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Meet the Parents & Meet the Fockers ~ Movie Lot ~ Ben Stiller ~ New DVD

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     Meet the Parents & Meet the Fockers


Movie Lot

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Meet the Parents is a 2000 American comedy written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg and directed by Jay Roach. Starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, the film chronicles a series of unfortunate events that befall a good-hearted but hapless nurse while visiting his girlfriend's parents. Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, and Owen Wilson also star.

Meet the Parents is a remake of a 1992 film of the same name directed by Greg Glienna and produced by Jim Vincent. Glienna—who also played the original film's main protagonist—and Mary Ruth Clarke co-wrote the screenplay. Universal Studios purchased the rights to Glienna's film with the intent of creating a new version. Jim Herzfeld expanded the original script but development was halted for some time. Jay Roach read the expanded script and expressed his desire to direct the film but Universal declined him. At that time, Steven Spielberg was interested in directing the film while Jim Carrey was interested in playing the lead role.[1] The studio only offered the film to Roach once Spielberg and Carrey left the project.

Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) is a nurse living in Chicago. He intends to propose to his girlfriend Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), but his plan is disrupted when he and Pam are invited to the wedding of Pam's sister, Debbie (Nicole DeHuff), at Pam's parents' house on Long Island. Greg decides to propose to Pam in front of her family but this plan is put on hold when the airline company loses his luggage which contains the engagement ring.

At the Byrnes family home, Greg meets Pam's father Jack (Robert De Niro), mother Dina (Blythe Danner) and their beloved cat Mr. Jinx. Jack takes an instant dislike towards Greg and openly criticizes Greg for his choice of career as a male nurse and anything else he sees as a difference between Greg and the Byrnes family. Greg tries to impress Jack but his efforts fail. Greg becomes even more uncomfortable after he receives an impromptu lie detector test from Jack and later learns from Pam that her father is a retired CIA operative.

Meeting the rest of Pam's family and friends, Greg still feels like an outsider. Despite efforts to impress the family, Greg's inadvertent actions make him an easy target for ridicule and anger. During a volleyball game he causes Debbie a broken nose and a black eye, uses a malfunctioning toilet which floods the Byrnes' back yard with sewage, sets on fire the wedding altar, and several misunderstandings cause Jack to believe Greg is a marijuana user. Later, Greg loses Jinx and replaces him with a stray whose tail he spray paints to make him look like Mr. Jinx.

By now, the entire Byrnes family, including Pam, agrees that it is best for Greg to leave Long Island until the wedding concludes. Unwillingly, Greg goes to the airport where he is detained by airport security for insisting that his bag stay with him rather than be checked. Back at the Byrnes household, Jack tries to convince Pam that Greg was lying to her about everything. He claims to be unable to find proof of anyone named "Greg Focker" ever taking the Medical College Admission Test which Greg claimed he had passed with the initial intention of becoming a doctor. Upon learning that Greg's real first name is Gaylord, and being presented with proof from Pam that he did in fact pass the test, Jack rushes to the airport, convinces airport security to release Greg and brings him back to the Byrnes household.

As Greg is proposing to Pam, Jack and Dina listen in on their conversation from another room, agreeing that they should now meet Greg's parents. After Debbie's wedding, Jack views footage of Greg recorded by hidden cameras that he had placed strategically around the house.
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(Meet the Fockers)
Directed by      Jay Roach
Produced by  Jane Rosenthal
                     Robert De Niro
                     Jay Roach

Screenplay by  Jim Herzfeld
                       John Hamburg

Story by Jim Herzfeld
              Marc Hyman

Based on Characters  by Greg Glienna
                                      Mary Ruth Clarke

Starring   
      Robert De Niro
      Ben Stiller
      Dustin Hoffman
      Barbra Streisand
      Blythe Danner
      Teri Polo
      Alanna Ubach
      Cedric Yarbrough

Music by  Randy Newman

Cinematography  John Schwartzman

Edited by    Jon Poll
Lee Haxall
Alan Baumgarten

Production company
    Tribeca Productions
                  Everyman Pictures

Distributed by  Universal Pictures (North America)
                       DreamWorks Pictures (International)

Release date  December 22, 2004

Running time  115 minutes



Set two years after the events of the first film, Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) and his fiancée Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) decide to introduce their parents to each other. They first fly to Oyster Bay, New York, on Long Island, to pick up Pam's father, retired CIA operative Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), her mother Dina (Blythe Danner) and one-year-old nephew Little Jack (the son of Bob and Debbie Banks). But rather than going to the airport as planned, Jack decides to drive the family to Miami to meet the Fockers in his new RV.

Once they arrive, they are greeted by Greg's eccentric but fun-loving and amiable father, Bernie (Dustin Hoffman), and mother, Roz (Barbra Streisand), who is a sex therapist for elderly couples. Concerned that Jack might be put off by the Fockers' lifestyle, Greg convinces Roz to pretend that she is a yoga instructor for the weekend. However, small cracks begin to form between Jack and the Fockers, due to their contrasting personalities. The meet gets off to a bad start when a chase between the Fockers' sexually active dog, Moses, and the Byrnes's cat, Jinx, culminates with Jinx flushing Moses down the RV's toilet, forcing Bernie to destroy it to save Moses. Later, Bernie accidentally injures Jack's back during a game of football.

Meanwhile, Pam informs Greg that she's pregnant, and the two decide to keep it secret from Jack. Jack again becomes suspicious of Greg's character when they are introduced to the Fockers' housekeeper, Isabel Villalobos (Alanna Ubach), with whom Bernie reveals Greg had a sexual affair fifteen years before. Jack later takes the RV to Isabel's 15-year-old son, Jorge (Ray Santiago), to fix the toilet, but is disturbed by Jorge's striking resemblance to Greg, and the fact that Jorge never met his father, and jumps to the conclusion that he might be Greg's son with Isabel. Meanwhile, Roz, Bernie and Dina realize Pam is pregnant, but promise not to tell Jack. Growing envious of Bernie and Roz's active sex life, Dina consults Roz on sex tips in order to seduce Jack, but none of them works.

Greg and Jack's relationship is again put to the test when Greg is left alone to babysit Little Jack, whom Jack has been raising via the Ferber method. Despite Jack's strict instructions to leave Little Jack to self-soothe, Greg is unable to stand listening to Little Jack's cries and tends to the boy to cheer him up by hugging him, putting Elmo's World on TV, and acting funny, but inadvertently teaches him the word "asshole." Disaster strikes when Greg answers a brief phone call from Roz, which is long enough for Little Jack to wander out of his playpen (which Jinx had opened), put on Scarface, and glue his hands to a bottle of rum. After a furious argument with the Fockers and his own family (though amends are quickly made), Jack resumes his spying on Greg and sends Greg and Jorge's hair samples for a DNA test, while inviting Jorge to the Fockers' planned engagement party in the hope of getting Greg to admit he is Jorge's father. At the engagement party, Jack, who automatically assumes that Greg knew about Jorge and has deliberately been keeping him a secret from Pam, introduces Greg to Jorge. Later, when Greg denies knowing anything about Jorge, Jack still refuses to believe him and drugs him with truth serum to make him talk. On stage, Greg uncontrollably blurts out that Pam is pregnant and that Jorge is his son in a Darth Vader-esqe matter before immediately losing consciousness.

The next morning, Pam questions Greg about Jorge, and Greg does not confirm or deny that he is Jorge's father, but insists that he knew nothing about him before the previous evening. Pam believes him, and is willing to work things out with him. Jack reaches his breaking point with Greg's dishonesty and demands that Pam and Dina leave the island with him. Dina refuses and reveals Jack's actions to everyone. Everyone turns against Jack, with Pam announcing her intent to marry Greg regardless of him having Jorge with Isabel, and Dina admits that they were all aware of Pam's pregnancy. A shocked and hurt Jack leaves with his grandson.

Bernie and Greg pursue Jack, but are soon tasered and arrested by an overzealous deputy sheriff, Vern LeFlore (Tim Blake Nelson), for speeding and refusing to remain in their car. Meanwhile, Jack is informed that Greg is not Jorge's father (his real father turns out to be a baseball player who also resembles Greg), and attempts to defend Greg and Bernie, but the overzealous Leflore tasers and arrests him, too. In their cell, Greg, Jack, and Bernie are released by the local judge, Ira (Shelley Berman), who is a client of Roz and a close friend of the Fockers. Before they leave, Greg asks that Jack and Bernie stop their feud. Jack admits that he made a mistake regarding Jorge and reveals his past career in the CIA to Bernie, before apologizing for his actions and making up with the two of them.

Greg and Pam are married that weekend by Pam's ex-fiancé, Kevin (Owen Wilson), who is now an ordained interfaith minister. During the party, Jack asks Roz for some sex tips and sneaks into the RV with Dina.

During the post-credit scene, Jack watches hidden baby-cam footage of the Fockers giving attention to Little Jack over Jack's previous objections: Roz gives Little Jack chocolate, Bernie advises him to use his crying to disagree with everything Jack says, and Greg pretends to drunkenly tell Little Jack to keep it a secret that he left to smoke pot, not answer the phone, when he left Little Jack unattended and that Pam is not really pregnant and only said it so that Jack would let them get married. Greg then pretends to only just discover the camera but then after making teasing gestures at it, Greg reveals that he knew about it all along and none of the things he said before was true.
 

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