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"MEET THE PARENTS"
(2000) (Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None *None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Mild Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Everything that could go wrong does when a male nurse meets and then spends the weekend with his girlfriend's parents.
PLOT:
Greg Focker (BEN STILLER) is a Chicago-based male nurse who's about to propose to his schoolteacher girlfriend, Pam Byrnes (TERI POLO), when she gets a call from her sister, Debbie (NICOLE DEHUFF), stating that she just got engaged. Upon hearing that her fiancé, Dr. Bob Banks (TOM McCARTHY), first asked permission from their overprotective father before popping the question, Greg realizes he has to play his cards just right when he finally meets Pam's parents.

He gets that chance when the two of them then fly to the east coast two weeks later for Debbie's pending wedding. Understandably nervous and arriving with only the clothes on his back since the airport lost his luggage, Greg manages to impress Pam's mother, Dina (BLYTHE DANNER), but isn't quite as successful in doing the same with her father, Jack (ROBERT DE NIRO), a man supposedly in the rare flowers field.

Due to Jack's imposing demeanor and fielding of questions that near that of an investigative probing, Greg begins to feel more at unease, particularly after Jack shows him the miniature hidden surveillance cameras he's developed. Upon meeting Pam's brother, Denny (JON ABRAHAMS), and Debbie's future in-laws, Larry (JAMES REBHORN) and Linda Banks (PHYLLIS GEORGE), not to mention Pam's wealthy and resourceful ex-fiancée, Kevin Rawley (OWEN WILSON), and facing a series of mishaps that grow progressively worse with each occurrence, Greg soon finds that getting along with his potential, future in-laws might not be as easy as it once seemed.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens seem the most likely audience among kids, particularly if they're fans of anyone in the cast (especially Ben "There's Something About Mary" Stiller) or of wacky comedies in general.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual content, drug references and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BEN STILLER plays a male nurse who finds his world turned upside down when he finally meets the parents of his live-in girlfriend. Pleasant and friendly, he tries to make a good impression, but inexorably becomes more paranoid and unhinged from the father's behavior toward him as well as the mishaps that occur. He smokes some (and otherwise chews nicotine gum), cusses some and briefly fools around with his girlfriend.
  • TERI POLO plays his live-in girlfriend (and former lover to Kevin), a teacher who tries to make everything work out between Greg and her parents, but eventually begins to question him.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays his girlfriend's overprotective father whose prior occupation makes him question and doubt Pam's choice in her latest boyfriend.
  • BLYTHE DANNER plays his wife who likes Greg.
  • NICOLE DEHUFF plays Pam's sister who's getting married only a few weeks after getting engaged (we don't know why).
  • JON ABRAHAMS plays Pam's brother who states a pot pipe is Greg's when it's really his.
  • JAMES REBHORN plays a doctor and Debbie's future father-in-law who makes fun of Greg and his profession.
  • OWEN WILSON plays Pam's wealthy and gregarious ex-fiancée who may still have a thing for her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Some brief fooling around between an adult boyfriend and girlfriend occurs (kissing, some roaming hands, etc.) along with some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue. A boxed dildo is seen, as is a sexually provocative poster of a woman in a skimpy bikini, a photo in a mothering magazine of a woman with breast pumps attached to her otherwise bare breasts, and a man in a skimpy bathing suit.

    Profanity consists of 1 possible "f" word, while the protagonist's last name, "Focker," is said many times (and done so for laughs) due to it sounding rather similar to the "f" word. Beyond that, a number of other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Various characters drink and one briefly smokes, while we also briefly see a pot pipe that results in a character being accused of being a drug user (with related comments and snide jokes).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes and some slapstick style violence occurs, including that of a woman accidentally being hit in the face with a volleyball, resulting in a fair amount of bleeding. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jack and Greg have drinks, while Pam and Dina have wine.
  • After Jack begins playing the song, "Puff the Magic Dragon," in his car, Greg jokes about what the song is allegedly really about (smoking pot), but Jack won't believe it and then asks, "Are you a pothead, Focker?" (Greg replies that he isn't).
  • Greg asks a store clerk about their champagne selection.
  • Greg, Pam and her parents have wine with dinner.
  • Greg opens a bottle of champagne.
  • We see an old photo of Pam and Kevin with beers.
  • Jack finds Denny with a small pot pipe, but Denny states that he found it in Greg's pocket (which isn't true). After that, Jack and others make offhand remarks and jokes about Greg being a pothead (such as having the "munchies") or using pot for medicinal purposes. Later, Jack thinks that maybe Greg is a "pill popper" looking for "ludes" (Quaaludes).
  • Various people have wine at the wedding rehearsal dinner and Larry later appears a bit drunk.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see an infant spit up on Greg's shirt.
  • While playing water volleyball, Greg accidentally spikes the ball into Debbie's face, causing a lot of blood to spill into the pool (and be seen on her face and hands) and we later see her with a swollen/puffy face (but it's all played for laughs instead of gore or shock).
  • We see that the septic system has overflowed at the Banks' house and see the yard wet with sewage (with everyone reacting to the smell). Kevin then shows up and backs his truck into the wet yard, not realizing what's happened. He then gets stuck and spins his wheels, sending sewage flying onto everyone but Greg.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Bob and Larry (both doctors) make fun of Greg being a male nurse.
  • Some may be offended when Greg asks if Pam's parents are Amish when she says that humor is entirely wasted on them.
  • Jack finds Denny with a small pot pipe, but Denny states that he found it in Greg's pocket (which isn't true).
  • Although they're all supposed to keep Jack's former profession a secret, some may see Jack, Pam and the other's keeping of Jack's past from Greg as having some of both types of attitudes.
  • In addition, Jack is a bit overprotective of Pam (an adult) in relation to how he treats Greg.
  • Jack breaks into what he thinks is Greg's suitcase (he doesn't realize it's not his).
  • Greg becomes belligerent on a plane when he's told he'll have to check his luggage that won't fit in the overhead bin.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Worn by a cop/security officer who's interrogating Greg.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Oh sh*t," "You don't know sh*t about..." "Loser," "Jeez," "Shut up," "Bite me," "You sick son of a bitch," "Jerk," "Idiot," "You suck," "Screwed up," "Shut your pie hole" and "Step off, bitch."
  • Although we don't see him do it, Greg paints a cat's tail black so that the cat will near perfectly match a missing one.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, although a rap song had lyrics that couldn't be understood (thus the possibility that something objectionable might have been in it).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 possible "f" word (along with more than 15 uses of Greg's last name, "Focker," said to sound rather similar to the "f" word, including 1 with a prefix that sounded like "mother"), 7 "s" words, 4 slang terms for male genitals ("Mr. Winky" and "snake"), 3 damns, 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "G-damn" and 2 each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see what looks like home video/movie footage of Pam in a bikini.
  • Dina asks Pam (about her and Greg), "Have you two been…" and Pam says no (thinking she's asking about sex), but Dina then clarifies her question.
  • Trying to act like he wasn't just watching Jack, Greg picks up the closest magazine to him (a mothering magazine) and we see a picture of a woman with small breast pumps attached to her nipples (thus leaving the rest of her breasts bare).
  • Pam shows some cleavage in her nightgown.
  • In explaining her former relationship with Kevin, Pam tells Greg that it was more physical and "just a stupid sexual thing." After they talk a bit, Greg says "Speaking of growing, Mr. Winky is still on Chicago time" and then goes on that they both know there's only one way to make Mr. Winky go away. When Jack then knocks on her old bedroom door, Greg chimes in, "And there it is." Jack then takes Greg aside and tells him that he realizes Greg and Pam have probably had premarital relations, but states that in his house, "It's my way or the Long Island Expressway." He then tells Greg that he needs to keep his "snake" in its cage for the next 72 hours.
  • Playing around with Greg and hooking him up to an old polygraph machine, Jack asks him, "Have you ever watched pornographic videos?" Greg says that he hasn't, but the machine indicates otherwise.
  • Pam and Greg begin to passionately kiss and she starts to run her hand down toward his clothed crotch, but he stops her, stating that he's not supposed to let the snake out of the cage and that he told her father that he wouldn't touch her for 72 hours.
  • We see a poster in Denny's room of hip hop artist Lil' Kim that shows her in a skimpy bikini with her legs spread for the camera.
  • Greg makes a comment about a weekend without sex.
  • We see Greg in a borrowed and very small, Speedo type bathing suit (while we also see Pam in her bikini top).
  • Pam pulls Greg down on top of her on a bed, they make out and he runs his hand up to her breast under her clothing. Jack and others then walk in and he asks what they're doing, with Larry saying that it looked like Greg was rounding second base.
  • Jack breaks into what he thinks is Greg's suitcase (but the wrong one was delivered to the house from the airport) and finds underwear, a S&M style flogging whip and a box that reads "Mountie Strap-on Dildo."
  • When Kenny learns that Greg's real first name is Gaylord, he jokes that his complete name is "Gay Focker" (the joke is from the sound of the combined words).
  • SMOKING
  • Greg smokes several times (he discards one cigarette that sets off a calamitous chain reaction) and also chews on nicotine gum several times.
  • When Pam sees Greg's pack of cigarettes, she takes them from him and throws them onto the roof of the house, stating that her father sees smoking as a sign of weakness.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jack's treatment/behavior toward Greg eventually causes Pam to become put out with him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Meeting a boyfriend or girlfriend's parents for the first time.
  • We learn that Pam and Greg are living together but haven't told her parents.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Greg opens a bottle of champagne, with the cork popping out and accidentally knocking a vase to the floor where it shatters.
  • While playing water volleyball, Greg accidentally spikes the ball into Debbie's face, causing a lot of blood to spill into the pool and we later see her with a swollen/puffy face.
  • While on the roof, Greg tosses aside a lit cigarette that then ignites leaves in the gutter. While trying to put out that small fire, he kicks the gutter that then swings down from the house, hitting and dislodging an electrical wire that falls to the ground and catches several things on fire, including a tree and newly built (and highly flammable) wedding altar.
  • We see that a cat has torn up the inside of a house.
  • We see some airport security personnel struggling with Greg and they then drop him to the floor.



  • Reviewed September 14, 2000 / Posted October 6, 2000

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