It's been said that good comedy, while not as critically applauded as good drama, is actually the harder of the two to do right. As a big fan of comedy, I would have to agree with that. Comic timing is essential to a good comedy, and veteran actor Robert Deniro, known mostly for his dramatic tough guy roles, turns out to be an exceptionally gifted comic actor. Who woulda thunk it?
Meet The Parents is a very, very funny movie directed by Jay Roach, who also did Austin Powers. It's all about the awkwardness of meeting your significant other's family for the first time. When you're Ben Stiller, and your future father in law is Robert Deniro, that awkwardness is multiplied ten fold. Of course everything that can go wrong does, but it's the way it all happens that will have you squirming in your seat and laughing your ass off.
Ben Stiller is always great. He has this great, every day guy delivery to his lines…you can't help but root for him, even as he's putting his foot deeper and deeper into his own mouth. The chemistry between Stiller and Deniro is perfect. You'd think that they've worked together forever. They are definitely the stars of this movie, but the lovely Teri Polo is great as Stiller's girlfriend, Deniro's "first-born" daughter. Also in the film are Blythe (Hey, I'm Gwyneth Paltrow's Mom!) Danner and the always funny Owen Wilson.
But Meet The Parents is really all about Stiller and Deniro. I hope Deniro makes more comedies, because he's really great at it, and I rarely see his dramas anyway.
Hopefully Ben Stiller will keep making Ben Stiller movies. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
Meet the Parents does go over the top often, but the results are usually worth it.