Meet the Parents

October 6th, 2000


Meet the Parents

No valid json found

Still of Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsStill of Teri Polo and Ben Stiller in Meet the ParentsGreg, Jack, Dina & PamGreg meets JackStill of Robert De Niro in Meet the ParentsDirector Jay Roach with Teri Polo and Ben Stiller

Male nurse Greg Focker meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father is every date's worst nightmare.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 7.0/10 (124,775 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Jay Roach

Stars: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo

A Jewish male nurse plans to ask his live-in girl friend to marry him. However, he learns that her strict father expects to be asked for his daughter's hand before she can accept. Thus begins the visit from Hell as the two travel to meet Mom and Dad, who turns out to be former CIA with a lie detector in the basement. Coincidentally, a sister also has announced her wedding to a young doctor. Of course everything that can go wrong, does, including the disappearance of Dad's beloved Himalayan cat, Jinxie.

Writers: Greg Glienna, Mary Ruth Clarke

Robert De Niro - Jack Byrnes
Ben Stiller - Gaylord 'Greg' Focker
Teri Polo - Pam Byrnes
Blythe Danner - Dina Byrnes
Nicole DeHuff - Deborah Byrnes
Jon Abrahams - Denny Byrnes
Owen Wilson - Kevin Rawley
James Rebhorn - Dr. Larry Banks
Thomas McCarthy - Dr. Bob Banks
Phyllis George - Linda Banks
Kali Rocha - Atlantic American Flight Attendant
Bernie Sheredy - Norm the Interrogator
Judah Friedlander - Pharmacy Clerk
Peter Bartlett - Animal Shelter Worker
John Elsen - Chicago Airport Security

Taglines: He finally met the girl of his dreams. Too bad her dad's a nightmare.


Official Website: Universal Pictures and Dreamworks LLC |

Release Date: 6 October 2000

Filming Locations: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $28,623,300 (USA) (8 October 2000) (2614 Screens)

Gross: $330,444,045 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

At one time Jim Carrey was slated to star as the lead and even contributed jokes to the screenplay, such as the main character being named 'Focker'.

Errors in geography: Pam and Greg board a flight to Fiorello LaGuardia Airport to meet her parents. The clip of their flight shows a 747 landing. 747s don't land at LaGuardia, and even if they did, they wouldn't be used on such short flights. The clip was shot at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Jack Byrnes: [about the polygraph machine] Why don't you try that on?
Greg Focker: Oh, that's okay.
Jack Byrnes: Oh, come on. We'll have some fun. I'll show you how it works.
Greg Focker: I-I shouldn't.
Jack Byrnes: Why should you be afraid? You have nothing to hide.
Greg Focker: No, I know.
Jack Byrnes: I know you know, so there shouldn't be any problem.
Greg Focker: No, there's no problem.
Jack Byrnes: So, try it on.
Greg Focker: Okay.

User Review

One of the funniest comedies of the year, De Niro and Stiller make the perfect comedy pair. *** (out of four)

Rating: 7/10

MEET THE PARENTS / (2000) *** (out of four)

By Blake French:

The main character in "Meet The Parents" is a Chicago-based male nurse, Greg Focker (pronounced just how it is spelled) who realizes how unlucky a person can be. He is about to propose to his schoolteacher girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo), when her sister Debbie (Nicole Dehuff) calls and explains that her new fiancé, Dr. Bob Banks (Tom McCarthy), received a blessing from her father before he asked the question. This information makes Greg reconsider his method of choice, and instead jumps at the opportunity to meet Pam's overprotective parents when they fly to the east coast two weeks later to arrange Debbie's wedding.

At the airport, the attendants loose Greg's parcels. Thus he arrives without any luggage. Once at Pam's parent's house, they exchange greetings and aquatint themselves with each other. Pam's parents, Jack and Dina Byrnes (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) learn about Greg's unusual last name, that he does not like cats, and is a male nurse, all facts that do not settle well with Pam's father. Greg does manage to gift Jack with a pleasant supply of rare flowers. However, even though Pam explained to Greg that her dad is in the hobby of rare flowers, he does not seem too impressed.

Even More complications ensue, especially when Greg learns of Jack's peculiar behaviors and suspicious gadgets, such as a polygraph and hidden cameras placed in every room of the house, as well as meeting Pam's brother, Denny (Jon Abrahams), and Debbie's soon to be in laws, Larry (James Rebhorn), and Linda Banks (Phillis George), and Pam's wealthy ex-fiancée, Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson). Soon, Greg's chances of receiving Jack's permission to wed his daughter become less and less probable as his bad luck only manages to increase.

The film introduces Greg and Pam with silly quirks that come up later in the story. Pam's parents are also quite the treat; the movie does not go over the top but portrays them with serious humor and charismatic wit. It is De Niro and Stiller who make the movie, however. They form an very effective comedic chemistry, even more amusing than the likable shtick between De Niro and Billy Crystal in "Analyze This." The filmmakers take advantage of the phenomenal tension between Greg and Jack, and place them in one hilarious situation after another.

While outrageous and at times explosively funny, director Jay Roach takes the plot seriously. His previous films, including the Austin Powers films and "Mystery, Alaska," have had trouble with taking anything seriously. But "Meet The Parents" has emotional connections, develops solid empathy for Greg, and we really believe he has something precious that can be lost: Pam.

The movie does not completely develop romantic chemistry between Ben Stiller and Teri Polo, thus there were times when I simply did not believe the two were really in love. The relationship sometimes feels trite and contrived. There are also important plot nuggets left only partially examined: Jack's pot-head son, who could have contributed a lot more to the drug related material, is left as a plot device to provide another string of conflicts within Jack and Greg.

I really enjoyed the whimsical performances and opportune casting. Ben Stiller reprises his "There's Something About Mary" role, with cute charm and the obscured zany flippancy. Robert De Niro is perfect in a role he was born to play, with serious attitude that results in the main portion of the film's funny moments. Blythe Danner is also charming in a kind of role that is becoming all too usual for her.

"Meet the Parents" is one of the funniest movies of the year. It gives audiences with a solid story that does not interfere with the comic material, but contributes to it. The top notch performances and lively direction also raise the film to a higher level. During a year in which effective comedies are an endangered species, "Meet The Parents" is a landmark achievement in light entertainment.


Comments are closed.