Meet the Fockers
- Jay Roach
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, January 17, 2005
Just before they get married, Gaylord (Ben Stiller) and his fianceť Pam (Teri Polo) embark on a trip with her parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), so they can meet his, Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Roz (Barbra Streisand). As it happens, Gayís parents turn out to be quite crazy, loose people, the exact opposite of control-freak Jack.
I donít necessarily think Meet the Fockers is a bad movie. I actually had a good time with it. Itís an ok movie, a mediocre one. A movie that boasts an impressive cast yet doesnít really know what to do with it. Sure it does! Some might say. And I might agree that the premise is solid enough, but the execution is simply poor.
Itís been said that a movie that has two or three scenes that really work can be considered more than respectable. Meet the Parents had one: the dinner scene with all the milking and the ashes (to its defense, the volleyball sequence was almost a great one as well). It was hilarious and even though it was just one (albeit a pretty long one), the movie ended up being quite good. Not great, but good. In Meet the Fockers thereís no such scene. And God knows everyone tried hard to achieve it. Thatís whatís so painful! You sit there and watch as all these actors try to do funny things, but the best they can get is chuckles. There isnít a single laugh-out-loud moment in the movie. And thatís quite painful. I credit that more to director Jay Roach and the writers than to anyone in the cast.
Oh, and I did laugh at that kid saying a dirty word, and truth to be told I still liked all the jokes about the titular familyís last name. But itís all ho-hum. Nothing to write home about.
Another difference with its predecessor is that even though in the first one Jack bordered on the caricature line, we still bought his character and cared for him and everyone else. This time around, everyone has been relegated to a caricature. That would be a really funny and effective device if the movieís approach were more camp than serious. But weíre supposed to believe in this people, and Iím sorry, but I didnít.
As performances go, Ben Stiller is his usual self. Teri Polo is ok. Blythe Danner is touching and perhaps the only true sane character in the movie. Dustin Hoffman goes crazy and is quite effective in most of his scenes. But to me Barbra Streisand did the best job of all. Her character is quite hilarious and her performance matches it to a tee. She brings life to an otherwise by-the-book comedy.
All in all, not bad, but disappointing.
ďCome on, Jack it'll be fun. We'll swap wives.Ē
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