Posted: 10/16/2000


Meet the Parents


by Hank Yuloff

All-star cast makes up this comedy about the wedding jitters.

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If you ever had butterflies in your stomach when you were about to meet her parents, you’re going to relate to Meet the Parents. If you didn’t, you’re going to love Meet the Parents, the third what-can-go-wrong now movie starring Ben Stiller (The Cable Guy and There’s Something About Mary). The movie, as the title suggests, is about the first meeting of Gaylord Focker (Stiller) and his girlfriend Pam Byrne’s (Teri Polo - Sports Night) parents: Robert DeNiro and Blythe Danner. It is the weekend of Pam’s sister’s wedding - perfect timing. Also, Stiller figures it would be the best time to ask DeNiro for his oldest daughter’s hand in marriage. He wanted to do it in their home city of Chicago, but situations conspired against it. (This seems to be a common story device - if your spouse-to-be is a teacher, then you will be given a great way to propose.)

To tell you too much of the story would be to deprive you of the fun. You will see some running gags based on Focker’s name, his occupation, and his fiance-to-be’s middle name: Martha (say it out loud). As I mentioned above, if butterflies have been your companion when meeting your date’s parentals, you will spend a good portion of the movie reliving past personal hells. As I did. Of course, it could have been worse, I could have married her… but I digress. As we watch Gaylord’s progress, we ask ourselves these questions:

Will the wedding proceed without a hitch?

Will we find out more about DeNiro’s secret rendezvous with the mysterious man outside the liquor store?

Will Stiller and Polo ever find true happiness?

Will Stiller ever get his lost luggage back?

Will we see everything that we saw in the trailer? NO WE WON’T! I have a feeling that the DVD for this movie could be filled with hours of outtakes that never made it to the final release version. In fact, the polygraph scene is much shorter than what was suspected from the trailer. The answer to these and dozens of other questions will be answered in this wonderfully paced, well played movie. The laughs keep coming and you get an ending that is perfectly appropriate.

For director Jay Roach, this is sure to be his break out movie. And, as for DeNiro, it was so good to be able to get the awful ringing of his bad linguistic torturing of “Moose and Squirrel” out of my ears! He is so wonderful, I could see my old girlfriend’s dad just waiting there at the door…. but again, I digress… with a bad case of the willies.

Go see this one!

Hank Yuloff is an entertainment industry entrepreneur living in Hollywood. Hank sez: “My casting couch is always available.”

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