Male nurse Greg Focker meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father is every date's worst nightmare.
Randy Newman's opening song, "A Fool in Love", perfectly sets up the scenario of Meet the Parents
: "Show me a man who is gentle and kind and I'll show you a loser". Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is the fool in love. Just as he's about to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo), he learns that her sister's fiancé asked their father, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), for permission to marry. Now he feels the need to do the same thing. When Greg meets Jack, he is so desperate to be liked that he makes up stories and feebly attempts to ingratiate himself with his prospective father-in-law rather than having the courage of his convictions. It doesn't take an elite member of the CIA to see right through Greg, but unfortunately that's precisely what Jack is. Directed by Jay Roach (the Austin Powers
films), Meet the Parents
is a well-crafted comedy that makes for a pleasant contrast to the sloppy excesses of the Farrelly brothers. Stiller is great at playing up the uncomfortable comedy of errors, balancing just the right amount of selfishness and self-deprecating humour, while De Niro's excels as the intimidating father. Blythe Danner as his wife, the Gracie to De Niro's George Burns, is the true heart of the film and Owen Wilson turns in yet another terrific comic performance as Pam's ex-fiancé. --Andy Spletzer, Amazon.com