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Overall Rating
3.55

Awesome: 21.57%
Worth A Look39.71%
Average: 14.71%
Pretty Bad: 20.59%
Total Crap: 3.43%

15 reviews, 114 user ratings


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Meet the Parents
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"Ben Stiller is simply fantastic, and this DeNiro kid could be big one day."
4 stars

Based on a short film of the same name, Meet the Parents is pretty much just a one-joke comedy. While that would be faint praise indeed for most comedies, the one joke is enough in this case. If two actors are this much fun to watch, I'm certainly willing to forgive things like superfluous characters, predictable plot twists, and sloppy direction. Good thing Stiller is on hand to steal the show entirely.

If you want to discuss Meet the Parents as a work of cinematic art, you're already in the wrong room. As far as 'quality filmmaking' is concerned, it's actually a fairly slipshod movie. The screenplay is dull when it's not engaged in a 'gag scene', and other than the two stars, the movie has almost nothing worth recommending: No subtext or depth, nothing resembling a realistic character or motivation..

It's still a good movie, because it made me laugh pretty hard and fairly often. Only those stick-up-the-rear folks could bash a movie like this for not being Schindler's List. You could just as easily call this The Ben Stiller Movie, and I mean that as a compliment.

Stiller plays a nice guy named Greg Focker. Yeah, Focker - pretty funny, right? Wait until you hear it repeated the 17th time, and I'll ask you that again. Note to screenwriter Jim Herzfeld: The dirty-sounding name gag was old when Jackie Gleason was a fetus. It's one of the weaker gags in the movie, so it only stands to reason that it needed to be done over and over.

Greg wants to marry his pretty girlfriend Pam (the very vanilla Teri Polo), but first he has to spend a weekend with her stern and suspicious father Jack, who is played wonderfully by DeNiro. Apparently I'm the only person on Earth who didn't enjoy DeNiro doing comedy in Analyze This, but that may have just been because that movie pretty much sucked wind. In Meet the Parents, DeNiro stands back and generally plays the straight-man to Stiller's lunatic. When he does get a few laughs to himself, it's because he has created a truly menacing character. In Analyze This, he was a caricature.

Although Greg tries repeatedly to get on Jack's good side, he seems to have the luck of Clark Griswold. In scene after scene, Greg consistently says and does the worst thing possible, although always by accident. He defiles an urn full of Grandma's ashes, almost burns down the house, abuses the beloved family housecat, and even manages to drown the front lawn in 5 inches of doody. With a different actor, these pratfalls could easily have grown tiresome and redundant, but Ben Stiller is a comic tornado for 90 minutes.

Even a mention of the supporting characters is more than they deserve, since none of them do anything! The always relaible Blythe Danner is seemingly ignored by the camera, and character actor James Rebhorn shows up for no reason at all as a future in-law. Why even bother paying recognizable actors if you're not going to let them join in the fun? Even the great Owen Wilson is completely wasted as Pam's millionaire ex-boyfriend. Come ON - How hard is it to let Owen Wilson be a little funny?

I keep forgetting that I liked this movie. Simply put, Ben Stiller is very funny. That's as clear as I can be. His reactions to dialogue, his intermittent stammering and stumbling, even the way he enters the room is funny. It's clear he comes from great comedy lineage; his parents (Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara) have stayed funny for over 40 years now. If you can sit through There's Something About Mary and Meet the Parents, and still not be a Stiller fan, I doubt you even have a sense of humor.

With some movies, it's simply a question of 'give and take'. While Meet the Parents definitely lacks several components necessary to make it a great film, it does offer two supremely entertaining actors and several truly funny scenes. It may not win any awards, but Meet the Parents is a 'crowd-pleaser' I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoyed.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3916&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/18/00 18:44:40
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User Comments

12/11/10 Jeff Wilder Has some funny moments. But beats certain jokes into the ground. 3 stars
2/21/10 PAUL SHORTT AMUSING COMEDY WITH A GOOD CAST AND WELL TIMED GAGS 4 stars
10/08/09 Kay D. I really like this movie. I has some very funny moments. 4 stars
12/21/08 Shaun Wallner Laughed my ass off! 4 stars
10/12/08 Samantha Pruitt very funny, ben stiller is classic, love De Niro 4 stars
8/25/07 Quigley One of the most overrated comedies of all time. The cat stuff was funny, though. 3 stars
7/01/07 johnnyfog Not funny whatsoever! Gabage! 2 stars
1/28/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
1/23/07 Matt Fokking hilarious-DeNiro is in the form of his life! 5 stars
12/05/06 David Cohen If you saw the trailer, you saw the best parts of the film 2 stars
8/16/05 ES One incredibly funny scene- involving remains, wrapped in a crust of blah= watch if bored 3 stars
6/12/05 Gecko Fanfoot Ben Stiller's character is a poor bastard who never gets a break. Hysterical! 5 stars
6/02/05 Chris Highly discouraging for those with a girlfriend 3 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan Super funny! 4 stars
2/19/05 swamprat Good concept- but B 2 stars
2/13/05 John Bale Modest comedy what his some funny moments generally on the dark side 3 stars
12/03/04 Akio Don't really need to watch. Some peple need this sort of movie to laugh, I guess. 3 stars
10/17/04 Miles Morley "The cat doesn't even have thumbs, Focker!" 5 stars
9/10/04 cate dissapointing 2 stars
8/11/04 Jen crazy funny 5 stars
7/26/04 Katie This movie is AWESOME!! It is SO funny! 5 stars
7/26/04 DM Not funny, just mean 2 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz Very funny 4 stars
7/20/04 Northerly Pinkline is a loser 3 stars
7/13/04 Alfred Guy This movie is just funny! Stiller is great. 5 stars
5/14/04 John has its moments but never really takes off 3 stars
1/24/04 Elena This movie was garbage. Most predictable 'plot' EVER and characters sucked. Die Stiller die 1 stars
12/01/03 Bill Jiken 5 stars
10/01/03 estheticaura An interesting quest for an in-laws approval. 3 stars
8/12/03 Pinkline Jones Very good - De Niro can do anything. Excellent script 4 stars
8/02/03 Double G Awesome Movie, Stiller is funny as hell 5 stars
7/14/03 helloooooo this movie sucked 1 stars
7/06/03 Jack Sommersby Devoid of both laughs and interest. De Niro in a septic-tank joke. Alas! 1 stars
6/21/03 R.W. Welch Stiller and DeNiro just might be the next Laurel and Hardy. Good comedy of errors. 4 stars
6/21/03 John Aster Habig An awesome date film too bad I don't have a girlfriend 5 stars
5/16/03 Piz I still recite lines from this movie,a real winner, funny! 5 stars
2/28/03 y2mckay Some of Stiller's best work. Almost makes up for Zoolander. 4 stars
2/06/03 123 Funny ! this is what ben stiller's best role is, being a loser and harassed all the time 5 stars
2/02/03 Hi there Funny! 5 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Funny, but I wish DeNiro would get serious again 4 stars
10/06/02 melody probably one of the most hilarious movies I've ever seen! 5 stars
9/05/02 Justin Great Film! 5 stars
9/04/02 movie guy A GREAT FILM 5 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar A hilarious movie that adults will relate to. Teens will not understand much of the humor. 5 stars
6/11/02 Renee Keener Flawed but on the whole watchable. Where cat goes to poo is hilarious! 4 stars
5/27/02 Nicole I don't get what is so funny about this movie 3 stars
5/27/02 Film Guy Stiller & Deniro are hillarious in this movie. A Great movie 4 stars
5/18/02 Dark Barøn Stiller is not funny, The Deniro character pushes to the extreme, witch is not funny also. 3 stars
5/17/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Ben Stiller became a zombie of the tragic wands. 3 stars
4/28/02 Butterbean I was surprised by how dull this movie ended up being. 2 stars
4/24/02 Danielle Ophelia Unpretentious, surprisingly honest and very, very funny look at Murphy's Law. 4 stars
4/10/02 The Grinch ROFL! Gets better each time I see it. 5 stars
3/27/02 RJ Shafran Best movie ever i saw totaly funny!! humorous!!! 5 stars
3/19/02 Jim Funny, but you can't buy champagne from drug stores in New York State 4 stars
3/13/02 Renee Keener Flawed but at times uproarius comedy. Where cat goes to poop is side-splitting. 4 stars
3/07/02 Jack Hunter Just go right into the DVD, avoid all previews and trailer, and the pic is a lot of laughs, 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver I couldn't stand it. One of worst films I have seen. 1 stars
12/09/01 Lena I am crazy about Robert De Niro,I have seen almost all films of him,my best is "Heat". 2 stars
12/09/01 Delphine Ramsay Couldn't stop laughing, Love DiNero , Kudo's 5 stars
11/05/01 MissyWalks Watch it every time it's on. Love it. 4 stars
10/23/01 Tony It sucks, predictable cheap laughs 2 stars
10/11/01 Mike Its funny in spots. Worth a look 3 stars
10/02/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Funny Movie. 4 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix Stiller and De Niro are hilarious. 4 stars
9/22/01 Focker H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S 5 stars
7/26/01 moviegoer Pretty Good... 4 stars
7/03/01 Phil M. Afficianado Very funny and well acted. You will (as Gizzy says) keep laughing for a while afterward. 5 stars
6/21/01 Tzila Seewald It's was scerwball laughing all time since he meets his girl's parents! 4 stars
6/12/01 Gizzy the volleyball scene is a classic...i'm still laughing just thinking about it 4 stars
6/07/01 Wave The jokes are predictable, BUT THE ACTINGS ARE JUST GREAT!!! 5 stars
6/04/01 Socutejd Not what its cracked up to be 3 stars
5/05/01 Dennis O'connor Fockin' funny as hell... Stiller is a pisser... 5 stars
4/01/01 ~*Co_Co*~ Fantastic. Pissed myself from beginning to end. De Niro does it again! 5 stars
3/23/01 Alyssa Tried to do a "Something about Mary". Too over the top. Too predictable. 2 stars
3/22/01 Wyatt Earp Boy. That sucked. 1 stars
3/09/01 Amanda Turkes Was an outrageously funny movie 5 stars
3/09/01 Aaron Correll It's one of those movies were you just look at ways life can bite you in the ass. 3 stars
3/09/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Oh God, I'm about to meet my British boyfriend's parents...HELP??? **laughs** 4 stars
2/17/01 Jake Not quite what I expected, but has its shining moments 4 stars
2/14/01 Richard Wright Excellent comedy, one of the best of the year. Loved Ben and Robert's performances. 5 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Gay Focker; this movie is a fockin' riot!! 5 stars
1/31/01 Monday Morning Way above average. Some classic comedy moments 4 stars
1/30/01 Matthew Bartley I thank God De Niro will never be my father in law 5 stars
1/27/01 Iggy I saw it twice - on purpose!!! 5 stars
1/20/01 viking funnier than Austin Powers 4 stars
1/15/01 Yoshi Loved it, Ben Stiller is so cute! De Niro was fantastic. Great Focker! 5 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 With Midnight Run, Analyse This and now this Robert Deniro can be a great comic actor 3 stars
1/08/01 FatDog Ben Stiller is great and DeNiro really delivers a great performance. Very entertaining. 4 stars
1/02/01 neil bartlett not bad at all.A step up on most romantic comedies 4 stars
12/31/00 kevin this movie made me laugh so much. Deniro was great, never see him in a funny role. A+ 5 stars
12/28/00 Tom oh yeah, it was good, but i'll agree with Edward, Tom Green would have been better 4 stars
12/03/00 Phil Milking a cat..........is funny. 5 stars
11/19/00 Tom Hit a chord with me. I couldn't stop laughing 5 stars
11/18/00 Edward A Leonard Some funny shit, DeNiro is awesome as usual, Stiller's part COULD have gone to Tom Green. 4 stars
11/11/00 The Bomb 69 pretty funny, the pace of the movie was off though 4 stars
11/09/00 Patti I was pissed for hours after I saw this stupid, overdone, self-conscious piece of shit. 1 stars
11/06/00 natasha I'm still laughing....... 5 stars
11/04/00 Rob total letdown. bad writing, bad jokes, bad acting, stupid story, unidentifiable characters 2 stars
10/31/00 That Guy Not bad, but disappointing. Stiller sucked. 2 stars
10/28/00 Troy Meet The Parents has to be the funniest movie of the year! DeNiro and Stiller are the best! 5 stars
10/28/00 extar-bags It may not be The In-Laws or Annie Hall, but its still pretty damn good. 4 stars
10/23/00 Blubberbot Enjoyed the Trailer more than the movie. 2 stars
10/22/00 YOUR Movie Expert Funny as Hell.....Funnier than Scary Movie. Volleyball game is funniest part 5 stars
10/19/00 liquid Pretty funny movie, makes you appreciate the inlaws a bit more! 4 stars
10/19/00 Ground Zero nice acting, some LOL (laugh out loud) moments, but still a damn good movie 4 stars
10/15/00 Greyjack Intellectual: No. Funny: Yes. Very Funny: No. 3 stars
10/12/00 bison intellectual: no. funny: yes. very funny: yes. 5 stars
10/12/00 Xalt Reviewer Muskewitz has it right. The ROFL moments were great, though. 4 stars
10/11/00 Paige Not even worth a rental. 1 stars
10/10/00 PJ It was pretty funny, DeNiro and Stiller make a good team. 3 stars
10/10/00 Trepak The cast is wonderful and totally realistic. They have the best chemistry 5 stars
10/09/00 Ground Zero not bad, a few good laughs 4 stars
10/01/00 merkin Could be called "Something About Mary 2" 4 stars
9/17/00 JB Saw this a few months back at a preview screening. Its not bad. Great acting. Not original. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Oct-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Dec-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  26-Dec-2000 (M)


Directed by
  Jay Roach

Written by
  Jim Herzfeld

Cast
  Ben Stiller
  Teri Polo
  Robert DeNiro
  Blythe Danner
  James Rebhorn
  Owen Wilson



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