Meet the Parents (2000)


If you’ve found the woman of your dreams but you haven’t met her parents, you might want to watch Meet the Parents if you haven’t seen the movie yet. You may think that it might be a bad idea to watch this movie before meeting them because it will bring this potentially intimidating and awkward situation to life, but it also can offer you a sense of relief knowing that your experience will not even come close to what Ben Stiller’s character had to go through.

Even though I’ve had this movie on when I just want something familiar playing in the background, I will very rarely sit through the entire showing. It’s just too awkward. My face gets stuck in a permanent cringe as I live through each and every uncomfortable moment that involves Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) saying and doing all the wrong things every minute of this whole movie.

Greg and his girlfriend, Pam Byrne (Teri Polo), fly from Chicago to Long Island to meet Pam’s parents, Jack (Robert DeNiro) and Dina (Blythe Danner). Greg is understandably nervous, but he is hopeful about his trip and is excited about the chance to leave a good impression on Pam’s parents after meeting them for the first time. Despite all his efforts, good and bad, honest and embellished, Greg feels the pressure of Jack’s emphatic disdain. After layers of miscommunication, mistaken identity and questionable decision making, Greg’s inevitable breakdowns simply confirm that Jack has been right about Greg all along. Greg just so happens to be one of the worst guys on the face of the earth who will forever be associated with lost luggage, cat hijinks and overaggressive volleyball spiking.

There comes a point at this movie where I want it to be over because I don’t want to feel bad for Greg anymore, but I am glad to say that we are rewarded with a well-deserved laugh, at Greg’s expense of course, after such an exhausting trip. We can’t thank Greg enough for failing to find out the proper size of carry-ons allowed in the overhead compartment on the airplane, leading to this hilarious verbal altercation with the stewardess.

Meet the Parents is a movie that will give you hope when you are hopeless. It is a film that you can watch when you feel like you have the worst luck in the world and you just need to feel better about yourself. It offers the inspiration you need to face your anxieties and meet your girl’s parents. After all, it can’t be that bad.


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