A male nurse meets his girlfriend's parents and goes out of
his way to be liked by her overbearing, ex-CIA father.
Meet the Parents (2000)
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg
Starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner,
James Rebhorn, Nicole DeHuff, Jon Abrahams, Tom McCarthy, Phyllis George, Owen Wilson
Remake of 1992's Meet the Parents
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Song (A Fool In Love)
Meet the Parents could've been a lukewarm comedy with a simple premise we've all seen before, but thanks to the fantastic chemistry and battle of wits between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, it remains a comedy classic that spawned a franchise. We've all been, at the very least, nervous about meeting our significant other's parents. There are certain expectations on both sides, and first impressions are crucial. This film is the extreme, where neither side is prepared for what they end up welcoming into their respective families. Male nurse vs. ex-CIA papa bear. Let's get ready to rumble.
Greg Focker (Stiller) is a registered nurse and loves his girlfriend Pam (Polo) to death. He's planning on proposing to her, but he learns that her father Jack (De Niro) is old-fashioned and expects Greg to get his blessing. So, over a weekend, Greg and Pam visit her parents, and chaos ensues. Jack is suspicious, overbearing, and trusts no one. So, he immediately assumes Greg is lying about something. And this remains the only film franchise where I've heard the name Focker, which in itself is hilarious and fun to say. Let's be honest. Of course, Greg and Jack find common ground and become amicable, but the journey there is pretty damn funny.
Meet the Parents remains the best in the franchise, mostly because the whole thing is built on De Niro's weird, unpredictable father figure. This is a man who loves his trained cat more than his own children, and is so suspicious of everyone, yet doesn't realize his own son is a massive pothead. De Niro hasn't done a lot of comedy over his impressive career, but when he does, he's on fucking fire. And together with Stiller, this movie is just plain enjoyable.