Meet the Fockers (2004)
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Review Date: December 27, 2004
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: John Hamburg, Jim Herzfeld
Producers: Jay Roach, Jane Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro
Ben Stiller as Greg
Robert DeNiro as Jack
Barbra Streisand as Roz
After the great success of the original MEET THE PARENTS, the filmmakers decided that it made sense to follow it up with a meeting of the parents of the couple-to-be. It sounded like it might be funny. You know, the uptight WASP-y family meeting the loosey-goosey Jewish couple in Florida? I don’t know…I guess it might’ve sounded “sorta funny”…on paper. Unfortunately for us, on the big screen…beugh.
The ultimate in “blueprint” sequel comedies. I’m not of a fan of the genre. A “blueprint” sequel comedy essentially takes a highly successful (and usually unexpected) comedy movie’s main basic elements from the original and churns out the same bits for part two, only with a very limited amount of new stuff added, as not to scare away any members of the dumb-dumb audience (that’s us). What might’ve been an interesting follow-up to one of my personal favorite romantic comedies from the past few years, turns into a bland, re-creation of many of the same bits that worked in the first flick, starting from the film’s lame-o Randy Newman musical intro and hospital scene, to the nurse jokes, the embarrassingly high dependence on laughs sprouting from the names “Gaylord” and “Fokker” (it was starting to get lame at the end of the first film, and pretty much wears out its welcome here), the continued tough-ass dad who apparently still doesn’t trust Ben Stiller’s character, hi-jinx with Jinxie the cat and toilets, yet another scene featuring an over-the-top dinner with the family, yet another scene featuring a family sporting event gone nutty, yet another scene featuring DeNiro’s character grilling Stiller’s character with lie detector methods and oh-so many more. To be honest, I was embarrassed to witness how much this film used the exact same markers to navigate its way through this one. Couldn’t they just use the same characters and the same overall “feel” of the first movie to create this follow-up? Did they really have to put us in the exact same circumstances as in the first one, only in a different setting? I mean, c’mon guys…give the audience some fockin’ credit for being able to actually go somewhere new with known characters.

ANALYZE THAT made that same mistake and despite generating a few cheap laughs (the whole “ass-hole” sequence, the stuff with the Latina maid and Greg’s drunken speech) and an overall easy-going feel, this sequel basically just goes through much of the same shit as the first film, only not as funny or original or memorable. In fact, wife-to-be Teri Polo doesn’t even seem to have a part in this movie and one of the funnier characters from the first film, brother Denny, is MIA altogether. Even Stiller, who I’ve always appreciated, seems to be going through the motions here. Thankfully, Dustin Hoffman’s spry father character peppers a little bit of life into the picture, but even then, the over-the-top uninhibited sex talk between he and Streisand was just too much to take (there’s “uninhibited” and then there’s just plain rude!). Did every single sentence out of their mouths have to be sex-related? Gimme a break. And how about the uber-contrived way that they worked a child into the film for the only purpose of pulling out a few more “kids jokes”. Gimme another break. I might be a little harder on this film because I really liked the original so much and having seen this ho-hum retread now, makes me not want to see that one again—which pisses me off! And was there really any reason to make this movie close to two hours? Was there really so much going on, guys? It feels like they just threw everything at the wall, in the hopes that most of it would stick but unfortunately for paying audiences…most of it really doesn’t. And yes, to complete the entire “blueprint” of the first film, expect to see yet another secret behind-the-scenes hidden camera sequence during the film’s end credits. Wow…was anybody really trying here? Let’s hope we don’t have to sit through yet another lame sequel: MEETING THE FOCKIN’ KIDS.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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