A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie has gross humor and very mature material for a PG-13, including graphic references to a sexually transmitted disease, masturbation, drugs, and adultery. Characters use very strong language and there is social drinking to excess, at one point resulting in the encounter that triggers the plot. A character is beat up and arrested for possession of cocaine. There is also such a weird sort of homophobic vibe to some of the jokes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Jason Lee plays Paul, a guy so risk-averse that he gives the "groom" hat at his bachelor party to his best man, so that the dancing "tiki girls" in grass skirts won't pay any attention to him. Yet somehow he wakes up the next morning, hung over, with one of those dancing girls (Julia Stiles) in his bed. It turns out that she is his fiancée's cousin, so she keeps turning up at all the family events.
Is it any good?
This is a completely inept attempted screwball comedy without a single memorable moment. If you made a copy of a copy of a copy of Meet the Parents and then ran it through one of those script-generating software programs advertised in the back of movie magazines, you might come out with something like A GUY THING. There is much faux humor about Paul pretending to have a massive gastro-intestinal disorder, getting an itchy STD and having to get some medication which is discussed loudly in the pharmacy as his future mother-in-law is standing there; the steroid rage of Becky's ex-fiancé, an evidence-planting cop; a rehearsal dinner spiked with pot; and some dirty pictures found by a young boy that end up stuck together, not with glue.
The movie is a step down for everyone associated with it, including director Chris Koch, who made a promising debut with "Snow Day," and Lee, Blair, and Stiles, who show no energy whatsoever. One reason the script seems so much like "Meet the Parents" is that the story is by the same writer, though even four screenwriters could not manage to come up with a single memorable line of dialogue, character to care about, believable motivation, or genuinely funny moment. Every joke and plot development is telegraphed so ham-handedly that it is instantly anticlimactic. There are sit-coms on the WB that have more laughs before the first commercial than this movie has in 90 minutes.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 27, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: May 27, 2003
- Cast: Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair
- Director: Chris Koch
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language, crude humor, some sexual content and drug references
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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