FBMR - Meet the Fockers
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


As far as sequels go, this one lives up to the first film. I would even say that I liked it better than MEET THE PARENTS. Although still funny, I found myself feeling frustrated during the first film because of all the poorly thought-out decisions that Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) would make. Yes, some of the things were beyond his control in MEET THE PARENTS, but most were due to his over-zealous and/or macho behaviour, and his clash with his girlfriend’s father Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro). I know there must be conflict in a story to keep us watching, but I was left agitated after MEET THE PARENTS, funny as it was.

In the second film, Greg and Pam (Teri Polo) are planning on getting married, but first Teri’s parents are to meet Greg’s, the Fockers (Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand). These two sets of parents could not be more different. Although to her credit, Dina Byrnes (Blythe Danner) seems much more open and accepting than former CIA operative, Jack. The Byrnes are WASPs in the true sense of the word, upper-middle class, conservative, structured, disciplined. The Fockers are free-spirited, Jewish parents. They are open about everything, they express their emotions, celebrate any and all achievements. Bernie is a lawyer who stopped practicing to be a stay-at-home dad when Greg was growing up, and Roz is a sex therapist, now specializing in sex in the golden years. When these two polar extremes collide, the result is quite entertaining.

Hoffman and Streisand make this movie as good as it is (with credit going to the writers, as well). Both give great performances. They are down-to-earth and very likeable (and even manage to win Dina over to their side). No longer was I feeling that uneasy twinge in my stomach when Greg would make a bad choice. I was able to let go and simply wait for the next Focker outburst. Their uncouth, uncensored, unrestrained behaviour wouldn’t be nearly as funny is it weren’t in sharp contrast to Jack’s way of being. In the first film, Jack’s sternness was the highlight, but in this film it was too much. He seemed completely unreasonable throughout, overdoing everything … especially when it comes to his grandson, “Little” Jack (Spencer and Bradley Pickrin). It was Jack who became overzealous this time around, bending backwards to prove that Greg wasn’t respecting the Circle of Trust, and his family were not good enough to be his daughter’s in-laws.

It’s not a theatre must-see, but there are enough good laughs to be worth the money. The Byrnes’ RV is quite remarkable … now that’s the way to travel. And stick around during the credits for some hidden camera moments.