Meet the Parents is a 2000 American comedy film 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 man 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. The studio only offered the film to Roach once Spielberg and Carrey left the project.
Released in the United States and Canada on October 6, 2000 and distributed by Universal Studios, the film earned back its initial budget of $55 million in only eleven days. It went on to become one of the highest grossing films of 2000, earning over $160 million in North America and over $330 million worldwide. Meet the Parents was well received by film critics and viewers alike, winning several awards and earning additional nominations. Ben Stiller won two comedy awards for his performance and the film was chosen as the Favorite Comedy Motion Picture at the 2001 People's Choice Awards. The success of Meet the Parents inspired two film sequels, namely Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers released in 2004 and 2010 respectively. Meet the Parents also inspired a reality television show titled Meet My Folks and a situation comedy titled In-Laws, both of them debuting on NBC in 2002.
Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) is a nurse living in Chicago, who intends to propose to his girlfriend Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), a schoolteacher. His plan is disrupted when Pam's sister Debbie becomes engaged and he finds out that Debbie's fiance, Dr. Robert "Bob" Banks had asked Pam's father for permission before proposing. Greg and Pam travel to Pam's parents' house in Oyster Bay, Long Island to attend the wedding. Greg hopes to propose to Pam in front of her family after receiving her father's permission, but this plan is put on hold when the airline loses his luggage, including the engagement ring.