johnlink ranks MEET THE PARENTS (2000)

My wife and I had the exciting task of putting together a dollhouse tonight in anticipation of Christmas later this week. We decided to throw on something we knew well enough to keep in the background. Naturally, we got sucked into it and barely managed to build the thing over the course of 100 minutes. Happy Holidays everyone!

ben-stiller-cat-milking

I watched MEET THE PARENTS (2000) on 12.20.14. It was probably my fifth or sixth viewing of the film, and first in seven or eight years.

A little over fourteen years after its initial release, it is hard to find much to say about MEET THE PARENTS. Some movies warrant a whole bunch of dialogue around theme, character, or symbolism. And then some movies loudly proclaim themselves a big, fun time and don’t bother with nuance. Not only is that ok, there is something to be celebrated about an inoffensive and unabashedly fun movie about being an outsider in a tight family.

Greg (Ben Stiller) wants to marry Pam (Teri Polo). But he must, as the title suggests, meet her folks. Her Dad is Jack (Robert De Niro), an ex-CIA operative who will never think anyone is good enough for her daughter. As much as the character dynamics make this movie work, and they do, it is really the scripted scenarios which win out here. Greg breaks an urn filled with Grammy’s ashes, sets the yard on fire, spray paints an impostor cat, gives a bride-to-be a black eye, and clogs the toilet. Any of these might be silly pandering to an audience, but Stiller and De Niro make them land.

It’s hard to remember, but Ben Stiller was just starting out when this came out. He had some bit parts, some dramatic roles, and a star turn in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. But it was this movie, MEET THE PARENTS, which really solidified him as a star. What he has done with that stardom is questionable (I’m looking at you, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3), but this was the movie which made him an international star. This movie earns that status. He’s very funny, very vulnerable, and very likable.

It’s interesting to see a pre 9/11 movie joking about bombs on a bus. Now, in 2014, we are just getting back to that kind of stuff being able to be ok for mass consumption by audiences. This is one of the last movies from an era when there was innocence in airport comedy.

MEET THE PARENTS, in the end, is just an easily watched film which still holds the power to make us laugh even as it nears its fifteenth anniversary. It was nice to be reminded just how good a time it is.

SCORES

FILM: 5; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 8

5+9+6+8+0=28

FINAL SCORE: 7 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on December 21, 2014.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks MEET THE PARENTS (2000)”

  1. It’s a funny movie. Not hilarious, but worth watching. Unlike the sequels. Good review John.

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