Monday, July 18, 2011
Review: Meet the Parents (2000) TH
A laugh out loud comedy, but the ultimate test of resolution
This is a film that takes misunderstandings and awkwardness to new levels with a Jewish male nurse named Greg Focker (Stiller) visiting his girlfriend's parents' house during a wedding about to take place for her sister. He attempts to fit in to the social circle of this traditional family, who has their own set of rules and specific ways of living that keeps him thinking on his toes and attempting to fake it till he makes it.
Greg tries to make an impression with the overly protective father, Jack Byrnes, played by Robert De Niro, who has a clandestine past and is growing suspicious due to mix-ups that put Greg in a negative light for being the right man for his prized daughter. He has to drop a few habits and pick up new ones to keep up. If it could get any more worse the ex, Kevin, played by Owen Wilson, is on top of everything without evening trying, not to mention close to the father and on good terms with Greg's girlfriend. You could say he's got a lot on his plate, as he's the extreme of polite and can't say what's really on his mind out loud in order to save face in front of others.
"Meet the Parents" was fresh for its time and still holds up as a situational comedy with some relating points about meeting others for the first time or just trying to be one of the gang. It can make you cringe for the main character as he fumbles to do things right by these new people with hilarious trial and error. Just in time, some of the zany pile ups begin to get far-fetched but is saved by seeing Greg in the cross between imploding and running away from everything going wrong by his own hands. This is a Hollywood film, so some sentiment and resolution is going to be offered in order to give it that finishing touch. This was a well-done film as it steadily paced the timing of its jokes instead of trying too hard to completely shock the audience. That's what gives it its replay value as the scenarios are memorable, not to mention identifiable if still exaggerated for comic relief.
Director: Jay Roach (Austin Powers)
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson, Teri Polo