This is the question that often haunts Hollywood. Fortunately, nothing lowers the bar and fires up the dream factory like the prospect of delivering to diminished expectations!
Hey guess what, the name “Fockers” is funny! Okay, it was funny the first time, but not the umpteenth. And Meet the Fockers makes it umpteenth to the tenth power.
So much unfunny comedy! All green-lit by a focus group of 10-year-olds, and all yours in the execrable Meet the Fockers, the sequel to what is, ironically, one of the best comedies of the past ten years, Meet the Parents.
The “big joke” in this movie is that Focker’s parents are completely unrestrained by social norms and thus horribly inappropriate and embarrassing. In other words, it’s just another day in the checkout line at Wal*Mart.
Ben Stiller looks the same as he did during Parents in 2000, but pity poor Teri Polo who’s putting on miles faster than Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
What a roster of stars! If you were to take all the Oscars this cast has earned and line them up end to end they’d surely be busy kissing each other’s asses.
Barbra Streisand is back and her vintage A Star is Born hairdo is back with her. Former co-star Kris Kristofferson may have the Blade, but it’s Barbra who got the shaft.
Streisand is a sex therapist for the elderly – which is funny only to the degree that old folks are funny – and they most certainly are to the focus group crumb-snatchers who gave this flick their mac-and-cheese-covered thumbs up!
After his years in the Actor’s Studio, it’s nice to know that Dustin Hoffman can use his stage training and Oscar-winning skills…on the toilet.
“What’s my motivation?” Dustin reportedly asked director Jay Roach.
“Too much fiber. You have to take a crap,” Jay replied.
Said Dustin, “If I wipe with the script will you be able to tell the difference?”
One-time Godfather Robert De Niro is now a mammary gland-wielding Godmother. Slung over his shoulder is a cast of a left bosom rigged with a nursing device and, like all breasts, a homing beacon for Colin Farrell.
“My GPS is set on Double-D’s!” notes Farrell, “unless anything else is within arm’s reach.”
I don’t know. Nobody’s going to walk away with an Oscar here, but both De Niro and Hoffman are certainly competing for the “Who’s the better Roy Scheider in Jaws II award.”
May the greedier man win!
Meet the Fockers has everything in common with its predecessor except anything worth having in common. It’s marginally different yet comfortably the same:
We meet the parents, the cat flushes, an animal gets tortured, the “circle of trust” expands and contracts, there’s a wedding, a family sporting event turned tragic, and instead of a lie detector we have … truth serum! Presumably the ever-popular bamboo shoots under the fingernails tactic is on hold for the next Focker. No doubt the studio can use the ones the audience self-administered during Focker 2.
Dustin and Barbra have a little dog that – surprise – likes to hump the legs of visitors. “Don’t worry,” Dustin says, “the pink part didn’t get on you.” Perhaps if Dustin could get more pink parts on him he wouldn’t have to diminish himself in crappy movies like this.
I barely cracked a smile for two hours – until the welcome appearance of Owen Wilson. I was so relieved I wanted to leap through the screen, grab Owen by the lapel, and shout “Owen, let’s get out of here, fast!”
I saw Stiller on TV telling probing newshound Matt Lauer that he hopes he’s not still doing Meet the Parents sequels at age 60. Nope. That sorry future is good enough only for 60-somethings like Hoffman, Streisand, and De Niro, Ben. Surely not for an actor of your stature, diminutive though it may be.
Meet The Fockers has placed this franchise well outside my “circle of trust.”
And there it shall forever stay.
Photos Copyright ©2004 Universal Pictures