Circle of Distrust
Meet the Parents
Review by Ross Anthony

Some recent comedies seemed to have been searching, reaching, desperately grasping for something funny to print; "Meet the Parents" has the opposite problem. Funny bits abound -- there's barely room for them all. In fact, overstuffed to the point of tearing at the seams, the film might have benefited from a bit more cutting.

Stiller is the Romeo in love with Pam. The couple must fly to her parents' home for the wedding of her sister. Stiller's objective is to "Meet the Parents" and win them over in order to acquire their consent to marry Pam. Ah, but pops De Niro is no push over. Pam warns, "Don't waste humor on my parents."

In addition to abstaining from sex and cigarettes for three days, Stiller must field the suspicious De Niro who runs his household like a CIA agent or something of that ilk. The Poster shows the two sitting at a lie detector machine with Stiller in the hot seat. (Actually, at first glance I'd thunk wrongly that that was some kind of shock therapy.) Anyway, Stiller's stress factor increases geometrically as every good intentioned offering gets twisted on its ear.

It's a very funny film (the first meeting sequence is absolutely wonderful), you'll have good hardy laughs, but the third act is a little messy. So messy, I just can't give the film the A- I would like to give it.

  • Meet the Parents. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, James Rebhorn, Hon Abrahams, Owen Wilson.
  • Directed by Jay Roach.
  • Written by jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg.
  • Story by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke.
  • Produced by Mancy Tenenbaum, Jane Rosenthal, Rober De Niro, Jay Roach.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:19 PDT