Meet The Parents

By Mark Ramsey | 2000/10/09

There’s nothing tougher than writing a silly review of a good comedy, and Meet the Parents is a very good comedy.

I haven’t laughed this hard since the trailer for Billy Elliot. That’s the one where that kid leaps into the empty frame in slow motion with his ballet legs thrashing back and forth. Don’t tell me that’s not funny!


Ben Stiller is a male nurse, although why a nurse who’s a guy needs to have “male” preceding his job description is beyond me. This puts the job squarely in the category of other professions like “male prostitute” and “mail carrier.”

His girlfriend is a sweet, lovable teacher whose rug-rat romper roomies are too busy in a creative visualization exercise to notice how hot she is. I remember the first time I realized how hot teachers can be – my advantage of proximity had long since passed. Carpe diem, kids!

Ben wants to pop the question to Ms. Right, so it’s off to meet the future in-laws at their hideaway in Cape Fear. Needless to say, everything that can go wrong does. Not since Ben acknowledged a fling with Janeane Garofalo has he been so humiliated for ninety minutes.

Gwyneth Paltrow looks really old as Ben’s mother-in-law-to-be. As Ben and her daughter arrive at Mom and Dad’s suburban enclave, out bursts Gwyn from the kitchen, apron affixed to her body like that crab beastie on John Hurt’s face in Alien. “Where’s my widow girl,” she coos in baby-talk. Needless to say, it’s hardly comforting when your future mother-in-law’s first sentence includes the term “widow.”

Dad and family fearless leader Robert De Niro has taught his cat to use the toilet! That makes this feline smarter than 87 percent of all Mardi Gras revelers. Obviously, this kitty’s a boy since he doesn’t put down the seat or wash his hands.

Why is it so hard to teach a cat bathroom habits, anyway? What’s so intimidating about balancing precariously over an open pit of water twice your size with a violently sucking hole at the bottom leading to a smelly, slimy sewer? No wonder cats think they’re better; we’re repulsive!


Ben’s last name, “Focker,” is the source of unending comedy. Each time it’s mentioned the audience guffaws in a Pavlovian chorus. Jeez, I hope there are no Meet the Parents fans at the shareholder meeting of Euro airplane company Fokker. How’s about that slogan: “Fly Fokker!” Isn’t that the title of Puff Daddy’s new CD? Their annual report must be funnier than the entire fall schedule on Comedy Central (although now that those sepia-toned old SNL shows are back-to-back with the W.C. Fields comedy hour, look out, Nielsen!).

Bob wires up Ben to a lie detector to qualify him for son-in-law-hood and to test whether Ben’s Tom Cruise impression works on a dimmer. My favorite lie detector question: True or False: Janeane Garofalo’s wrist-bands deflect speeding bullets.

Gotta go now. My cat needs me to run to the 7-11 for smokes before Judge Judy. She’s in the middle of the latest Oprah book and can’t be bothered. Is this what they mean by pussy-whipped?

Photos Copyright ©2000 Universal Pictures


Comments are closed.

Enter your own funny caption

caption this

“This is where we would kiss if I was attracted to girls”