There’s not much to say about this film except its a hoot and a half. Stiller uses a similar type of comedy that made “There’s Something About Mary” a hit – not the gross jokes, rather the kind where he’s desperate to try and impress or please his girlfriend’s family but despite his good intentions all sorts of disastrous occurrences happen.
DeNiro turns in his second best comedic performance behind “Analyze This” as the ex-CIA father who basically won’t give him a break and catches him out in every little fib Greg (Stiller) tries to impress them with, forcing him to come up with even more outrageous lies to cover up his mistakes.
The script of this flick brilliantly kicks off a scene with something simple and then just builds and builds on top of it to turn a simple gag into a complex and hilarious situation. Watch how a simple remark of how Greg isn’t fond of cats turns into nipple milking and a cat urinating joke within two minutes. On top of that other obstacles out of his control keep popping up, such as his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend – an IT stock market whiz millionaire, which lead to more and more laughs – 95% of which are all at Greg’s expense.
Performances are strong all around with Stiller easy to sympathise with right from the start, whilst De Niro knows exactly what to do by just sitting back and flowing with each and every scene. Danner and Polo as the two women of the household (and the voices of sanity) leave a good impression despite only minor screen time, and the fast pace keep the gags flowing thick and fast.
The only downside is this kind of comedy will wear out after the second or third viewing, and once the gags laugh value wears out there’s nothing like the romance story in ‘Mary’ that it can fall back on. The material is solid and funny, but not highly fresh or original so its not likely to become a classic – but damn its a good laugh.