Meeting your potential future in-laws is a rite of every relationship. So how do you best leave an impression? Is it by being so utterly charming that they demand you marry the fruit of their loins? Or is it by leaving a dent in the door as they kick you out of it? With this week’s timely, sharp and rather fun horror Get Out (out this Friday in cinemas) being the latest celluloid celebration of breaking bread with your new mom and pops, here’s the movie guide to winning over your other half’s family…
Do…. get some table manners (Shrek 2, 2004)
So you might be a bit of an ogre, but there’s no need to prove it over the dinner table. Goaded over the feast by his new royal father-in-law, Shrek gives in to his grubbier, splattier, burpier instincts and treats his roast chicken to a free-ranging culinary assault. We don’t know what those weird small knives are for either…
Shrek 2 is available to stream now on Netflix
Don’t...get a tattoo of your future in-laws (Why Him? 2016)
We know you want your new in-laws to dig you, but few things scream ‘desperate’ so loudly – and so, so permanently – than getting a festive portrait of them tattooed onto your back, as James Franco’s rich, arty wonderkind in Why Him? You might as well ink ‘loser’ across your forehead instead.
Do… be careful who you brag to (22 Jump Street, 2014)
You might be bolstering your man-cred at work when bragging about what you got up to last night, but know your audience. When it turns out it's the very angry, heavily armed Captain Dickson’s daughter that you’ve been engaged in premarital relations with, you’ll wish that you kept your big fat stupid mouth shut.
Find 22 Jump Street in On Demand > Movies > Virgin Movies
Don’t… lie (Meet the Parents, 2000)
Everyone likes to up-spin the facts when they meet the parents, so what’s a few white lies? Well, under pressure to charm the ex-CIA ‘human lie detector’ Jack Brynes, poor Greg Focker’s untruths lose the family cat, cover the family lawn with effluence and leaves his future sister-in-law’s sculptured wedding altar up in flames – much like the circle of trust.
Meet The Parents is available now on Sky Cinema
Do… be perfect (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967)
The best way to win over your future in laws? Be so absolutely, entirely, unimpeachably fantastic that no parent could ever object to losing their offspring to you. Sidney Poitier’s hero is entirely pristine, so the only reason his new in-laws could object to the forthcoming inter-racial marriage was because they were racist. And if you’re aiming to be awesome, Sidney Poitier’s always a pretty good starting point.
Don’t… get caught with your hand down your pants (There’s Something About Mary, 1998)
After scoring a date with the girl of his dreams, There’s Something About Mary’s Ted Stroehmann suffers a horrendous frank/beans interface that sees him spent prom night in A&E instead of getting to second base. If your daughter starts hooking up with Ben Stiller, you should just start thinking about disowning her now.
Do… make a dignified exit (Back to the Future, 1985)
“I gotta go!” Marty McFly bolts out of the Baines’ door, leaving his hosts totally non-plussed about their daughter’s new roomie. Still, you can’t blame Back to the Future’s hapless time traveller, given that these people are actually his own grandparents, and the love struck teen running her hand on his thigh is the 1955 version of his own mum. On second thoughts, run for it Marty!
Back to the Future is available now on Sky Cinema
Don’t… have a fight with them (Monster-in-Law, 2005)
Maybe your future Monster-in-Law can be a bit OTT, especially since she’s gone crackers after losing her job to a younger model. But no good comes from engaging in a running battle with ‘Mum’ that involves you drugging her and then later having a stand up slap fest. All you’re doing is proving her right about you ‘not being good enough’ for her precious son. And also committing an actionable assault that comes with a hefty prison sentence.
Do… Get out (Get Out, 2017)
Sometimes those weird vibes that your new in-laws give you, the ones that say that underneath all that pleasantness they’re really unsavoury – or hiding something much, much worse in the case of Get Out – well, sometimes you should listen to those instincts and make like this week’s favourite new internet meme… #GetOutChallenge