Meet the Parents is being re-released on DVD just eight days before the theatrical release of the sequel, Meet the Fockers. For those of you who own Meet the Parents: Collector's Edition, there isn't much cause to upgrade. The reason is that the movie is the same transfer found in the 2001 DVD release, except the language options and special features differ. Please refer to the audio and extras sections for a comprehensive description of the differences between the two versions. Besides the language options and special features, the movie is exactly the same and while there are differences, they are fairly minimal. So if you happen to already be familiar with Meet the Parents and just are curious if this bonus edition is better suited for you than the collector's edition, you might want to just skip ahead to the audio and extras sections. However, if you missed the original 2001 DVD release of Meet the Parents, you'll definitely want to read on, because Meet the Parents is definitely one of those movies that you should own. Why? Because it's an overly dramatic, but hilarious look into one of life's most serious situations, meeting your future in-laws.
This movie takes a rather common occurrence in life and blows the situation slightly out of proportion by putting a single guy into one awful situation after another. The actual realism of the movie seems arguable, as how can so many bad things happen to one guy over and over again? Regardless whether or not you can easily accept the reality of it, Meet the Parents is a hysterical movie.
Ben Stiller (Dodgeball) stars as Greg Focker. Focker wants to marry his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo), and just when he decides to propose to her, he learns that Pam's sister Deborah decided to tie the knot with a guy named Dr. Bob. Fortunately before Focker asked for Pam's hand in marriage, he learned that it's customary to ask the father first. It's what Dr. Bob did. So naturally, Focker decides that it would be best if waited and got Pam's father's permission first. At this point, Focker and Pam head off for Deborah's wedding. At the same time, Focker hopes to get the blessing of Pam's father. Of course, nothing seems to go Focker's way. From the first second that he meets Pam's father Jack (Robert De Niro, Analyze This), he's in a whole mess of trouble, whether he's desecrating the remains of Jack's mother, losing the family cat, tripping over his lies, or just looking plain ridiculous in speedos, he just can't seem to get a break.
What makes this a really great comedy isn't the story or the absurd situations that Focker gets himself into time and time again (it's still a wonderful aspect, but not the tip of the iceberg), but rather the interaction between the two main characters, Focker and Jack. Both roles are filled by wonderful actors and they seem to play off of each other very well. De Niro does a fantastic job with his role as the overly suspicious father and he also does manage to get in a few great jokes. Most people think of De Niro as a serious actor, with roles in films like Casino, but he is a very talented actor and can handle himself very well in other roles. This film is no exception, as De Niro dips into comedy with ease. Stiller is naturally a great comedian. His role as Greg Focker is executed with near perfection. He fills the role of the guy who just can't seem to do anything right with ease. But the real kicker is just how well the two work together, making the various situations outright hilarious.
Overall, Meet the Parents is definitely one of those comedies that is worth watching. I've always enjoyed this movie and I think that even after several viewings, it's still quite funny. The story is pretty entertaining, which is mostly due to the outrageous situations that Focker gets into over and over again. In addition, the interaction between Stiller and De Niro are absolutely hilarious. Meet the Parents is a great comedy.
Bonus Edition Extras
Collector's Edition Extras
Extras on Both Editions
I personally liked the extras on the collector's edition more. The new bloopers reel and the deleted scene (De Niro singing) were fun, but they weren't exceptional. The short featurettes tended to be very uninteresting. As for the recycled material, the audio commentary they included was pretty dry. The other commentary with Stiller was much better and should have been included in place of the other one. Overall, there are some decent extras, but they have very little replay value.