Narrative to Self-Disclosure
Meet the Parents- Film Analysis
In the film, Meet the Parents, there are numerous instances where lying occurs. Lying is presented in various ways, including benevolent lies, self-serving lies, and lies used to benefit oneself. Throughout the film, some lies are easily identifiable as to the reason why the lie was used while others require more of an in-depth analysis to determine the motive behind the lie. The way in which the lie is conveyed is also an important element worthy of review when examining each type of lie. At the beginning of the film, Greg uses a benevolent lie when referencing his life on a farm when he actually grew up in Detroit. In the previous scene, Jack discovers Greg reading a magazine article about milking. For fear of embarrassment as an ethic of evasion, Greg chose to try and act quickly in coming up with a story in which he ultimately could not back up. According to Adler, more than half of the lies were told as a way to prevent embarrassment, or as he refers to as “saving face.” (pg. 326) This lie only caused Greg to become flustered at dinner. In an effort to relate his up-bring to the concept of milking, he states he grew up on a farm and had the opportunity of milking a cat who was unable to get milk from its mother. In this case, Greg chose to elaborate using hand signals and specific details which were untrue, but essentially chose to lie in an effort to provide helpful information to Jack, the receptor of the lie. Another form of a benevolent lie used by Greg in this film is when he makes attempts to be a hero. He knows the importance of the cat’s role as the ring bearer in the wedding, so he chooses to pass another cat off as Jynx. Greg doesn’t mean any harm by this lie; he simply wants to do something to get recognized in a positive way in the eyes of Jack. Up until this point, Jack does not seem very fond of Greg and he wants to do anything he can to get in his “circle of trust.”...
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