredibly well-crafted comedy that stands in nice opposition to, say, the sloppy extremes of the Farrelly brothers. Stiller is great at playing up the uncomfortable comedy of errors, balancing just the right amount of selfishness and self-deprecating humor, while De Niro's Jack is funny as the hard-ass father who just wants a few straight answers from the kid. What makes the Jack character all the funnier is Blythe Danner as his wife, the Gracie to his George Burns, who is the true heart of the movie. Oh, and Owen Wilson turns in yet another terrific comic performance as Pam's ex-fiancé.--Andy ...
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Director: Jay Roach
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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