Meet the Parents (2000)

Makes my first awkward meeting with my ladies parents seem like a walk in the park.

Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is ready to marry his girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo), but before he pops the question, he must win over her formidable father, humorless former CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), at the wedding of Pam’s sister. As Greg bends over backward to make a good impression, his visit to the Byrnes home turns into a hilarious series of disasters, and everything that can go wrong does, all under Jack’s critical, hawklike gaze.

The “Meet the…” film series has been going on for about the whole decade with three movies, and probably more coming up. So it’s just really cool to see where it all started off at.

This honestly is a very funny film that uses a lot of these awkward, outrageous, but always hilarious situations where you can’t believe this is actually happening. There are a lot of bad gags, toilet humor, and sometimes painful awkward comedy that will have almost all who watch laughing, and it really works out.

My only gripe with this film is that a lot of the jokes do seem a little too obvious. Something will pop up, and have a bit of significance to the plot, and will pop up later as a joke. I could see all the jokes coming up right before they did them but how they execute them is what had me really laughing in the end.

I think the real extra kick this film get’s is from the cast. Robert De Niro is perfect as Jack Byrnes who is so hard-nosed, and menacing about everything with this poor guy Greg, that you can’t help but laugh at everything he’s doing, or saying for that matter. By just sitting there, De Niro brings out huge laughs and I must say, I’m glad he’s not my girl’s daddy. Ben Stiller is the perfect guy to play Greg. He’s cute enough to be attractive and intelligent enough to be real but has a wonderful airhead quality where you can actually see the smoke rising from his ears when he tries to think. His timing is spot on and his physical stuff is full of energy, which brought me back to his days in There’s Something About Mary. Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, and the always reliable Owen Wilson provide laughs as well here, and add a lot of heart to the whole film.

Consensus: The jokes may be obvious and predictable, but De Niro and Stiller give Meet the Parents the extra kick of comedy that it deserves with hilarious gags, and believable situations that will have anybody laughing.



  1. Why Hollywood saw fit to make two additional “Focker” movies I’ll never understand. It’s the same jokes over and over (and over and over) again, and they really were only funny in “Meet the Parents.” The the novelty wore off.

  2. The original, and still the best. I can understand why they made sequels, but I wish they hadn’t. This is one of the few Still films I can actually handle watching without wanting to punch myself in the scrotum to get out of it.

  3. True, the jokes here are often predictable. However, they’re played out so well that I can’t help buy enjoy the film. I’m a bit of a Ben Stiller apologist, though. Loved Zoolander and Tropic Thunder, liked Meet the Parents, Dodgeball, etc. I’d be perfectly happy if we could go back to the time when Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and company were at the comedy forefront.

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