The First "Meet the Parents"
June 6, 2013 Leave a Comment
Director’s Cut guest host Doug Gordon checks in with a blog post about this week’s film, “Meet the Parents.” Watch it and his interview with filmmaker Greg Glienna Friday June 7 at 10 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television.
Jerry Lewis once said that “The premise of all comedy is a man in trouble”; Greg Glienna took that to heart when he made his 1992 indie comedy, “Meet the Parents.” If the title sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that — the 2000 blockbuster, “Meet the Parents,” starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller, is based on Greg’s film.
And while the De Niro/Stiller version made a lot more money (over $160 million in North America and more than $330 million worldwide), that doesn’t necessarily mean that bigger is better. Film producer Elliot Grove included Greg’s original version on his Top Ten list of favorite films; Grove wrote that it was “much funnier and tighter than the Hollywood version.”
I enjoyed the film immensely and it answers a question that I had never given any thought to until I watched “Meet the Parents” — What would it be like if silent film comedy legend Harold Lloyd collaborated with Frank Kafka on a movie? True, Greg’s character doesn’t turn into a giant insect but that would probably be preferable to the indignities and humiliation that he suffers over the course of the surreal storyline of “Meet the Parents.”
I had the pleasure of talking to Greg about “Meet the Parents” and his experiences co-writing the screenplay and starring in the film, as well as directing it. We also talked about Steven Soderbergh’s interest in directing a remake of the film. I’ve always enjoyed black comedies and comedies don’t get much blacker than “Meet the Parents.”
Film Director's Cut Director's Cut Home PBS public television Wisconsin Public Television Wisconsin Public Television Program Wisconsin films