What he said:
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
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
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:
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
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
Thumbs a quarter of the way up.