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Movie Review

Imagine a marriage of Nora Ephron romanticism and the insane physical humor of the Farrelly brothers operating in a kinder, gentler mode. That may be the best way to describe Meet the Parents, a heartfelt, yet manic comedy constructed from a series of awkward moments and disastrous mishaps as a love-struck suitor struggles to gain the approval of his prospective in-laws.

Greg Focker (whose near-miss last name gets a workout within the confines of a PG-13 rating) wants to propose to Pam. But first he must fly to Long Island for her sister’s wedding, meet Dad (De Niro) and secure his blessing. Easier said than done. Before he ever gets into the house, Greg (played by congenial everyman Ben Stiller) finds his foot in his mouth. The visit gets rockier. And when Greg learns that Pam’s father is a retired CIA psychological profiler, the intimidation factor could make a simple "pass the gravy" result in flop sweat.

Meet the Parents is a cleverly scripted, often hilarious film. If only it had felt confident enough in its clean humor to avoid unnecessary sexual dialogue and profanity, including nearly a dozen misuses of God’s name.

On the positive side, it champions the permanence of marriage and the need for trust within families. It even introduces viewers to a "model" ex-boyfriend of Pam’s who is a smart, hip, gracious, fun, likeable born-again Christian.

The last PG-13 comedy from director Jay Roach was the raunchy Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. This is a sweet-spirited improvement. Still, some sorry content will keep families from embracing Parents.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, James Rebhorn

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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