Meet the Parents

Bomb Rating: 

This is a true story: I went to see this film at a local theater and it was advertised on a nearby college campus, so the theater was crowded. However, I arrived early and sat with friends who were toward the front of the theater, which is not where I usually sit. Soon, a group of kids came into the row and the guy nearest me left a seat open between us. That seat is known derisively as the "fag" seat because everybody knows that if one guy sits next to another guy, especially in a dark theater, why surely they must be fags. If you're ever in a theater and you see two friends sitting in a row with a seat between them, you can breathe easy in the knowledge that they're not gay... just suspiciously defensive about being perceived as gay.

So, with about a minute to go until the start of the film, there was this empty seat next to me. Naturally, a guy a couple rows up and over turns around and asks, "Is that seat taken?" I shake my head no (from now on, my answer is going to be, "Fuck you, psycho"). He enters the row and on his way by says, "Don't worry, I don't smell, I just bought new cologne." This, as it turns out, was the least of my worries. From the start of the movie until the end, the guy takes swigs from a bottle and becomes progressively more incoherent. He talks to the screen and says things at Ben Stiller's character like "Don't let him breed!" Eventually, he begins a sentence with "kill the bitch" and then trails off into unintelligible mumbling. Everyone around him looks back and forth like they don't know what to do. After 45 minutes or so, a guy in the row in front of ours turns around and says, "Hey, shut up," which has no effect.

Finally, I turn to this guy after one of his outbursts and say, "Shut your fucking mouth" to which he responds, "You're not going to hit me, are you?" to which I respond, "I might if you don't shut up." Needless to say, this didn't work, but I was on the edge. Had this guy's cell phone gone off in the middle of the movie, I would have rammed a fistful of Milk Duds through his skull. Was this a welcome distraction, you ask? Every time I had to hear this guy talk and it distracted me from looking at Ben Stiller, I had to admit the situation had its merits. Anyway, this story is my way of telling all of you who read this to shut the hell up in the movie theater.

Ben plays a male nurse who wants to ask his girlfriend (Teri Polo) to marry him, but finds out he needs to get her father's (Robert De Niro) permission first. The guy is a domineering former CIA agent. Ben, predictably, does everything wrong and gets into more and more trouble. Was any of this funny? I don't know. Is this any different than usual? Probably not.

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