Meet the Parents is a 2000 American comedy film written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg and directed by Jay Roach. It chronicles a series of unfortunate events that befall a good-hearted but hapless nurse (Ben Stiller as Greg Focker) while visiting his girlfriend's parents (Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes and Blythe Danner as Dina Byrnes). Teri Polo and Owen Wilson also star.
The film 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 one's main protagonist- and Mary Ruth Clarke cowrote the screenplay. Universal Pictures 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 it but Universal declined him. At that time, Steven Spielberg was interested in doing so 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 Pictures, the film earned back its initial budget of $55 million in only 11 days. It went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of 2000, earning over $165 million in North America and over $330 million worldwide. It 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 the film inspired two sequels, namely Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers released in 2004 and 2010, respectively. It also inspired a reality television show titled Meet My Folks and a situation comedy titled In-Laws, both of which debuted on NBC in 2002.