Retro Review: Meet the Fockers

Ben Stiller’s surprise mega-hit of 2000, “Meet the Parents” found him trying to get along with his future in-laws. Now four years later, it’s his girlfriend’s turn to meet his parents.

The sequel stars Ben Stiller once again as Greg Focker, who brings his girlfriend, Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) home to meet his parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) in the Florida Keys. Along for the ride are Pam’s parents (Robert DeNiro and Blythe Danner) who will be meeting Greg’s parents for the first time.

Greg is very nervous since his parents aren’t your typical garden-variety mom and dad. Greg’s father, Bernie, quit his highly successful career as a lawyer to become a stay-at-home dad for Greg. As for Greg’s mom, Roz, she is a new-age sex therapist for senior citizens.

Greg wonders what Pam’s straight-arrow ex-CIA father will make of his folks and it worries him about his future with Pam.

When both sides of a family get together there are bound to be all sorts of mayhem and as for Greg and Pam, this is just the beginning.

“Meet the Fockers” seems off the bat to be a direct blow-for-blow return to the original. You have the odd meeting scene, the goofy dinner sequence, Pam’s dad doubting Greg’s loyalty and so forth. But what is probably the film’s saving grace is the fact that there is so much talent involved.

I have often said that acting and talent often can’t save a picture but in this film they sure give it the old college try. Dustin Hoffman’s performance as the over-affectionate dad is utterly hilarious and Streisand’s sex-educated mother works wonders against the stiff personas of Danner and DeNiro. I have to give the filmmakers credit that they really know how to cast.

I kind of wished they would have found more jokes and comedic scenes for DeNiro. This time out, DeNiro’s character seems overly stubborn and dare I say, cruel. You really begin to doubt his sincerity and how that involves the protection of his family.

Like a lot of comedy sequels, “Meet the Fockers” doesn’t live up to the momentum or hilarity of the original but does have its wonderful performances and comic filled moments.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

2 thoughts on “Retro Review: Meet the Fockers

  1. I wasn’t much for the sequel, but who doesn’t love Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman as Greg’s parents? They made the film for me.

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