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8/10
Great comedy
mjw230523 January 2007
Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is a male nurse, poised to propose to the woman he loves, Pam (Teri Polo) but the right thing to do would be to ask her father's permission first. During a weekend of getting to know them, he manages to make a strong impression; for all the wrong reasons. Her father (Robert De Niro) isn't quite what Greg has been led to believe, and right from the start he seems to have it in for his daughter's partner.

De Niro and Stiller play off each other brilliantly, and both of them give fine comic performances, with a surprising level of depth for comedy characters. This film is packed with slick gags, hilarious scenes and it has a really fun story; it's a comedy film that you don't want to miss.

8/10
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7/10
One of the funniest comedies of the year, De Niro and Stiller make the perfect comedy pair. *** (out of four)
Movie-121 November 2000
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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9/10
Very funny - but the real strength of the film is being able to relate to the characters
MovieAddict201611 April 2003
Our story begins when a male nurse named Greg Focker (Stiller) is about to propose to his girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo); unfortunately, things come to worst and before Greg can say, "Will you marry me?" he finds out that Pam's father, Jack (Robert De Niro) approved of Pam's sister's fiancé because he asked Jack's permission to marry her first. Taken aback, Greg decides to wait until tomorrow, whence they are going to meet Pam's parents, and ask Jack for approval before proposing to Pam. Should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Pam's mother (Blythe Danner) is very nice, but herein lies the problem: Not only is it apparent from the start that Pam's plant-expert father is not really a plant-expert (as Greg learns after Jack doesn't seem to recognize a plant Greg gives to him--one of the rarest plants in the world), but it turns out Jack is really in the CIA and was a "human lie detector," as Pam herself puts it. In fact, Jack even gives Greg a lie detector test in one scene to see if he liked the dinner earlier in the evening. "Yes," Greg replies, to see the needle jumping. "Well, it was a little rare for my tastes, maybe." Greg, desperately seeking approval (and nervous as ever), seems to unintentionally cause mayhem in his possible parents-to-be's home. Nerves shot like a drug addict, Greg is the definition of a nervous wreck, and all his problems seem to escalate more and more until a funny-if-sappy comedic showdown.

You know how sometimes you are really nervous, but try to hide the fact? You seem to keep your cool, until you do something, then all your nervousness explodes and you start knocking over things, saying stupid things--single-handedly DOING stupid things that you just never do? And then you look around and everyone is looking at you like you are some sort of freak? Well, that's how it is with Greg's character in "Meet the Parents"--he is so easy to identify with. Just like all of us, we want to keep our cool and impress people--but once we lose it, the coolness seems to slip farther and farther away from our grip until we are klutzes on feet. For Greg's character, small things turn bigger and bigger and bigger--from knocking over the remains of Jack's mother (and having a cat go to the bathroom on the remains), to setting the house on fire and busting the septic tank. Situations seem to escalate farther and farther out of control and they just keep getting worse and worse.

In one scene, Greg tries to impress everyone while playing volleyball in a pool. His team is losing because of him. "Get up and hit the ball," Jack says to him. So the next time the ball comes around to Greg, he jumps up and smacks the ball with all his might, sending it flying towards...Pam's sister (whose wedding is the next day), shattering her nose. Greg lands back in the pool and seems to be happy, until he realizes he smacked his sister-in-law-to-be in the nose. Then everyone looks at him like he's an insensitive idiot.

Things like that have happened to me countless times, and that is why I can so easily identify with Greg. People are yelling at Greg to do something, and when he finally does it, it backfires and everyone looks at him like he's stupid, even though he did exactly what he was told.

That's the kind of thing that makes this movie so great--not only is it extremely funny, but we can easily identify with the main character countless times throughout the film. That is, perhaps, the best thing about this comedy.
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8/10
A modern comedy classic with emotional depth.
the red duchess21 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
With a hero called Gaylord M. Focker, you might expect this to be a film of snickering silliness. It IS snickeringly silly - the soon-to-be-immortal champagne/urn scene; the cat-milking discussion; the skimpy swimming trunks; the volleyball bloodbath; the flushing cat; the wooden altar conflagration; the septic tank spray etc.; all good, healthy, daft, slapstick, prurient, scatalogical stuff. And while I in no way condone Greg's vile rage directed at the air-stewardess, it is very funny.

But, 'Meet the Parents' has the emotional truths that turn it from being merely a funny film into a comedy classic. Anyone who has ever been married or about to will recognise the horrible accuracy of this film. My own father-in-law is remarkably like Jack Byrnes here; not that he is an ex-CIA spycatcher (at least, I don't think so); but in his ability to intimidate, humiliate, terrorise, impose his power.

My point is that Jack's profession is only a comic exaggeration of what all fathers- or mothers-in-law are like, figures terrified of losing their children, defending them like animals in the wild, convinced that a prospective so-and-so will never be good enough for our baby, not even thinking that neither might they have been; refusing to admit they are getting old, that they are losing power and control.

It's only logical that the monster in-law from hell should be obsessive about power and control. His domestic panopticon is a superb metaphor for extended family life, the idea of being judged, marked on 'success' or 'suitability' ratings, your every personal, financial, health etc. problem a matter for family investigation. Bitter, moi? Greg should be lucky Jack isn't married to Monica Geller's mom.

But the film doesn't simplistically pit Capraesque good guy Greg against shady CIA man Jack. If Jack is all about control, then so is Greg. The film has one of the best musical openings in recent memory ('if you're gentle and sweet, you're an idiot...'), but the opening montage is more sinister, as a faceless cameraman takes home movies of a pretty blonde. Pam is the true victim of this film, the prize in a macho battle of wits, the female bystander in the great masculine generational conflict, as Jack proves he's not past it, and Greg proves he's not a loser. Those voyeuristic home movies echo Jack's surveillance cameras and perform the same function, to watch, to control, to limit (just as Kevin remembers Pam by his photographs and his erotic memories).

One is heartened by the ironies of the ending, not just Jack breaking his word, determined to keep up his power games as he watches his CCTV's filming the most private places, where people are at their most vulnerable and exposed (revealing, truthfully, that the in-law struggle never ends)

The film also has some cutting things to say about the lingering anti-semitism in WASPish society; nothing much has changed since 'Auntie Mame'.

It is wonderful to see Robert de Niro finally getting a decent comedy. He has always been hilarious in 'straight' roles ('Mean Streets', 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull' etc.), but his comic vehicles have spluttered to a halt. He is genius here, his menace, his gestures, facial contortions, way of throwing out a line like he's garrotting it - bliss. If 'Parents' finally lacks the pull of a film like 'There's Something About Mary', then it's probably the nature of the plot. 'Mary' had an active plot, it was a quest, necessitating narrative and character development, and thus more audience commitment. 'Parents' is purely destructive, as Jack tries to destroy a love that's already been built up. Sadly, this scenario is much truer.
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10/10
Get Ready to Laugh!
g-bodyl23 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Meet the Parents is one of the funniest films this decade and it is not a spoof. I was laughing so hard, soda came bursting out of my nose. Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller did such an amazing job. I was not bored of this movie at all. Gaylord Focker and his girlfriend, Pam are set to become engaged. But to do so, they must travel to Pam's parents. It turns out that Pam's father, Jack is a CIA agent and dislikes Gaylord a lot. Gaylord did many hilarious things which includes losing a rare cat. The ironic thing is that Pam's sister got engaged and will be married....when and if Gaylord can get his act together. The acting is wonderful. You usually don't see De Niro doing movies like this. He did absolutely amazing. Ben Stiller did just as good. If you want to see this movie, get ready to laugh. This movie is full of laughs! I rate this movie 10/10.
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A missed opportunity
Steve W-218 January 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Warning: Spoilers ahead

This film was a real disappointment. It had a good premise and a good cast but, apart from one or two amusing set-pieces, mainly failed to deliver.

The plot partly relied upon mistaken identity due to the main character having changed his name. His real name was Gaylord Foker (oh my aching ribs!). The name was unnecessarily vulgar bearing in mind that it's main task was to set up the confusion of identity scenario (and hey, I liked the dialogue in Goodfellas and Casino so its not a sensibility issue). The name was used at intervals throughout the film to get cheap laughs in a way that was more suited to the "Carry on" films. It wouldn't be worth mentioning, except that so many scenes in the film seemed to rely on it for laughs (even before his 1st name was revealed to be "Gaylord").

Although one or two of the set-pieces were funny, every single one of them was telegraphed way ahead. De Niro gets all emotional about his Mothers ashes - Greg breaks the urn, Greg floods the lawn with s**t - his girlfriends ex drives up in a truck and sprays them with it, the ex carves a beautiful altar for her sister's wedding - Greg burns it down. And so on and so on - you get the picture? All we were missing was Greg leaving a rake for someone to step on and wack themselves in the eye

Imagine a comedy that combines the intelligence and sophistication of "Frasier" or the "Phil Silvers Show" with the slapstick of the Marx Brothers - well you ain't imagining this film. Mixing slapstick/farce with a bit of sophistication is fine when done well ("The Producers" for example) but here the comedy never got sophisticated enough to provide a counterpoint to the -adequate- slapstick. The only low gag they missed was not having the Thai honeymoon destination being Phuket!

This was a film that intermittently promised to develop into something good (De Niro's poem to his dead mother for instance), and the cast did their best with thin material. In the end though it couldn't build on it's few bright spots - it could have been much, much better with a bit more effort.
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a truly marvelous comedy
Buddy-5119 August 2001
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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7/10
A comedy with Stiller at his most awkwardly best
willcundallreview29 March 2015
Rating-7/10

Meet the Parents is a comedy and almost kind of romance movie that boats a stellar cast and some funny lines. The humour here is spread out well and the laughs don't just all come in one scene or the other, it makes you laugh at the end and the beginning too. I think the majority of the laughs are more physical than what they say, but what I will add is that when Greg(Ben Stiller) says certain lines, they come off brilliantly. I felt it was just about good and here below is why.

The cast here seem excellent and Ben Stiller as I mentioned is cast well in the lead role as Greg, his physical humour matches up to his line delivery and both combine very well. Robert De Niro as the father in law Jack is great as well, he somehow seems to mix serious but still feel funny and all credit to him on this one. Teri Polo as Pam, Greg's finance, is well cast and so even is Blythe Danner including people like Owen Wilson too to create a first rate bunch of characters.

It's written well, now what I will say is that the script doesn't quite produce as memorable scenes as some of the more physical jokes do but there still funny anyway. John Hamburg and Jim Herzfeld do a good job as I say writing this and both seem to combine past experiences well, with Hamburg who worked with Stiller on "Zoolander" yet again bringing out the laughs and the type of humour we have come to expect.

I think the director Jay Roach is probably the best thing in a way about this, yes you may say how is it not Stiller, but Roach is the master here when it comes to the most memorable parts, and a lot of the laughs. Roach seems to be able to not only get good delivery, but make things very awkward, and part of you even feels awkward watching it at times.

Now Meet the Parents isn't the funniest film you will ever see, if it is then there is much else out you need to see, but it does stand tall when it comes to comedy, and laughs can be had a plenty everywhere. I think although it is a typical comedy type plot, the jokes and the cast involved+ some memorable scenes create a movie that is new when it comes to jokes and even maybe creates a new type of Rom-Com.

On the jokes side again, pretty much any scene where it goes wrong for Greg is funny, whether he is hurt, hurts somebody or basically does something to destroy something, It makes not only Stiller's reactions funnier, but also how the cast react, just hilarious on that side of things. I also think how De Niro goes from actually kind of nice to angry in a matter of seconds is perfect, top class acting from the great.

So overall I think this is a good movie, just scraping into being good but still a good one. I think the reason it isn't great is that it isn't smart ENOUGH, it is smart but there could have been some better jokes or maybe even this type of plot just only works to a certain point. Nevertheless I can't recommend this more, whether you like Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro or any of the cast involved, your sure to have a great time and laugh a lot along the way.
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7/10
Painfully funny
rbverhoef30 May 2004
Most of the funny moments in 'Meet the Parents' involve painful scenes with Ben Stiller. He plays Greg Focker, a male nurse who loves Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo). He wants to marry her with her father's permission. He hasn't met her parents yet. The movie shows us the weekend where Stiller meets the parents. Pam's father is Jack (Robert De Niro) and her mother is Dina (Blythe Danner). The more Greg tries to impress the parents, especially Jack who is a former CIA-agent, the more he humiliates himself. Not only with his actions, also with his words and stupid lies to look better.

Stiller is perfect in this kind of role. We already saw that, especially in 'There's Something About Mary'. The more he gets in trouble, the more painful it gets, the better Stiller gets and the more we laugh. There is also a fine little part from Owen Wilson as Pam's former lover. Stiller and Wilson have made a lot of films together and for some reason their scenes always work, they at least make you smile. De Niro doesn't try very hard to be a strict person who doesn't give Greg a chance and therefore succeeds even better. The way he slowly gets harder and harder on Greg is good for a new laugh every time. 'Meet the Parents', directed by Jay Roach who also directed the 'Austin Powers' trilogy, is a fine comedy with a lot of sequences where you might feel a little uncomfortable.
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9/10
Love it! Can watch it over and over again.
deloudelouvain8 January 2016
Haha this is one of those comedies that you will always remember. Full of classic lines that my wife and I constantly use on daily bases, like "if it has teat then you can milk it, puff the magical dragon, the circle of trust and so on..." Meet The Parents is full of those phrases that makes me laugh every time I think about it. And that's what defines a good comedy to me. If I watch a comedy I want to laugh and with this one it's what you get. Some people might not like it but then to me they just don't have a sense of humor and that's just a pity for them. You have to like Ben Stiller though because it's basically him that is the great comedian of the movie. If you don't like him you probably not going to like the movie either. Like I don't like the movies with Adam Sandler. I think that guy is not funny and so his comedies are painful to watch for me. In Meet The Parents the whole story is basically about the relation between Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. Robert De Niro that plays his role brilliantly as well by the way. The other actors are good as well but it's not them that carry the movie. To me it's already a classic movie when I think about the best comedies I ever saw.
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1/10
Worst. Movie. Ever.
dpasq-17 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry, but I just don't see how anyone can find this movie funny. I put the spoiler warning on this comment since I am about to give away the biggest comedic device in the movie. As unbelievable as it sounds, the protagonist in the movie has a last name that rhymes with a naughty word. His last name is Focker! Why is this piece of information a spoiler? Because joke after joke after joke after joke is made on this simple premise. In fact, it's so hilarious that they felt the need to put it in the title of the next movie! In addition, the scenarios in this movie were so far fetched that instead of being able to enjoy it, I spent the entire time wondering why the writers were so lazy that instead of coming up with reasonable plot scenarios, they just passed off ridiculous decisions in order to force supposedly humorous scenes. Case and point - Ben Stiller's character loses his luggage while on the way to meet his fiancée's parents. The first morning he wakes up in his fiancée's family's house, he wants to change clothes but doesn't have any. His fiancée suggests that he borrow some of her brother's clothes. So far, this all seems reasonable. Stiller's character then asks her to go get some of these clothes. Instead, she tells him it would make more sense that even though he has yet to meet her brother, he should walk into his room unannounced and feel free to root through his bureau until he finds something he wants. Would any person in their right mind ever suggest such a thing? Needless to say, her brother then catches this man he doesn't know going through his underwear drawer. That's it! That's the big joke! And that is supposed to be funny! I could go on with numerous examples just as ridiculous as this that litter this movie, but I've wasted enough time. If I can convince just one person not to waste the 2 hours of his or her life on this abomination of a film, I will consider this exercise worth while.

1 out of 10
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10/10
My former in-laws-oye
buzznzipp19958 July 2009
This has to be the most uncomfortably hilarious comedy I have seen or I should say felt involved with in years. The whole family and their friends VS Mr.Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller). A father-in-law to be is not just an overly literal and abundantly-overbearing wall in the way of the progress of asking with the best intentions for the man's daughters hand in marriage. Every time he turns around someone in that family of Pam's is verbally being cold blooded or condescending toward Greg Focker aka Gaylord, and then laughing about it. Or even accusing him of doing things that he hasn't done. With a case of nerves as it is it doesn't help to be even more nervous and doing something by mistake that will be under a finer micro-scope by the parents and friend of the wedding party. From the supposed pot smoking that they accused him of to lying about his taking the 'M Cats' test to anything else that they feel like saying to him, or about him. This reminded me of my past in-laws. What a freaking mess.The breakfast scene where he enters their kitchen in pjs and the grooms mother quips, "looks like someone had a visit from the hair fairy." Then on Greg's way out of the kitchen to go shower, he jokes and sez, "Well I guess it's time for me to visit the shower fairy." And everyone just looks at him as if to say 'Oh Greg grow up'. I can identify with most of this whole feature. The director was brilliant in making an awkwardly close to the bone for me, movie about unwed bliss. DeNiro is masterful in this role. He is simply the one that fits it to a tee. Well scripted and maintained through out the entire story, this one with Owen Wilson was a spectacle to look and laugh and cringe at all at the same time while feeling awkward and gawky and nervously smiling with the rest of the nervous fiancée's out there.

This was a one of a kind fun-filled slightly bend out of shape picture with an original feel, that makes it not equal to all the other cinema fare out there that 'comes and goes' with little staying power.

Jay Roach is a cool and talented director. Keep up the great work. Recommended (****) See it with a buddy.
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Meet the Parents is a must-see!
klizee2 October 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Fresh from a lackluster summer full of sophomoric films, I was quite happy to have found myself in the theatre watching a sneak preview of the Universal/Dreamworks picture Meet the Parents.

I remember the weekend that I first met my husband's parents. Joe and I were not even engaged yet. I spent the entire weekend stressed and worried that I'd offend them (they're Jewish and it was Passover weekend) or make an idiot of myself.

I need not have worried. In the movie Meet the Parents, Ben Stiller's character, Greg Focker (yes, that *is* his last name) breaks all previously held records for making an ass of one's self and sets new, unattainable ones, albeit, through not much fault of his own.

The premise of this movie is simple. Greg wants to marry his girlfriend Pam Byrnes (played by Teri Polo). However, he has yet to meet her family. Pam's sister Debbie is getting married and so Greg goes along, wanting to ask the father's permission since that is what Jack (Pam's father) would expect.

Greg even packs a gorgeous two Carat ring in his carry-on. Unfortunately, his bag is deemed too big and it must be checked. You *know* at this point that they WILL lose his bag. What you don't know is all the ensuing comedy that will stem from this one incident.

The humor in this film reminds me of the TV show Seinfeld. It all connects. Jerry loses luggage. However, in this luggage is something that Kramer put in there that will cause...yada yada yada....which has a domino effect and POW! The audience is loving it.

As was the audience that saw this sneak preview. There were many times when the movie could not be heard because people were *still* laughing over the last hilarious scene. They didn't give you time to catch your breath. People were laughing like I haven't heard people laugh in a theatre in a long, long time. Big, gigantic, full body laughs. I know, because I was one of them.

Greg and Pam, sans Greg's luggage (which was lost) arrive and "Meet the Parents." Robert De Niro plays Jack Byrnes, Pam's ex CIA interrogator father who Greg thinks is a retired rare flower dealer. Pam's mother is played with the appropriate level of ditzy dryness by Blythe Danner.

Pam hurriedly tells Greg to get rid of his cigarettes because her father thinks smoking is a sign of weakness. The cigarettes are thrown to the roof. Don't forget about those, because later, they'll be the falling domino for future scenes that you will LOVE. Our audience was losing it.

The supporting characters here are well cast. Owen Wilson has a great turn as Pam's ex, Kevin. Kevin is *everything* that Greg is not, and Pam's dad doesn't hesitate to remind everyone of that fact non-stop. I haven't laughed this much in a too long of a time. I would recommend this film without hesitation. It's smart and funny and just plain FUN. And make sure you pay attention to the last scene. It had me giggling *all* the way home.
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8/10
No pressure.
Lady_Targaryen19 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Gaylord 'Greg' Focker(Ben STiller), needs to meet the parents of his girlfriend (and future fiancé)Pam Byrnes(Teri Polo).The biggest problem is Pam's father, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), a complicated,neurotic,jealous and suspicious man, who doesn't help being nice to his future son in law. In 'Meet the Parents' the jokes and the cast are sooo great! I can't even imagine Jim Carrey as Gaylord Focker, or Christopher Walken as Jack Byrnes.(these two were the director's first choice) I think this film is a great choice for everybody who likes good comedies,specially with Ben Stiller.

ps: Who else liked Jinx,the cat? =)
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Parental Discretion
tedg1 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Movies are seldom about life, but life is often about movies. Most cultural dynamics are fueled by stereotypes and those stereotypes are manufactured for us in increasing measure by film. There's a feedback loop where filmmakers chase formula and that formula follows from previous films and the stuff of this formula in most entertainment is stereotypes.

This film is pure drek. The slide of DeNiro from great actor isn't even interesting anymore. What IS interesting, at least to me, is how Stiller is reviving a certain stereotype -- the warmhearted, weak Jew: the oddball anti-intellectual. When Chaplin played the tramp, it was a class thing. When Jackson plays a literate killer, its a race thing. The portrayal of Jews at this level is both: it seems unhealthy to me, and somewhat cowardly, much lower than the septic tank jokes.

Instead of the Jew-doctor, Stiller plays a nurse who is belittled by `real' doctors. Instead of the banker powerbroker, we have Stiller easily ridden by the CIA guy (incidentally a John Bircher to judge from his bedtime reading*). His predecessor and still competitor is a Jesus-freak. He is bested by a cat. His name is derided. Shrewdness (that mainstay) is replaced by spinelessness and incompetence. His bumbling destroys an altar.

But he still aces his grad school test, and once away from the WASPs becomes aggressive, so there is some hint that underneath is a `regular' Jew. These films have lots of managers, so surely this is engineered. I can imagine the pitch, knowing they have Stiller who can play this kind of part.

Think about it. Not funny is it?

(* For those who don't know, the book DeNiro is reading is perhaps the most influential screed on `global Jewish conspiracies' in the postwar US. Such stuff as: Eisenhower was secretly a commie Jew who gave half of Europe to Stalin.)

((PS This comment was written in the same suspicious-of-everything stance.))
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10/10
Great!!!
jspratjr329 August 2002
I thought this was an excellent comedy...from start to finish. Any man or women who has had "rough" in-laws, or "soon-to-be" in-laws can probably relate to Greg's plight.....and to comments of 9/11...I suppose MASH shouldn't have been made (wars are NOT funny) and Cheers was disgusting with all the alcoholics we have roaming this planet .... sheesh.....lighten up!!!
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1/10
Meet the new generation of "unfunny" movie.
hmmod918 November 2006
This film was a very lame attempt at been humorous. The jokes were poor, overcooked and could be seen at least two lines before hand. I didn't have a decent laugh during the whole movie and was sorry I wasted my time viewing it until the end. The worst thing about this type of baloney is that a new genre of film seems to have been invented by some studios i.e. "unfunny" funny film whose only reason for existence is to lull the viewing audience into some sort of trite "twilight zone", letting them think that they go home in a jovial and entertained mood where the exact opposite is the case as the discerning viewer goes home unfulfilled, cheated and slightly disgruntled. Unfortunately, we have been exposed to a plethora of these films for too long as more and more of this type of banal movie is served up appealing to increasingly demoralized audiences as certain movie makers lose sight of the hilarious belly busters of yesteryear with their razor sharp script writers, ludicrous plots and acting beyond belief. They have become nothing more that "cash cows" for some actors to make a few extra dollars to keep them in the lifestyle that they have been accustomed to and are disingenuous to both, us their audience, and true comedians alike.
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1/10
Oh Robert, What has become of you?!?!?!?!?
Numchuck24 June 2001
Meet The Parents is a comedy.

Now, keep telling yourself this while you sit through the film, otherwise it can become very easy to forget that you're supposed to be laughing and not slipping in and out of consciousness.

The plot could be written on the back of a postage stamp (as could the details of every successful joke), the acting quite frankly ain't upto much and the script could have been written by an 8 year old.

The only positive comment I could possibly make about this film is that it was quite short.

0 out of 10.
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1/10
Boring and just plain bad.
ian-scott24 March 2003
Before I was forced to watch this movie I had already guessed the story. Some of the gags were amusing but they just had Ben Stiller, aka Gaylord 'Greg' Focker, messing up EVERY single thing. It made the movie very tired.

This movie could've been much better (but not less predictable) if they'd had half as many gags but made them more likely and deeper.

Not one of Robert De Niro's better moments. Shame really.
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1/10
If you've seen the preview, don't bother with the movie.
eebert17 October 2000
My girlfriend and I saw Meet the Parents and both thought it was terrible. My sister saw it and walked out 10 minutes in, which is maybe a little extreme.

If you've seen the preview you've already seen every joke in the movie. So basically they've managed to cram 30 seconds worth of humor into a 90 minute movie.

Somehow even the jokes from the preview fell flat in the theater.
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1/10
Awful, Awful
fiteclub!9 October 2000
This film is an uneven mess. It is funny for about 10-15 minutes at the beginning, and for maybe 45 seconds (possibly two minutes) at the end. The rest of the film is a horrible monstrosity.

After the initial, fifteen minutes (I'll be generous), the film suddenly falls in love with its gross-out comedy. It began as a kinda strange, funny film about characters. There's unspoken tension between Stiller and DeNiro, and it was very funny. Then the film becomes a slapstick gross out mess of a film, and the jokes were seen miles away. The tragedy is that even when they're being set up we already know they will not be funny, so when they are finally delivered, we completely hate them.

At around the midpoint, you find the film too absurd to be taken seriously, and from there it only gets worse. The characters are so uneven and poorly written that you don't even really care what they say or do.

Things get more and more absurd and less and less funny as the film goes on and on (and on and on). Clueless Director Jay Roach clearly had a vision for this film, but it's a shame his crew didn't share the same vision. It's obvious that no one knew what the hell they were doing in this atrocity besides the director. And it's the irony of ironies that this happens to be one of the worst American directors working today.

This film is much, much worse than those Austin Powers films Roach directed, and I think that's saying quite a lot. In fact-

Wait, wait, what the hell am I doing writing this review? Why am I still typing? This film is awful-stay away! It doesn't even deserve my time in writing a decent review. If they didn't put that much effort into their film, why should I put that much effort into this?
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7/10
A pretty funny movie...
taylorkingston26 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I really like this movie. I thought it was funny, and I am very excited to see the two sequels; Meet The Fockers, and Little Fockers.

This movie is about a man's worst nightmare. Meeting his girlfriend's parents. Greg Focker goes with his girlfriend, and soon-to-be (hopefully) fiancé. Whilst at the parents house, a lot of stuff goes down. Most of it being accidents, but looking like it's Greg's fault. Because of this, Pam's (the girlfriend) Father is very untrusting, and feels like Greg is hiding something. But maybe it's the Father himself hiding something from his family.

Recommended for: Ben Stiller fans, and Robert De Niro fans.

Overall, I give this movie a 7 out of 10, which in my ratings book is: Great.
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8/10
Delivers on Comedy Tense
Floated27 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Meet The Parents (2000) introduces Greg (Ben Stiller) 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 DeNiro and Stiller who make the movie, however. The filmmakers take advantage of the phenomenal tension between Greg and Jack, and place them in one hilarious situation after another.

The more Stiller gets in trouble, the more painful it gets, the better Stiller gets, the more the audience laugh. There is also a part from Owen Wilson. Stiller and Wilson have made a lot of films together as their scenes always work. The way we see DeNiro slowly gets harder and harder on Greg is timely pacing among the directors choice decision.
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8/10
the circle of trust or circle on the outside
2karl-28 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
well here is my review of a hilarious film by director Jay Roache set in New York we meet the nurse Gaylord Focker as he sees his Pamela Byrnes who looks after kids he wants to get married but has meet the future family in laws so in this funny film witch is dying for a sequel as focker as a last name is going to meet her parents cue scenes of mistrust fires circle of mistrust prayers cats septic tanks volleyball car race I am watching you teddy bears cue a hilarious scene with jacks wife with Ben stiller watching the television with the camera pointing at the mothers legs with jack mistrusting him doing a polygraph test on Gaylord fockers as he was a undercover agent so he knows what going on this film is short but brilliant film I gave it 8/10 and Owen Wilson cameo is just hilarious cant wait for the next one
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10/10
Robert De Niro Proves That He Is Great At Comedy
Desertman8420 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This comedic film is a story of numerous unfortunate events that a good-hearted and charming but hapless nurse experiences when he visits his girlfriend's parents.Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller stars together with Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, and Owen Wilson.It was written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg; and it was directed by Jay Roach.

Greg Focker goes to the parents' house of his girlfriend Pam Byrnes at Long Island.Her girlfriend's sister is about to get married during their upcoming trip and Greg sees this as an opportunity to ask her and her parents' permission to marry him.As he gets introduced her parents,things go awry as Pam's father Jack has an obvious dislike for him and his occupation as a Nurse.Added to that,Jack also sees a big difference between their families as Greg happens to be grubby while Pam's family are well-mannered.It was also clear that Jack sees Greg as relatively unambitious.As the film progresses,the viewer also realizes that Jack has worked for the CIA for 34 years and implements some plans to destroy the house and the wedding in the process.

Robert DeNiro gives his best comedic performance in this film.Added to that,his chemistry with Ben Stiller was so great and believable that the viewer will be instantly hooked into the film.It will definitely elicit lots of laughter from the viewer as it has a garden variety of comic relief that ranges from slapstick,offensive jokes,gags and funny lines such as "Are you a pothead,Focker?".In addition to that, it takes a hilarious look at the themes of family and familial relationships which the movie tackled effectively.Overall,Meet The Parents delivers like no other comedy.
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