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Meet the Parents (2000)

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

Director:

Jay Roach
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Popularity
2,561 ( 565)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Jack Byrnes
Ben Stiller ... Greg Focker
Teri Polo ... Pam Byrnes
Blythe Danner ... Dina Byrnes
Nicole DeHuff ... Deborah Byrnes
Jon Abrahams ... Denny Byrnes
Owen Wilson ... Kevin Rawley
James Rebhorn ... Dr. Larry Banks
Tom McCarthy ... Dr. Bob Banks (as Thomas McCarthy)
Phyllis George ... Linda Banks
Kali Rocha ... Atlantic American Flight Attendant
Bernie Sheredy ... Norm the Interrogator
Judah Friedlander ... Pharmacy Clerk
Peter Bartlett ... Animal Shelter Worker
John Elsen ... Chicago Airport Security
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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

Taglines:

No pressure. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Thai | Spanish | Hebrew | French

Release Date:

6 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meet the Parents See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,623,300, 8 October 2000

Gross USA:

$166,244,045

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$330,444,045
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Stiller hated his clothes in the film. Director Jay Roach said it was all part of the plan to keep Stiller as uncomfortable as Greg. See more »

Goofs

Contrary to what Jack believes, it is in fact possible for cats to flush toilets with the levers shown in the film. See more »

Quotes

Jack Byrnes: Greg, nobody's expecting much out of you so if I set you up with the ball, you think you could jump up and spike it?
Greg Focker: Yeah. I'd have to be pretty high, but yeah.
Jack Byrnes: I bet you would, Panama Red.
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

The airline version contains some slight modifications to the scene where Greg is on the airplane to leave for home towards the end of the film. In particular, the shot where Greg pushes the flight attendant away as she tries to take his bag is cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude
(uncredited)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged for solo lute
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a truly marvelous comedy
19 August 2001 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Funny as well as touching, `Meet the Parents' blazes forth as one of the outstanding comedies of recent years.

Co-writers Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke, along with director Jay Roach, have managed to make a film that is often laugh-out-loud hilarious without ever becoming overbearing or obnoxious, the style of choice for far too many other comedies made in this day and age. Although the film overflows with madcap situations and even outright slapstick at times, these comic elements are always tethered to the reality of the premise and to the emotional states of the characters involved.

The foundation for any great comedy must, first and foremost, be its ability to connect with its audience on a personal level. `Meet the Parents' does so from the very start by tapping into the universal dilemma we all face at one time or another of desperately trying to make a good impression on someone we feel holds nothing less than the fate of our lives in their own two hands. For some of us this person might come in the form a boss or a potential employer or, as in poor Greg Focker's case, those most dreaded figures of all – the prospective in-laws. The comedy arises from seeing the chain of ever more preposterous events and circumstances that come along to sabotage his efforts. Greg is a goodhearted, well-meaning nebbish who wants nothing more out of life than to marry Pam, the girl he loves. First, however, he must climb over the rather formidable barrier of her eccentric father, Jack Byrnes, played to perfection by Robert De Niro, who certainly has his own offbeat way of looking at the world.

The triumph of this film is that it never overdoes anything. The people in Pam's family and in their coterie of friends are all twisted it's true, but twisted in sly, subtle ways that knock both Greg and us slightly off our balance. Like Greg, we never quite know where these people are coming from and this greatly enhances the comedic quality of the film. Tone is everything in comedy and here the tone is just right. Byrnes can seem at one moment to be a reasonable loving father, then turn immediately around and make the most unbalanced comments about the most trivial matters. Even when the movie is at its most outrageous in terms of plot complications and slapstick, it never veers off the scale into incredibility. Part of the reason is that we feel so much empathy for Greg, the best Everyman character I have seen in a movie in a long time. Ben Stiller gives a beautifully understated comic performance in the main role. Greg's completely understandable feelings of nervousness, intimidation and growing frustration help to keep the film anchored in reality, even as the story threatens to spiral off into undisciplined absurdity. Luckily, the filmmakers never let this happen. They are also blessed with the genius of Mr. De Niro, who never makes a false move as the seemingly crazy ex-CIA agent who may or may not be harboring a few secrets of his own. Above all, De Niro never lets us bank on the extent of his character's eccentricity, which brilliantly enhances this `weekend from hell' scenario. For crazy and maddening as he can be at times, we can't help loving this character.

Finally, unlike in many other romantic dramas and comedies, the relationship between the young couple in this film is both believable and touching. Greg and Pam are so likable - and the odds against them seem so staggering - that we find ourselves rooting them on from first moment to last. Their moments together are genuinely touching at times, particularly in the film's closing stretches.

Kudos go out to everyone involved for making `Meet the Parents' one of the slyest, wittiest and flat-out funniest movies to come our way in a long, long time.


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