Worth A Look: 40%
Pretty Bad: 20.49%
Total Crap: 3.41%
15 reviews, 115 user ratings
|Meet the Parents
by Chris Parry
It promised a lot, what with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro up front and a decent looking trailer. Alas, the concept behind Meet The Parents is woeful - Daddy's little girl brings her boyfriend home to meet the folks, and daddy's a conniving control freak who won't let go. Dude, we've seen this story a million times before. It's basic sitcom formula. Didn't Tony Danza do this in a very special episode of Who's the Boss? I'm sure I remember seeing it recently in an even specialer episode of 7th Heaven. Heck, it was the basis behind an entire season of Family Ties. So can anything warm up this tired theme and stretch it into two hours of cinematic glory? Sorry. Not even De Niro can work miracles of that stature.A tired storyline might have been forgiven if anyone had really worked hard on this script before it was shot. But sadly, the jokes here are easier to spot than Roger Ebert. You can see them coming a mile off. "Hmm, that packet of cigarettes precariously placed on the roof of the house, I wonder if they might be important later on..." Puh-lease, the director of this film should create jigsaw puzzles for pre-schoolers.
"Disappointing foray into slapstick and predictability."
The female lead, Teri Polo (that can't be a real name, who has eight letters total in their entire name?), is so one dimensional they could have just drawn her onto the celluloid with a magic marker. She'll go the way of Godzilla's Maria Pitillo and spend the rest of eternity selling shoes for a living, because she ain't no actress. Of course, it might have been nice if the writers had ever met a real woman and had the first clue how to put one in a script, but I'm guessing by the manner in which she turned her character into a detestable witch that she wouldn't know a good script if it jumped out of her soup and fwapped her on the head.
Even Owen Wilson, a guy so funny he can make an American Jackie Chan movie worth watching, is slumping here. It's as if he only showed up for half his scenes and the director didn't notice. If I was a starving wannabe actor who digs half eaten burgers out of the trash to stay alive, I would have thought twice before taking a supporting role on this project, it's just that badly written.
"Now remember, whatever you do, don't flush the toilet!"
"Oops! I flushed the toilet!"
"Oh no, now the garden is full of excrement. And on the day of the big wedding too."
"Who would have seen that one coming when it was set up half an hour ago, eh?"
"All we need now is for a truck to drive into the garden and spray us all with faeces..."
"Well, give us time, it's coming. Oh, here it comes."
(cue easily pleased audience laughter)
Seriously, if there's a joke in this film that you didn't see two minutes before it actually hit, go check your pulse. Or check yourself in to somewhere therapeutic.
And what's with making a film's title the same as its synopsis? Perhaps we should have called Deep Blue Sea something like 'Big Sharks Eat Folks', and renamed There's Something About Mary 'Sperm Jokes and Big Teeth'.
Which isn't to say there isn't the occasional funny part to this film. But these are funny not because they were written funny, but because Stiller goes off on a tangent and adlibs his way to ha-ha-land. De Niro, as fine a dramatic actor as he is, wouldn't know how to deliver a punchline if the words "knock, knock" and "who's there" came before it. His hardcase with a heart of gold routine was done to death in Analyze This. In fact, if this film had been called Analyze This 2: Meet The Parents, it might have opened up a lot more comic opportunities for the writers and actors.
Nah, it still would have sucked.If people really think this movie is good enough for the big screen, well it explains how Carrot Top has made a career.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3916&reviewer=1
originally posted: 12/09/00 06:25:54
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