MONTREAL–Who ever heard of a comedy where everyone gets maimed, drowned, shot or commits suicide? Welcome to the tragic world of Greg Glienna, whose wonderfully twisted black comedy “Meet the Parents” turns a visit with the in-laws into a living nightmare.
Excessive and occasionally overdone, pic is a blatant attack on marriage, suburban indifference, Christian hypocrisy and the nuclear family. Clearly not for mainstream audiences, “Meet the Parents” could garner a cult following among anti-establishment urbanites.
Presented almost entirely in flashback, tale begins when a gas station attendant warns a client en route to meet the future in-laws to “turn back” while he still can. What follows is the tragic story of a previous future groom who didn’t take the advice.
“Well, just out of curiosity, what happened to him?” queries the client. Everything.
Enter inconspicuous, well-meaning (helmer/writer/editor/actor) Greg Glienna, who innocently destroys everything he touches. After he overflows the toilet and accidentally drops the dinner roast, the “forgiving” family settles in to watch TV. Trying to avoid a steamy love scene on cable, Dad hands Greg the channel changer. Zap: “Take off your clothes.” Zap: Dr. Ruth. Zap: “Your hemorrhoids …. ” Zap: “When I get my period ….” Zap. After breakfast, Greg blinds the mother with a fishing rod, ruins the family car, drowns the dog and accidentally climbs into bed with his fiancee’s sister. Blackmail time leads to disaster.
Pic falls victim to predictability, as script desperately needed an objective eye and an occasional breather. As is, relentless theme leaves audience predicting the next catastrophe.
Nonetheless, low-budget indie is an amusing vehicle which aptly displays the multiple talents of Greg Glienna. Tech credits are raw.