Meet the Parents

Randy Newman's opening song, "A Fool in Love," perfectly sets up the movie that follows. The lyrics begin, "Show me a man who is gentle and kind, and I'll show you a loser," before praising the man who takes what he wants. Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is the fool in love in Meet the Parents. Just as he's about to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo), he learns that her sister's fiancé asked their father, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), for permission to marry. Now he feels the need to do the same thing. When Greg meets Jack, he is so desperate to be liked that he makes up stories and kisses ass rather than having the courage of his convictions. It doesn't take an elite member of the CIA to see right through Greg, but that's precisely what Jack is. Directed by Jay Roach (the Austin Powers movies), Meet the Parents is an incredibly well-crafted comedy that stands in nice opposition to, say, the sloppy extremes of the Farrelly brothers. Stiller is great at playing up the uncomfortable comedy of errors, balancing just the right amount of selfishness and self-deprecating humor, while De Niro's Jack is funny as the hard-ass father who just wants a few straight answers from the kid. What makes the Jack character all the funnier is Blythe Danner as his wife, the Gracie to his George Burns, who is the true heart of the movie. Oh, and Owen Wilson turns in yet another terrific comic performance as Pam's ex-fiancé. --Andy Spletzer

Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Jay Roach
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 14 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
73
Rotten Tomatoes:
84%
PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Year:
2000
108
$164,454,835
Website
8,738 Views

Flight Attendant:
I'm sorry, sir. You're gonna have to check that.

Greg:
I got it.

Flight Attendant:
No, I'm sorry. That bag won't fit.

Greg:
No, I'm not — hey. I'm not checking my bag, okay?

Flight Attendant:
There's no need to raise your voice, sir.

Greg:
I'm not raising my voice. This would be raising my voice to you, okay? I don't want to check my bag. By the way, your airline — you suck at checking bags. Because I already did that once, and you lost it, and then I had everything screwed up very badly for me. Okay?

Flight Attendant:
I can assure you that your bag... will be placed safely below deck with the other luggage.

Greg:
Oh, yeah? How do you know my bag will be safe below with the other luggage? Are you physically gonna take my bag beneath the plane? Are you gonna go with the guys with the earmuffs and put it in there?

Flight Attendant:
No.

Greg:
No? Okay. Then shut your pie hole... and listen to me when I say that I am finished... with the checking-of-the-bags conversation!

Flight Attendant:
Sir, we have a policy on this airline that if a bag is this large, we—

Greg:
Get your grubby little paws off of my bag, okay? It's not like I have a bomb in here. It's not like I want to blow up the plane.

Flight Attendant:
Sir!

Greg:
I wanna stow my bag according to your safety regulations.

Flight Attendant:
Sir, sir—

Greg:
If you would take a second... and take the little sticks out of your head and clean out your ears, maybe you would see that I'm a person who has feelings, and all I have to do is do what I wanna do! All I wanna do is hold onto my bag and not listen to you! The only way that I would ever let go of my bag would be if you came over here now... and tried to pry it from my dead, lifeless fingers. Okay? If you can get it from my kung fu grip, then you can have it. Okay? Otherwise, step off, bitch.

[Greg is forcibly removed by Airport Security while everyone watches in shock by his behavior.]

Greg:
Oh, shit. How'd you get here?

Jack:
I'm everywhere, Focker.

Greg:
I didn't do anything, Jack.

Jack:
Yeah, I know.

Greg:
Well, then tell these guys that I'm not a terrorist.

Jack:
Listen, Focker. I'm not gonna tell anybody anything until you answer some questions. Unless you want to spend the next couple of years of your life in prison, you better goddamn well tell me the truth. No more lies. You understand? No more lies.

Greg:
Did you do this?

Jack:
Just answer the questions.

Greg:
Did you have me taken off of that airplane?

Jack:
Just answer the question. Put your hands over there. That's it.

[Jack hold Greg's hands by the pulse to administer a lie-detector test]

Greg:
You're sick, you know that?

Jack:
Is your name Gaylord Focker? Yes or no?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Are you a male nurse?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Are you a pothead?

Greg:
No.

Jack:
Have you ever smoked pot?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
[beat] Did you spray-paint the tail of a cat to pass him off as Mr. Jinx?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
And you did that because you were desperately seeking my approval?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Because you love my daughter Pam?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Do you wanna marry her?

[Greg doesn't answer and looks away.]

Jack:
Do you want to marry her?

Greg:
...I did...until I met you.

Jack:
What does that mean?

Greg:
I love your daughter, Jack. I love her more than anything. But frankly, sir, I'm a little terrified of being your son-in-law. This whole weekend has given me a lot of doubts about whether or not I could even survive in your family.

[Jack looks at Greg's pulse, unmoved.]

Greg:
I think you've got some serious issues.

Jack:
If I lighten up, would you consider marrying my daughter?

[Greg pulls his hands away from Jack]

Greg:
Would you lighten up a lot?

Jack:
Yeah.

Greg:
Yes or no?

Jack:
Yes.

Greg:
Would you promise to let me and Pam live our lives and not interfere all the time?

Jack:
I promise not to interfere in your lives all the time.

Greg:
Will you stop making fun of me for being a nurse?

Jack:
Could you at least try, maybe, to consider another profession?

Greg:
Jack, yes or no?

Jack:
Ever?

Greg:
No!

Jack:
[beat] Okay, yes.

Greg:
Would you let me and Pam sleep in the same room?

Jack:
[Glares at Greg] Don't push it, Focker. You're in a real mess.

[Jacks takes Greg's hands again and continues]

Jack:
If you married my daughter, would you support her in the way that she deserves to be supported?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Would you be honest and faithful to her?

Greg:
Yes.

Jack:
Will you devote yourself entirely to her for the rest of your life?

Greg:
Of course.

Jack:
Gaylord Focker...

[Jack takes out a small jewelry box and shows it to Greg to find an engagement ring]

Jack:
Will you be my son-in-law?

Share your thoughts on Meet the Parents's quotes with the community:

Quote of the Day Today's Quote | Archive

Would you like us to send you a FREE inspiring quote delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this movie page to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Meet the Parents Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Dec. 2019. <https://www.quotes.net/movies/meet_the_parents_quotes_7390>.

Know another quote from Meet the Parents?

Don't let people miss on a great quote from the "Meet the Parents" movie - add it here!