Meet the Parents



Star-driven comedy at times offensive and funny.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: February 18, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters insensitive to feelings of Jewish man, also deride his masculinity for being a nurse. Greg tries to pass off shelter cat for family pet. Greg loses his cool on an airplane and gets removed. Lots of lying and sneaking around by Jack, who mistrusts everyone and spies on everyone.


Comic peril. A roof and gazebo catch on fire.


Some sexual references and non-graphic situations. Greg wears a very tight bathingsuit.


Some strong language and plenty of mentions of "Focker," Greg's unfortunate last name.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to marijuana use, drinking, smoking. Greg smokes and tries to hide it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some strong language, especially in reference to Greg's unfortunate last name; drug use, plus cigarette smoking by the main character; a few sexual references and situations; and potty humor -- a septic tank backs up on the lawn, for starters. There's plenty of lying, spying, and sneaking around by the main characters that they eventually all need to own up to -- like when Greg loses the cat and tries to replace him with a lookalike from the local shelter.

What's the story?

In MEET THE PARENTS, Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) loves Pam (Teri Polo) and wants to make a good impression on her father, Jack (Robert De Niro), who specializes in sweating the truth out of double agents in the CIA. Everything goes wrong. Jack's natural over-protectiveness meets with Greg's panicky clumsiness. The airline loses Greg's suitcase, so he has to borrow bizarre clothes -- enormous pants from Pam's brother, a tiny Speedo bathing suit from Pam's former fiancé. Greg is compared to Pam's sister's fiancé, a doctor, and to Pam's former boyfriend (Owen Wilson), now fabulously wealthy and still pining for her. Greg, who is Jewish, is asked to say grace at dinner, and can only helplessly babble the lyrics from Godspell. And, in the movie's high point, Greg has to cope with the only situation more grueling than a terrifying in-law: airline bureaucracy.

Is it any good?


Written by the screenwriter of the awful Meet the Deedles (who will we meet next? the Fockers, of course) and directed by the director of Austin Powers, Meet the Parents is a sub-category of comedy that can only be termed "comedies of excruciation," in which we laugh at the hideously humiliating experiences of some poor sap. If this is your kind of humor, then this is your kind of movie.

There are many jokes about Greg's name (Focker, get it?) and his occupation (nurse, which isn't manly, get it?). Jokes center on a catheter, a "Mountie strap-on dildo," a cat who uses the toilet, a cat strung out on nicotine gum, a fire, and an overflowing septic tank. The scene in which Greg battles the airline rules is worth at least three stars on its own. Depending on your sense of humor, it is either hilarious or agonizing or both.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the kind of laughs this comedy goes for. Is the humiliation of these characters funny? How does their dishonesty keep them from getting along? Why does Greg's stressed-out nature make him more susceptible to laughs at his expense? Does it bother you that Pam doesn't stand up to her father more? Is she contributing in some way to Greg's misery?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 6, 2000
DVD release date:December 14, 2004
Cast:Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo
Director:Jay Roach
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:drug references, sexual references and situations, and language

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bywinterwolfes September 13, 2014


I was OK watching this with my 13 year old daughter as suggested by this site, except for one scene. Parents, don't forget these is a scene in this movie where Robert Dinero pulls a sex toy out of a suitcase and holds it up for a while looking at it. Now my 13 year old daughter knows that strap-ons exist. So, just beware of this scene. The review here does not even mention this happening!
Teen, 14 years old Written byTotally500 October 3, 2010

Meet the Parents a fine choice

My parents saw it and now mey and my sister saw it and it was the best movi that is so funny
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

Meet The Parents

Meet the Parents is an overall okay movie The Only bad thing in it is 1 f-word and some sex paraphanalia


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