It's not often you find a film that has you sniggering like a schoolchild at the back of the class all the way through, but 'Meet the parents' certainly goes way up my list for genuinely funny innuendos and 'could it get any worse' scenarios. This film is great entertainment. Watch it after a stressful day to unwind and you'll be sure to forget your woes. It's predictable, corny in places and you'll cringe with embarrassment, but it really is an utterly funny film.
Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) spends a weekend with his girlfriend, Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) and her parents (Jack played by Robert De Niro and Dina, played by Blythe Danner) with the intention of asking her father for Pam's hand in marriage. Jack takes an instant dislike to Greg, so Greg tries hard to impress and win over the intimidating father by exaggerating the truth and telling little white lies. Unfortunately for Greg, Jack is ex CIA, aka the 'human lie detector' so his desire to impress backfires drastically.
Greg reminds me of a slightly more intelligent Mr.Bean; he's not such a bumbling fool, yet nothing ever seems to go quite right for him. He's more the sincere guy who attracts misfortune like a magnet and you can't help but root for him from start to finish.
The story is realistic in portraying the nervousness of meeting one's potential in-laws combined with the desire to make a good first impression, but it shows us just what can happen if we try too hard!
Jack is not about to allow his beloved Pam to marry Greg, but you learn that underneath the controlling, over-reactive exterior lies a heart of gold.
Owen Wilson is utterly fabulous as Pam's wealthy and successful ex fiancé; he really steals the show with his scene where he tells Greg that the reason he took up carpentry as a hobby because Jesus did it too. "The way I see it," He says, "If you're going to follow in someone else's footsteps, who better than Christ?" then he unveils an 8ft high gazebo which he "Whittled" out of one piece of wood. It's a side-splitting moment.
There are many scenes and one-liners I could quote; it would be impossible to give a favourite. So, do yourself a favour and watch this film.