Meet the Fockers Movie Review

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Will Teri Polo be remembered for any other movie aside from Meet the Parents and its sequel?

The answer is irrelevant and really doesn't matter at all. It's just something that struck me during one of the many lulls in the surprisingly uneven and marginally entertaining Meet the Fockers. Trust me: You'll have plenty of time to ponder this and other cinematic riddles when you're watching Fockers.

Your level of enjoyment of this sequel to the masterful 2000 comedy won't have much to do with what you thought about the original. Rather, it will ultimately depend completely on two things: Your level of interest in the screen antics of children and how much you like Barbra Streisand.

Here's the setup: It's been about a year since Meet the Parents wrapped, and Greg (Ben Stiller) and Pam (Polo) are now planning their wedding. The catch: This will be the first weekend that Pam's parents (Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner) meet Greg's parents (Dustin Hoffman and Streisand). The punchline: They're as different as can be. Pam's folks are New England stuffy types (with De Niro's classic CIA retiree at the helm), while the, ahem, Fockers are Jewish hippies living in Miami, where Babs plies a trade as a geriatric sex therapist. Along for the ride: New grandson Little Jack, Pam's new nephew.

Greg is obviously a bit ashamed of his eccentric parents; he just wants to get through the weekend and set a wedding date, but of course, complications galore ensue.

From the moment the crew piles into an armored RV to drive down to Miami, the entire film screams contrivance. A baby along for the ride? An illegitimate son from the past? A Chihuahua that humps the cat? These gags date back to the era of "Mommy Mommy" jokes.

Meet the Fockers milks its absurd comic setups for every laugh it can get (and in all fairness, it gets a solid dozen or so), but rest assured that no opportunity for a sex joke is spared, from randy octogenarians to botched circumcision to "driftwood" references. (And yet, it's PG-13!) In fact, all the raunchy sex talk will quickly make you feel that Fockers was cribbed almost entirely from The Birdcage -- it's even set in tropical Florida and features a randy, Latin housekeeper, just like the hit Robin Williams vehicle.

You could copy from worse source material, I guess, but Meet the Fockers ends up as repetitious and just not that funny on the whole, especially since it's so derivative and out of character next to the original. Aside from the characters that happen to appear in it, the film has little resemblance to its entertaining predecessor. It's almost like someone adapted a completely different script and dropped in Pam and Greg at the last minute. Now what script might that be?

Meet my upholstery.

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Meet the Fockers Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG-13, 2004


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