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Meet the Parents (2000)

Comedy movie directed by Jay Roach

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What does Ben Stiller and Divine have in common?

  • Jul 29, 2010

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 a negative 4 to since it WAS loved by me at once, but THIS.  THIS pushed my limits.

The plot has Greg Focker (Stiller) a male nurse (the idea of which is a gold mine in this movie) and his girlfriend reaching an important point in their relationship where it's time to meet the parents with plans on getting married down the road.  Stillers fiance's parents are a doting and understanding mom (Blythe Danner) who is ready with optimism and her gruff dad (Robert DeNiro) who will let nothing go without scrutny and this puts Stiller under a microscope.  ANYTHING that happens in this movie is Greg's fault.  Gregs attempts to fit in always fail and absolutely NOTHING goes Greg's way. 

The movie has a running joke about NOT flushing a toilet in the guest room Greg is using since it is broken.  DeNiro finds the toilet was in fact flushed and Greg is blamed but Greg puts blame on DeNiro's beloved cat.  EVERYONE makes sure to tell Greg that a cat can't flush a toilet cause it doesn't have opposable thumbs.  Really, thats funny or supposed to make sense?  All I need to picture is the cat standing on two feet on the bowl and putting it's weight on the lever or even climbing up high and landing on the lever as it jumps and flushing it.  Last I checked, I never needed thumbs to flush the toilet, just one finger, it can even be the one I give this movie.

I love a key scene where Greg is playing volleyball in the pool with family members and another couple that are to be wed soon.  Greg misses easy plays and listens to ridicule every time he misses (way to encourage him) and is told to man up.  So he does, he ends up SMASHING the ball into the face of the bride to be and not only can this ruin a wedding, guess what HE EATS MORE GRIEF!!  Greg even grows a brain at one point and tries to smarten up later in the movie to avoid situations that will put him in more harm with her Dad but his IDIOT fiance pushes him into the situations anyway.  Heres an example of what I mean:

Dad:  "I need help pulling out furnature for the wedding party, a friend will be by later to help me."

Finace:  "Oh, but Greg can help you!"

WHO DOES THAT?!?  Greg is in enough hot water in this movie without YOU pushing him in the pot more and more sweetheart!  You even have conversations with him where you can see things aren't going smoothly!

Was I entertained?  No.  I don't think Ben Stiller was funny-probably never.  Robert DeNiro is more awesome then funny-and he isn't that awesome here and this drama that is steamrolling out only made me feel sorry for Ben and that makes me ill.

Did It Fulfill Expectations? After getting this far, I think you can answer that question as far as what I thought.

OKAY, I must admit that the trailer did have me a little interested with everyones favorite new Woody Allen, and Robert DeNiro in a comedy where DeNiro seems to enjoy giving our "hero" a hassle at every turn but I really wanted to see Stiller get some laughs that are NOT at his expense.  I don't remember a single time it did.

This is a very mainstream movie.  The movie got a sequel later on and a third sequel is out for Christmas time this year.

Going into this review, I kept thinking how similar that this movie is to a movie that I absolutely loved: the Coen's A Serious Man.  That movie is NOT billed as a comedy that I know of and some people think it's funny even though it has a similar premise of a nice guy who can't catch a break and suffers the whole film.  I also love the sitcom Married...With Children but even the hero/loser Al in that show is able to get us behind him and enjoy the show since he does get a dig at his oppressors and the rare time he did score a win, you could applaud him.  Meet the Parents has no moments like this.

A negative 5 all the way.  I did like Blythe Danner as the mom and Robert DeNiro is nice of course but that is NOT enough to erase the ill feeling this movie brought me.  I don't remember laughing once or this movie bringing me any joy.  I don't think Ben Stiller is funny but thought the material would at least be good, the way that Theres Something About Mary worked, Stiller isn't funny but the movie was. 

How would you recommend the movie?  A very good question.  How do you REALLY recommend the comedy you don't like?  While I'm at it, I'll tell you a joke that I don't think is funny in the hopes that you think it is.  Ben Stiller fans are the only ones I could recommend this to. 

This is likely going to cause tremors since this movie has legions of fans.  Did the fans just like seeing Stiller and DeNiro?  Do the fans genuinely think this was funny?  I looked at the trailer for the next movie hoping it would iron out the garbage here and it was more of the same (DeNiro asks Greg to hold a baby.  After talking to the baby, it starts crying in Gregs arms and guess what Greg is yelled at "Your scaring him!"  Yeah, cause babies NEVER cry for any reason) - but thats complaining about a sequel that I didn't see and never will.  I need to know why this was popular, seeing a nice guy through too many misunderstandings and looking like a loser as a result.  I hear that it's something people can relate to.  Maybe thats something, but I'd rather relate to something thats actually funny and entertaining.

What does Ben Stiller and Divine have in common?

What did you think of this review?

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August 03, 2010
Ha, I actually kinda liked this one, but those are some funny points that you bring up! I take it you didn't watch the sequel? I didn't either :P
July 29, 2010
I saw this some years back and while I didn't hate it, I didn't care for it either. I like DeNiro and Stiller, but I guess this wasn't exactly my thing. Nice review!
July 30, 2010
I really had to get this movie off my chest. I saw it when it came out years ago on disc and it really belongs here in the hype community. A movie that hyped how great it was and left me feeling sad.
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.   …
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 …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … 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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