Review of Little Fockers


Movie Reviews: "Little Fockers"

-- Rating: PG-13 (mature sexual humor throughout, language and some drug content)
Length: 98 minutes
Release Date: December 22, 2010
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Genre: Comedy

"Little Fockers" is the second sequel to "Meet the Parents," which was released in 2000. Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is a male nurse who tries hard to hide his true occupation in the first movie. Despite all the interference from Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro), his spying future father-in-law, Greg ends up proposing to Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) after attending the wedding of her sister Debbie (Nicole DeHuff). Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand reprise their roles as Greg's parents, Bernie and Roz Focker, and Blythe Danner is Dina Byrnes. Despite a holdout for contract negotiations by Dustin Hoffman, all of the original cast members return for this film, except Nicole DeHuff, whose untimely death occurred in 2005.

Ten years after first meeting Greg Focker, Jack still has doubts about his ability to care for his daughter Pam and his young grandchildren, who happen to be twins. Since Debbie is getting a divorce, Jack is filled with hate as he realizes that his obvious choice to secede him as head of the family will no longer be a part of the family. Greg is determined to erase the doubts about him from Jack's mind so that he may be the favorite to assume the position of head of the family from Jack whenever he is needed.

As was the case in the first installment, Jack suspects his son-in-law is hiding several secrets that should be exposed. Not only is he suspicious, but he is also now teaching his grandchildren how to explore their suspicions by giving him information that he may use against their father. Jack suspects Greg is cheating on Pam when he sees him spending too much of his free time with a drug rep named Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba) and he discovers prescription medication in his house for erectile dysfunction. He thinks Greg is no longer physically attracted to his daughter and is seeking the affections of another woman. He then sees Andi making a pass at Greg through a window in the unfinished home that Greg and Pam are building for the family; he interprets this new finding as Greg cheating on Pam with another woman, instead of recognizing that Greg is trying to block her advances. This prompts Jack to try and coerce Pam into leaving Greg for his second favorite choice to become patriarch, her ex-fiancée Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson).

The seeming infidelity fuels Jack into an uncontrollable rage at the next family gathering. During the grandchildren's birthday celebration, Jack initiates a physical altercation with Greg. While they are involved in a fight over the apparent infidelity of Greg, Jack has a heart attack. He then admits on the gurney that he finally believes that Greg is capable of taking care of his family and becoming its patriarch. At the end of the movie, wanting to be closer to the grandchildren, both sets of grandparents decide to move a short distance away from Greg and Pam, hinting at the possibility of another installment in the series involving this new closeness.

This "Meet the Parents" sequel was highly anticipated, yet heavily criticized. Much of the humor in this film has been done before in the previous two movies, but some comedic references in the film take a new spin on an existing situation. There is the constant reference to the last name of Greg with a comedic tone. The choice of the title is another play on his last name but is now used in reference to the children he and his wife have conceived since the initial installment of the film. The continuation of the irony of the male nurse and the emasculation of Greg's character because of his career choice still bring laughter to the storyline. Jack began to question the irony of the male nurse in the first movie. He wondered why a man would want to be a nurse and would that man be capable of taking good care of his daughter and grandchildren.

The cast has acknowledged the shortcomings of the film since its release. The script was predictable, so were the jokes. They followed the exact pattern of the first two films, making the presentation consistent with what fans seemed to like in the previous films, and the script relied heavily on the acting experience of the cast to liven up the delivery of the lines. There were also references to "The Godfather" in an attempt to continue the long legacy of the no-nonsense character Jack. Despite the negative reviews, the film still grossed over $300 million worldwide.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars