Meet The Parents
8 out of 10
Perfect marriage of talent
A remake of a 1992 film and screenplay of the same name by Greg Gilenna and Mary Ruth Clarke, this hilarious comedy is filled with priceless mishaps and memorable moments that should influence comedy films for years to come.
Directed by Jay Roach, of the Austin Powers fame, and it stars Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Ben Stiller, Terri Polo, Owen Wilson, many of which are not often seen in comedic roles, but all, particularly De Niro, take to it like fish to water. The story centres around Greg Focker, a nurse at Chicago Memorial Hospital who is just about to ask his girlfriend Pam to marry him, but finds out he must ask her father for permission first. On his trip to meet her parents, Greg's life descends into hell as he finds himself explaining how to milk a cat, losing his future father-in-law's prized cat Jinx and giving Pam's sister a black eye.
With a history of roles in spy, mafia and action movies, De Niro is ideal as Pam's neurotic overprotective dad, ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes and also acted as producer on the film. Overly serious about anything relating to his daughters, he subjects Greg to constant torment, including interrogation over drugs, looking up his MCAT scores and subjecting him to a lie detector test. Similar to his role in "Analyse This," he plays Pam's dad as strict, no-nonsense
Owen Wilson, accomplished not only as a screenwriter ("Bottle Rocket," "The Royal Tennenbaums" and "Rushmore") makes a brief appearance. Having often been the straight man for Ben Stiller in numerous movies, he is again the philosophical rogue, as Pam's wealthy ex-fiance Kevin. With a house filled with photos of proactive sports achievements with Pam, he has carved a wedding altar for her sister from a single block of wood that Michaelangelo would have been proud to have in the Sistine Chapel.
Throughout the cascading ashes, the misflushing toilet, the burning garden et al., Ben Stiller deserves consistant laughs, as he attempts to accept his punishment from the Byrnes family with grace and everything that can go wrong does, and remains believable throughout. As a conclusion to the running gag throughout the movie of the dysfunctionality of the airline industry, the final scene is a classic to which we can all relate.
Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies