Good comedy films are hard to find in the modern climate of things. They are either too busy making jokes that will be trying too hard to seem offensive or brash, or they will make jokes that don’t really have any sort of maturity or cynicism to them. All of the comedies we see in modern blockbusters, especially in the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe films are just verbal jokes, without any substance attached to them.
However, when the golden age of comedy started back in 2000, there were an abundance of films that did amazing work. Meet the Parents was one of the few that excelled at it.
How to Stream or Download Meet the Parents
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store of your choice. Click on the Download button at the end of this review. For more recent Robert De Niro films, check out Joker or The Irishman (both from 2019).
The Movie Review
The story follows Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker who is a male nurse working at a hospital in Chicago. He doesn’t really have anything great going on in his life, and aside from his girlfriend Pam, he doesn’t have much else. So, Greg decides to propose to Pam, but all of his planning goes to waste when they are suddenly invited to Pam’s sister Debbie’s wedding.
This has been Greg decides to first impress Pam’s family, and to propose in front of them. However, once he truly gets to meet times parents, he realizes that this is going to be a tough task. This is where the series of unfortunate events begin for Greg, and boy do they keep going throughout the entirety of the film.
The film is directed by Jay Roach, Whose work with the Austin Powers franchise is by far some of the best comedy of the 1990s. Of course, with a director so good at comedy films as Jay Roach on board, this film was headed towards a successful run. However, nobody expected this film to be so different in terms of feeling and yet executed so well nonetheless.
The film had a smooth pacing, a script that would make you laugh every 30 seconds, a fantastic cast of actors who were playing a wonderful cast of characters and a camera crew who were decent at their work even in a comedy film!
Let’s talk about the acting first, as that is the aspect of the film that elevated its comedy to beyond special. Every single joke in this film lands, and that is due to the wonderful actors like Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson and Blythe Danner. Robert De Niro is in particular really good in this film, even though comedy isn’t something he was that adept at before this.
In fact, Meet the Parents is where Robert De Niro truly found his stride with the comedy genre! Ben Stiller Is as good as he always is as the awkward, good hearted character in every comedy film!
I really enjoyed the rib tickling comedy in this film, it is absolutely to the point and every single joke is well crafted and thought out. There is maturity in the humor of this film, as the jokes are quite adult and will easily go over any child’s head.
Though there are some moments in the film where the comedy isn’t as subtle, and even those to an extent are really funny in their own right. There is a mix of both subtle and unabashed humor, which works wonderfully in a script of this sort.
Even the camera crew of this film is decent at their jobs. This is something that has always bothered me with comedy films, they will never ever focus much on the cinematography and the aesthetic of the film, unless it’s something intricate like Edgar Wright’s work. However, this film had a decent chunk of good camera shots and some absolutely fantastic angles for the director to work with.
The Bottom Line
So, to put it bluntly, Meet the Parents is a phenomenal comedy film. It doesn’t try to be anything more than that either. It has a clear identity as an adult comedy film. The thing I really like about this film aside from the fantastic performances by the actors, and the amazing writing, is that it feels unique in terms of its direction and storytelling.
It features some unconventional methods of showcasing characters and their feelings, and it works wonderfully. Perhaps this is why Jay Roach is known as one of the best comedy directors of all time, especially in the modern era!