Is Ben Stiller capable of playing ANYTHING but a big loser? Apparently not. True to form, in his newest flick, Meet The Parents Stiller plays opposite Robert De Niro as a big loser named Greg (Gaylord) Foker going to meet his girlfriends parents for the first time. Sadly, her father is a complete lunatic who hates his guts. Normally there is only so much damage a lunatic can do to someone, however De Niro's character, Jack Byrnes, in addition to being a total loon, is also an ex CIA agent... which makes him a loon with connections.
In the end, everything works out, as usual in these types of movies, but of course only after Stiller suffers a massive amount of personal humiliation and manages to almost single handedly destroy the wedding of his girlfriend's sister and the lives of just about everyone he comes in contact with.
Yeah, Stiller has become sort of a one dimensional comedic character actor, everyone he plays is pretty much the same, but I've gotta hand it to him, he really is good at it. And De Niro, who many have trouble picturing in a comedic role is actually incredibly good as the obsessed father of Pam Byrnes (played by Terri Polo). But De Niro wasn't the only delight in Meet The Parents, Terri Polo really shines in this cast of heavy hitters. So often in these type of movies the female love interest is just some sappy chic they throw in to look pretty. But Polo manages to look stunning in that sort of girl next door kind of way, and throw in some pretty nice acting while she's at it. And I'm not talking about the type of acting where the actress pouts a lot, looks lovey dovey and cute, and then says things like "I'll love your forever" I'm talking about someone playing a REAL character.
But in the end, Meet The Parents is funny because its filled with tons of awkward embarrassing moments in which the audience gets to watch Stiller suffer. What does it say about our society when we consider watching another human being humiliate himself entertaing? It says that we all have a good sense of humor.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler