First comes love. Then comes the interrogation.
Running Time: 108 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
Meet the Parents is one of an increasingly tiresome line of Robert De Niro movies in which he attempts to parody his own image as one of Hollywoods hard men. Its also yet another example of Ben Stiller playing basically the same character as he does in half a dozen other films a guy who bungles his way through life and permanently feels awkward, but whos also cripplingly warm-hearted and eager to please. But, more significantly than any of that, its one of the occasions where both of those instantly-recognisable characters work incredibly well.
Stiller plays the unfortunately-named Greg Focker, a male nurse whos head-over-heels in love with girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo). Hes decided its time to pop the question, but thinks it might be a nice idea to ask her dads permission first so, as the title suggests, off the pair of them go to meet the parents.
Of course, what should be a perfectly pleasant weekend at her folks house soon turns into an out-and-out nightmare. Daddykins (De Niro) takes an instant dislike to our Greg and, being an ex-CIA man-in-black, is determined to use everything at his disposal (including some particularly intimidating polygraph equipment) to interfere, dig for dirt, and generally make his house-guests stay as uncomfortable as possible.
Based on a short film written way back in 1992 by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke, Meet the Parents has to go down as one of the best comedies of 2000. Although not possessing a great range of comic dialogue, it generates laughs through Gregs increasing feelings of embarrassment and exasperation and, though the premise may at first feel like its going to be a one-trick pony, theres enough going on to keep the standard consistently high.
It's Got: A nice idea for anyone who fancies changing the colour of their cats fur.
It Needs: Not to flush the downstairs toilet under any circumstances.
DVD Extras A behind-the-scenes featurette, a choice of two different audio commentaries, some deleted scenes, out-takes, and a couple of trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10
Plenty of chortles to be had in this archetypal Ben Stiller comedy which proves once and for all that you can choose your friends, but not their relatives.