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Meet the Parents (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 6 October 2000 (USA)
Male nurse Greg Focker meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father is every date's worst nightmare.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Dr. Bob Banks (as Thomas McCarthy)
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Storyline

A Jewish male nurse plans to ask his live-in girl friend to marry him. However, he learns that her strict father expects to be asked for his daughter's hand before she can accept. Thus begins the visit from Hell as the two travel to meet Mom and Dad, who turns out to be former CIA with a lie detector in the basement. Coincidentally, a sister also has announced her wedding to a young doctor. Of course everything that can go wrong, does, including the disappearance of Dad's beloved Himalayan cat, Jinxie. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

male nurse | nurse | cat | cia | jewish | See All (141) »

Taglines:

First comes love. Then comes the interrogation. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug references and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La familia de mi novia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,623,300 (USA) (6 October 2000)

Gross:

$166,225,040 (USA) (23 March 2001)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Greg's MCAT scores are (out of 15): 14 Verbal reasoning, 13 Physical Sciences, 15 Biological Sciences, and an R on the Writing Sample (very high). See more »

Goofs

When Greg goes onto airplane the airport is completely empty. When he is removed from the plane the waiting area is completely full of people in the terminal watching as Greg is being taken away. See more »

Quotes

Greg Focker: This handles like a dream.
Larry: Let's not make it a nightmare.
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Crazy Credits

During the opening logos, the singers in the theme music are lyrically commenting "Look at the light coming out of the earth" during the Universal logo, and "Look at the boy sitting on the moon" during the Dreamworks logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.140 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

A Fool in Love
Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
Opening Title Performed by Randy Newman
End Title Duet Performed by Randy Newman and Susanna Hoffs and Produced by Mitchell Froom
Randy Newman appears courtesy of DreamWorks Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the funniest comedies of the year, De Niro and Stiller make the perfect comedy pair. *** (out of four)

MEET THE PARENTS / (2000) *** (out of four)

By Blake French:

The main character in "Meet The Parents" is a Chicago-based male nurse, Greg Focker (pronounced just how it is spelled) who realizes how unlucky a person can be. He is about to propose to his schoolteacher girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo), when her sister Debbie (Nicole Dehuff) calls and explains that her new fiancé, Dr. Bob Banks (Tom McCarthy), received a blessing from her father before he asked the question. This information makes Greg reconsider his method of choice, and instead jumps at the opportunity to meet Pam's overprotective parents when they fly to the east coast two weeks later to arrange Debbie's wedding.

At the airport, the attendants loose Greg's parcels. Thus he arrives without any luggage. Once at Pam's parent's house, they exchange greetings and aquatint themselves with each other. Pam's parents, Jack and Dina Byrnes (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) learn about Greg's unusual last name, that he does not like cats, and is a male nurse, all facts that do not settle well with Pam's father. Greg does manage to gift Jack with a pleasant supply of rare flowers. However, even though Pam explained to Greg that her dad is in the hobby of rare flowers, he does not seem too impressed.

Even More complications ensue, especially when Greg learns of Jack's peculiar behaviors and suspicious gadgets, such as a polygraph and hidden cameras placed in every room of the house, as well as meeting Pam's brother, Denny (Jon Abrahams), and Debbie's soon to be in laws, Larry (James Rebhorn), and Linda Banks (Phillis George), and Pam's wealthy ex-fiancée, Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson). Soon, Greg's chances of receiving Jack's permission to wed his daughter become less and less probable as his bad luck only manages to increase.

The film introduces Greg and Pam with silly quirks that come up later in the story. Pam's parents are also quite the treat; the movie does not go over the top but portrays them with serious humor and charismatic wit. It is De Niro and Stiller who make the movie, however. They form an very effective comedic chemistry, even more amusing than the likable shtick between De Niro and Billy Crystal in "Analyze This." The filmmakers take advantage of the phenomenal tension between Greg and Jack, and place them in one hilarious situation after another.

While outrageous and at times explosively funny, director Jay Roach takes the plot seriously. His previous films, including the Austin Powers films and "Mystery, Alaska," have had trouble with taking anything seriously. But "Meet The Parents" has emotional connections, develops solid empathy for Greg, and we really believe he has something precious that can be lost: Pam.

The movie does not completely develop romantic chemistry between Ben Stiller and Teri Polo, thus there were times when I simply did not believe the two were really in love. The relationship sometimes feels trite and contrived. There are also important plot nuggets left only partially examined: Jack's pot-head son, who could have contributed a lot more to the drug related material, is left as a plot device to provide another string of conflicts within Jack and Greg.

I really enjoyed the whimsical performances and opportune casting. Ben Stiller reprises his "There's Something About Mary" role, with cute charm and the obscured zany flippancy. Robert De Niro is perfect in a role he was born to play, with serious attitude that results in the main portion of the film's funny moments. Blythe Danner is also charming in a kind of role that is becoming all too usual for her.

"Meet the Parents" is one of the funniest movies of the year. It gives audiences with a solid story that does not interfere with the comic material, but contributes to it. The top notch performances and lively direction also raise the film to a higher level. During a year in which effective comedies are an endangered species, "Meet The Parents" is a landmark achievement in light entertainment.


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