Quote from the bridge
Even though everything in our society is fair game when it comes to comedy, I was very unhappy with how demeaning this film was towards the nursing profession. There was the running gag of every time Stiller said he was going into nursing, everyone would ask him why he wasn't going to be a doctor instead. ... does this film actually point out what a pathetic career nursing is compared to being a doctor? Perhaps this is how our society actually perceives nurses: People who were to intimidated to try to be a doctor and chose the easier path and merely became nurses?
That reminds me of another negative portrayal in entertainment... I can remember watching Grey's Anatomy with my wife, way before I began the transition to nursing. There were several times where the cast would roll their eyes. All the docs in the show were lithe and vivacious, and all of the nurses were battered old hags with low IQs, like the lunch lady.
I even remember the quote "God, I hate nurses" in that show. Even then I was like "***..why?" Oh well, it was a stupid show anyway. If one want to watch a ridiculous show that is actually entertaining, they might as well watch House, M.D.
As far as "Meet the Parents" goes, I think the joke rests on irony- we know that men are nurses and its a great career, but it still sounds funny to many people and for now there is an inescapable titter. What's really funny though is that while my friends are imprisoned in cubicles buried in paperwork that has little meaning in the grand scheme of things, we're going to be doing a more rewarding job (and in some cases reaping larger rewards of all kinds). I have a lawyer friend who said that I can probably do more justice these days as a nurse than I can probably do as a lawyer.
PS I think "Something about Mary" was 100 times funnier than "Meet the Parents", if I remember correctly, though both were great.