Welcome to Meeting the Parents Week: Day 1. What better way to start a themed week of meeting the parents but with the Meet the Parents film trilogy? Personally, I will always love the very first Meet the Parents film. It’s edgy, it never lets up, it’s just hysterical. I never really felt the same way about its sequels, but what do I know? I’ve seen this one multiple times and I’ve only seen the sequels once. So, I thought I’d revisit this comedic franchise just to see if they still hold up, which I’m hoping they do. First up, we visit Meet the Parents, which started this whole thing. Did you know it was a remake of a 1992 film by the same name? Me neither. I would’ve reviewed that too, but it’s impossible to find…let’s get into it!
“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.” – IMDb.
There really is something hysterical about this film, and I think it has something to do with how awkward it is. It’s not even that, but it is honestly a realistic kind of awkwardness that somebody could sensibly experience with meeting their significant other’s parents for the first time. Toss in a little bad luck and bad timing here and there, and you have one winner of a comedy which understandably spawned two sequels – which isn’t super common with romantic comedies. The only thing that wasn’t super realistic was the fact that the father-in-law was an ex-CIA agent. Then again, when you meet the parents of someone who is important to you, that can really be how it feels. Their eyes always on you, your urge to please them even though you’re terrified of them…that’s real. This is a slightly exaggerated variation of what happens and the embarrassment you feel when it happens. Sometimes you say stupid stuff because you’re just drowning in awkwardness.
Let’s go ahead and break the film down.
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2
First up, this comedy is all about the people, which is why this got a nearly perfect score. Where did it go wrong? I would say there’s not the best sense of direction in the film, so no one really, truly had the greatest importance in adding to the film. They really just added to each other, which is fine, but aimless can only go so far. That being said, there is some good range of acting in the film that is mostly humorous, but it does have a touch of sanity and depth as well. The characters are constantly memorable, I wouldn’t cast anyone else in these roles because they just work so well together. It’s very hard to complain about anything at this point.
WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balance – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, which received perfect points. The dialogue in this film is simply awkward in the best possible way. If you watch the sequel films, you’ll notice a difference in dialogue, as it switches from awkward to uncomfortable – and there is a difference. We’ll get to that tomorrow, I guess. Is it balanced? I would say for the most part, yes, there is always a goal going on in this film – impress the father in order to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The story is awkward, but it’s entirely relatable for those young men meeting their future in-laws for the first time…it’s nerve-wracking. I’ve had the fathers of girlfriends staring at me from around the corner the entire time I was at her house…it’s scary stuff, man. This is REAL! I’d also consider this very original and very, very interesting. You never know what’ll happen next.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Alright, behind-the-scenes is always a neither here nor there category for comedies. There is rarely anything that impresses in this category. The visuals are all typical and expected, neither the directing or editing really seemed complex or challenging, but I do consider it as-advertised, and I was a fan of the music in this film…when you’re a fool in love…good stuff.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
The narrative arc was equally as impressive as nearly everything else. The introduction got us acquainted to Greg and Pam and his ultimate plan to propose to her, the inciting incident comes down to when Greg ultimately “meets the parents”, the obstacles? Well, the entire film is about obstacles, so no issues there. The climax is a pretty decent culmination of everything put together, and the falling action is just okay…could’ve been better, could’ve been worse. So, nearly perfect points for this category.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 7/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 2|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1
Alrighty, how entertaining was it? Pretty darn. While I am not dying to tell others about the movie and go see it right away, it is still very rewatchable, and I imagine it’ll stay that way for a very long time to come. It’s very fun to watch and experience, I would love to buy and own Meet the Parents, and it sucks you in sometimes. I don’t think it constantly sucks the audience in, but for the most part, it has a pretty good grasp on that. Ultimately, I’d have to say this film is very entertaining in general.
TOTAL SPECIALTY – 50/50
Meeting the Parents – 10|Comedy – 10|Romance – 10|De Niro – 10|Memory – 10
Okay, now for the final five questions that I wrote down for the film before I saw it. As it is Meeting the Parents week, how was this? That should be obvious…it’s in the dang title – so full points go here. How was the comedy? It’s everything I remember it being and more, a hilarious film, full points. How was the romance? Sometimes RomComs can be more Com then Rom, but there is a lot of chemistry here and you are definitely rooting for the couple to survive. This is a De Niro film, how was he in it? Personally, I think this is one of his most memorable roles to date. Full points as well. Finally, full points are rewarded to the memory category. This is exactly as I remembered it being. That makes this category overall perfectly scored!