Meet the Parents | Chicago Reader

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It's tempting to call this low-budget, independent 1991 feature by Chicago stand-up comic Greg Glienna (who directed and cowrote the script) the ultimate worst-case-scenario comedy. Glienna plays an unassuming young adman who drives from Chicago to Indiana with his fiancee (Jacqueline Cahill) to meet her folks (Dick Galloway and Carol Whelan) and sister (Mary Ruth Clarke, Glienna's cowriter). The cascade of nightmares that results may not always make you laugh, but you'll be impressed by the singularity of Glienna's dark approach. Some of the incidents work better than others—I could have done without the encounter with the fiancee's former boyfriend, and there are bits about the maniacally starstruck sister that seem overworked—but overall you're likely to be taken with the purity and relentlessness of this picture's vision. Remade in 2000 (to great commercial success) with Ben Stiller as the fiance and Robert De Niro as the father.

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