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Little Fockers

Little Fockers

What he said:

He

You know, I’m still trying to get used to Robert De Niro in comedic roles. This isn’t his for crack at comedy and is his third time playing this specific character, but the guy is just so good at playing these intense, creepy, or downright violent guys, that sometimes it can be difficult to look past that.

That being said, when Meet the Parents debuted in 2000, I think most people were shocked to see how funny he could be. I also think that part of a reason the movie was such a hit was because – while it was a comedy – he still played a very imposing character. They had taken elements of what he had become known for and applied it to a comedy. It worked really well when combined with Ben Stiller’s very goofy, physical comedic style.

I don’t remember the second movie all that much. I think I’ve only seen it once. I remember laughing at a few old people sex jokes, but nothing else jumps out at me when I think about it. I didn’t hate it, but the first one was pretty classic compared to it.

So being that there was a bit of a drop in quality (which is natural with sequels) I was not all that interested in this movie. When the trailer came out, I didn’t think it looked half bad though. Plus, being titled Little Fockers, it still let me know there was still some fun to be had with the last name.

This time around, Gaylord (Greg) and his wife have two kids, and are on the verge of moving into their dream house. His career is budding and his insane father-in-law Jack (De Niro) is finally ready to anoint him the matriarch of the family. All is well.

Yeah right. The nonsense between him and his father-in-law continues once again, and comes to a head in one of the funniest parts of the movie, which is an homage to a classic. Seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing at the Jaws reference. That was easily the funniest part of the movie for me.

There are times where both De Niro and Stiller are trying a little too hard; it reminded me of the third Friday movie in that sense. The characters almost became caricatures of their original selves. However, unlike the third Friday movie, it wasn’t completely ridiculous. There was still some chemistry and humor going on here.

Owen Wilson actually does a decent job reviving the same character for the third time, while still managing to keep him interesting.

Jessica Alba was a new addition to the series and actually quite funny. She was pretty silly, but in a good way.

It wasn’t a great movie, but for what it is, it should give you a few laughs.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your viewing pleasure on August 29, 2011.

 

What she said:

She

For me, Meet the Parents had something special.  Maybe it was where I was in my life when it came out, or the fact that I loved Robert De Niro doing comedy.  However, I was a bit disappointed by its sequel, Meet the Fockers.  I guess that is to be expected from any sequel.  Things were just a bit too washed out, and some of the magic was gone.  And so, I sort of dreaded Little Fockers.  I mean, if I didn’t love the last one, then I was pretty much guaranteed to hate this movie, not to mention the fact it was rockin’ a 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Well, I can’t say I hated it, but I do have to admit, the humor was at times quite cliché and stale.  There were moments when I felt a bit of the magic, particularly with the interactions between Ben Stiller’s and De Niro’s characters.  Unfortunately, there were other characters who were at times painful.  For example, Dustin Hoffman, who I am convinced is merely a cartoon these days, as Greg Focker’s dad.  I can’t say he overacted Bernie Focker, because I think the character was actually written that way.  But he was so over-the-top that he was unlikable.  Owen Wilson’s character has also become a parody of himself.  He’s actually pretty pathetic, and you just kind of feel bad for him.

Sure, this movie will offer some moments were you’ll laugh or just crack a smile, but the series is a shell of its former self.  I guess that’s what really disappoints me, because I hold it to the standard of the first movie.  Little Fockers is a forgettable piece of fluff that you won’t out and out regret watching, but that you’ll sort of shrug off when it’s all over.

Thumbs a quarter of the way up.