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Meet the Fockers

Comedy movie sequel to Meet the Parents directed by Jay Roach

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One Letter Away

  • May 11, 2007
Rating:
-1
Pros: All the talent...

Cons: ...Goes to waste

The Bottom Line: Whose dumb idea was rum and milk, anyway?

Fock those motherfocking Fockers! They focking suck! Ha ha! See how funny I can be! The main character's last name is one letter away from being the mother of all curse words! Focker! Get it? For those who aren't familiar with my work, I'll assure you now that I'm no idiot. I know how stupid that joke is, and I also know that the f-word jokes were a lot better off in the first movie. But the writers of Meet the Parents apparently thought it was really good, so they milked it to death and had a lot of success with it. So if you don't like Meet the Fockers, the sequel, blame those focking writers. Actually, one of the few good things about Meet the Fockers is that the writers didn't try to milk those stupid f-words jokes.

The end of the original Meet the Parents implied we would be put through the torture of a sequel. And now here we are. Meet the Fockers. At least we were spared the awful surname jokes this time around. Instead, we now get to listen to Dustin Hoffman shout "Gaaaaaayyyyyylord!" almost gleefully sometimes, in a creepy-sounding drawl, thus assuring us once and for all that naming your child Gaylord is now officially a form of child abuse.

This movie, of course, is the sequel to Meet the Parents. It revolves around the family of Jack Burns going to meet his daughter's fiance's parents for the first time. Jack Burns, as you may remember from the first movie, is a retired CIA operative. The Focker parents are new-agey hippy types. Liberal vs. conservative. How can we avoid hilarious situations? Like a scene where the Focker parents talk about Gaylord's late blossoming (if ya know what I mean). Or the scene where Gaylord's dad, Bernie, lies in front of Jack's camper bus to keep Jack from going anywhere. Or the scene where Gaylord, Jack, and Bernie get arrested by a cop who keeps using official-sounding phrases and shouting for no apparent reason. Or the scene where Gaylord tries to calm a screaming baby by giving him milk laced with a thimble full of rum, then he swears and the baby imitates him, and the baby is let out of his playpen and turns on Scarface. The last scene says a little about Gaylord's mentality, by the way, when Jack learns what happened. The baby is swearing, and Gaylord confesses the accidental dropping of an s-bomb. Now, we know from the first movie that this guy isn't above a little (or big) white lie. What would you do if your fiance's father was like Jack: Tell him it was you who said the curse in front of the baby, or blame Al Pacino in Scarface?

Anyway. The movie here might have been a little funnier if only the respective political factions in the United States weren't about ready to kill each other right now. Or if the actors playing all the characters had more chemistry than Michael Moore would have with Ann Coulter. Or if Jack's terrifying obssession with learning about the Fockers didn't hit so close to home. This is another thing: In Meet the Parents, Jack Burns came off just like he was supposed to: A bit overprotective, but still a guy who tried to find the good qualities in his daughter's choice of a fiance. In Meet the Fockers, Jack is made paranoid past the point of insanity. His camper bus is equipped with a small CIA lab, and he seems to aggressively look for reasons to hate the Focker family. After all this time, he's still pretending to be a florist. Shouldn't Gaylord have told his dad, Bernie, about this cover awhile ago?

Meet the Fockers will mesmorize you with its talent. Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Ben Stiller, and Teri Polo all reprise their original roles, and they are joined by Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman playing Gaylord's folks. Owen Wilson makes a cameo. Yet, only Stiller seems to throw any heart into his role as the ever-suffering-to-please-Jack Gaylord Focker. The other - especially De Niro - seem to spend the movie forcing their lines and physical personalities out. They're so unconvincing in both word and action, they wouldn't even be convincing in a silent movie. It's like the large paychecks were their sole motivation to do anything at all on the set. To top everything off, none of the characters have any chemistry between them. As a cast, these incredibly talented actors don't come off as a convincing whole, but merely as the sum of all the parts. I'd take a cast of average, unknown actors who worked well together any day over a cast like this, which almost seems to push against each other.

The good thing about Meet the Fockers is that there are actually a few funny jokes in the movie. Laugh-out-loud jokes, not the forced laughs which plagued the last one. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough of those deep belly laughs for me to give this thing any rating over two stars. Next time I see Meet the Fockers, I'd like a glass of milk laced with rum; more than a thimble full. Or better yet, please hold the milk entirely and let me have the rum straight. That might make me forget the pain of Meet the Fockers. Thanks.

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More Meet the Fockers reviews
review by . December 24, 2010
This is the only film in the "Meet the....." franchise, and I never thought much of them prior to watching this. I just thought that it was created for Ben Stiller to have a franchise under his belt. However, when I watched this, I quite liked it. It's not perfect, definitely, but it made me laugh and that's what I expect from light-hearted comedies like this. The actors (especially the parents on both sides) do pretty well, and it's funny. I wouldn't say that it made me …
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
The perfect movie to follow Meet the Parents... I love the Fockers..
review by . November 13, 2005
Dustin Hoffman plays off DeNiro even better than in Wag the Dog and Barbara proves that whatever her shortcomings in political opinion, she can act and produce laughs in this wonderful sequel to Meet the Parents.    There is very little to not like in this movies as once again Ben Stiller underplays himself and lets everything around him shine. There are too many funny moments in this film and it would be a crime to give spoilers to any of them, so I would just suggest watching …
review by . November 06, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Well, the first movie was a gem. Very funny, situations flowed well, most of it worked, and worked together as a cohesive whole. Pretty much the opposite of this poorly put together sequel, which wastes a lot of good talent.     The jokes are stupid, over the top, and require the characters to do a lot of actions that seem to be done just so the situations can be set up. The humor is dull and slapstick, and isn't funny. The "risque" jokes intended to be funny just by virtue of …
review by . October 14, 2005
Same format same results. Yes, its amusing but the story line is so identical to Meet The parents. Robert Denero's character is so mistrusting of his future son in law. Hoffman and Striesand are a couple of goofballs. A little funny but alot silly and full of nonsense. Ben Stiller seems like the most sensible one in this film.      Don't buy all the hype. This movie is OK but certainly not over the top.
review by . December 31, 2004
Pros: Stiller and a great cast.     Cons: May be to formulaic for some.     The Bottom Line: A solid follow up and a very funny good time.     It has been almost four years since audiences met Male Nurse Gaylord (Greg) Focker who was about to endure a brutally funny yet trying weekend with his future in laws in the comedy classic “Meet the Parents”      When we rejoin Greg (Ben Stiller) and his fiancé Pam (Terri …
review by . April 17, 2005
Granted, we all know that #2 is never as good as #1 - but this one is worth getting. Barbra Streisand is fantastic - as she always is when doing comedy. Dustin Hoffman is his usual "out there" self. Robert Deniro is up to his old 'spy' tricks. And, there's a plot twist (which I identified in the first scene - woman's intuition). Enjoy this movie for what it is: another chapter in the lives of a cute couple with strange families!
About the reviewer
Nicholas Croston ()
Ranked #19
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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Following the knee-slapping hit MEET THE PARENTS, director Jay Roach once again keeps audiences roaring with laughter as he presents MEET THE FOCKERS. This time, young engaged couple Pam (Teri Polo) and Greg (Ben Stiller) are getting their parents together a few months before the wedding. Greg nervously plans out every detail of the trip, only to be usurped by Pam's domineering ex-CIA-man father (Robert DeNiro). Not only has he purchased an RV, insisting they'll be driving from New York City to the Fockers' home in Miami, but he's bringing along his perfect baby grandson. When they finally arrive at the Fockers' house, Greg's parents, Bernie and Roz (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand), turn out to be sex-addicted hippies and not at all what the Byrnes (DeNiro and Blythe Danner) had expected. With one pitfall after the next, the film takes the concept of awkward in-law experiences to new heights, leaving no stone unturned from stories about past sexual experiences to detailed discussion of current ones....
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