Like many comedies, it’s about the perils of concealment – in this case during a first visit home to meet your future in-laws. Ben Stiller was in top twitchy form as the future son-in-law (with the last name of Focker, evidently Jewish), and the odd site of Robert DeNiro in a cardigan, much less a Hollywood comedy, gave the film a frisson of excitement. The blockbuster was born out of a low-budget feature written by Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke. That earlier film, also called Meet the Parents, never got national distribution, but its rights were sold to Universal, which remade it with a script by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg. Todd McCarthy, reviewing the film in Daily Variety, noted that at least one scene placed the film “explicitly in the context of the literature of the outsider Jew up against the WASP establishment.” That was good enough for sequels.