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Comedy - Family

Meet the Parents (2000)

Duration1h 48m
RatingsUK: 12, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 7, 
Source of storyA 1992 film made on 16mm apparently, written by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke
DirectorJay Roach
Writers/ScriptJim Herzfeld,. John Hamburg
StarringRobert De Nero, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Nicole DeHuff, Owen Wilson, 
RatingsIMDb: 7/10 by 332,799 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 84% by 148 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10. 

Elevator Pitch: Nurse Greg Focker intends to propose to his girlfriend Pam Byrnes, but his intent is sidelined when the pair are invited to the home of Pam’s parents when Pam’s sister is to marry. He has not been there long when Greg finds out that Jack, Pam’s father is an ex CIA man, and that the house is full of cameras. No smoking is allowed in the house and Jack, by means of the cameras is keen to ensure that there is no close contact between Greg and his daughter. Greg is alarmingly accident prone. He opens a bottle of champagne and the cork shatters the urn containing Jack’s mother’s ashes, he uses a toilet which floods the lawn from the overflowing septic tank and he loses the family cat and is discovered to have substituted a similar moggie from a cat’s home. Could things get any worse?

Content: There is no nudity or sex, although it seems that it is only the intervention of Jack which prevents this. Quite a bit of drinking in social situations and some smoking. It is implied that the youngest Byrne uses dope. When Jack breaks into a suitcase mistakenly delivered to Greg he finds a lot of bondage gear. Greg is constantly at odds with Pam’s father and as well as being extremely accident prone, which includes setting fire to leaves in the house’s guttering, which spreads to the wedding arrangements, possibly being the most spectacular. They also have some road racing competitions in unsuitable cats.

A View: This film was well liked and made its $55 million costs back in 11 days, it also won a variety of awards. Those critics who liked it thought that the humour was often quite subtle, this probably the stuff about Greg being Jewish and working as a male nurse which I think I missed being an old Brit. Ben Stiller does the prat falls of all sorts very well, and Robert De Nero was by 2000 becoming known as a comedy actor. So all in all worth a view on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

 I find that Ben Stiller is nearly always worth watching, so there are a number of his films reviewed on this site. These include: Starsky and Hutch, Night in the Museum and the amazing Tropic Thunder.    

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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