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Meet the Parents (2000)

Comedy movie directed by Jay Roach

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Meet the Parents

  • Jan 22, 2011
  • by
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.

Ben Stiller is a great comedian and Meet the Parents is possibly his best movie. Greg Focker is the ultimate underdog . He loves his girlfriend and desperately tries to please her family, but everything he does goes horribly wrong. He sets Pam's sister's wedding altar on fire, gives the same sister a black eye and a broken nose in a volleyball accident, spray paints the tail of a cat, among other things. His character is so sympathetic that you can't help but feel sorry for him and want him to win, which he kinda does at the end.

The rest of the cast are hilarious as well. I never knew that Robert De Niro, of Raging Bull and drama fame, could do comedy. It turns out he was funny, but he was funny because he was paranoid and only got "zanier" in the later films, which I don't really like. I mean, I like Meet the Fockers, but I don't like how Jack was played for more broad laughs. In this movie, he's played more for subtle laughs. I'm sure there are loads of men who have had to deal with father-in-laws like Jack, and that's what made the movie so relatable. Honorable mentions go out to Owen Wilson, Teri Polo, and Blythe Danner for their performances.

The story is essentially about Greg (Stiller), a Jewish male nurse living in Chicago who wants to propose to his girlfriend Pam. Unfortunately, he has to ask her father's permission. He takes the opportunity to do that getting together with her family on Long Island for her sister's wedding. This unfortunately doesn't work because he loses his luggage with the ring in it. Wacky adventures ensue, he discovers things about his future father-in-law, he meets Pam's ex-fiance Owen Wilson, and it all culminates at the wedding.

This film is hilarious, but there are several underlying themes that are pertinent and relatable. There are some religious themes, shown best when Greg trys to say a Christian prayer at the dinner table and ends up saying a passage from "Godspell". That showed how much Greg was at a different social class level from the upper class protestant Byrnes family. Another theme is the treatment of men in nursing, a profession widely considered female territory. Greg is constantly bullied by Jack and Pam's family and is perpetually asked why he isn't a doctor.

Ben Stiller has a knack for playing hapless loser underdogs that even if you try, you can't help but root for him. Greg Focker is the best example of that. If you are bored and want to rent a good comedy, I would recommend Meet the Parents. It's not the best movie ever made but it's a decent mildly amusing comedy that's actually quite relatable. All in all, a pretty good comedy

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More Meet the Parents reviews
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 . May 21, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
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.   …
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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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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