Main cast: Ben Stiller (Greg Focker), Robert De Niro (Jack Byrnes), Teri Polo (Pam Byrnes), Nicole DeHuff (Deborah Byrnes), Jon Abrahams (Denny Byrnes), Owen Wilson (Kevin Rawley), James Rebhorn (Dr Larry Banks), Thomas McCarthy (Dr Robert Banks), Phyllis George (Linda Banks), and Blythe Danner (Dina Byrnes)
Director: Jay M Roach
I do empathize with Greg Focker (yeah, I know, I know about that name). My first meet with my in-laws (then in-laws-to-be) wasn’t exactly a Pampers Family moment, to be honest, since everyone was pretty nervous. Okay, I was very nervous.
Meet the Parents takes this scenario to the extreme, with poor Greg going through hoops to please Jack Byrnes enough to earn the hand of his daughter Pam. It’s like a medieval Holy Grail quest, only this time around Jack is way too overprotective of Pam to give Greg a chance. Greg ends up almost burning the house down and committing other accidental arsons. In-laws, this is what you get for being less-than-accommodating to your kids’ spouses-to-be, heh heh.
I love Ben Stiller, and trust me, the highlight of this movie is he in some skimpy psychedelic speedo (shallow, me?) but while Meet the Parents starts out fun, it loses sight of the plot soon after. When it degenerates into utmost silliness, things get a bit weird. Snappy fun dialogues and slapstick scenes involving flying dung don’t gel well, really.
Still, this one is funny, in a rather lightweight, silly way. I don’t get any emotional pay-off from it, however, so it’s a distant-fun sort of thing.