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Tom Hagen     review by Tom Hagen                   Full Review List

Cinema
Meet the Parents

With Meet the Parents director Jay Roach finally makes up for the heinous crime against cinema which he previously committed in the shape of the second Austin Powers film. A million miles from the crude gross-out humour of that and a lot of the latest Hollywood 'comedies', Meet the Parents provides laughs throughout with a tight script and solid performances by all involved.

Ben Stiller plays Greg, a male nurse, who is spending the weekend with his girlfriend, Pam, at her family home in order to meet, and hopefully impress, her parents. Unfortunately for him, her father is an terrifying, over-protective ex-CIA agent played with comic excellence by Robert DeNiro. With flashes of 'Jimmy the Gent' malice he belittles everything about Greg, from his job to his name, while simultaneously lavishing unhealthy amounts of attention on the pet cat.

The whole weekend takes turn after turn for the worse as each of Greg's attempts to win over the parents goes horribly wrong. And as the film takes us through the whole mess of a weekend we meet some plausibly hilarious characters - from the impossibly perfect ex-fiancÚ to the work-to-rule air hostess - and each of them are there not only for laughs but also to move the story along.

The little details in Meeting the Parents matter - all in sundry from lost luggage to cigarette packets - a domino effect applies and we know each little event is going to snowball and provide us with more laughs. This is what comedy is about - not cheap, thrown together innuendo, but rather intelligent well-structured gags and set-pieces.

Meet the Parents will have you laughing, out loud. It's got some priceless scenes, a great cast and some lines of dialogue that you never thought you'd hear Robert DeNiro utter: "I have nipples Greg, would you milk me?" It makes hilarious sense in context, believe me.

So go and see it before Osgood Fielding III reviews it and ruins all the best jokes.

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