Still Stiller
Meet the Fockers
Review by Ross Anthony

Having enjoyed "Meet the Parents" well enough, I looked forward to "Meet the Fockers." However, my reaction to the sequel is mixed.

Most notably, "Fockers" dives into a small cycle that sticks for the majority of the film: Stiller is intimidated by DeNiro, jitters, awkwardly agrees with him, encourages his own parents to be less themselves, DeNiro becomes appalled by "Fockers." It's clearly contrived, yet undeniably funny. The dog in the toilet scene is a perfect microcosm of the picture. It's so very contrived, predictable, you may even wince at the fact that the film could be so shallow, yet, watching a Chihuahua slowly circle down a toilet is inescapably funny.

The cycle grates and Stiller's silly uncomfortableness becomes more annoying than humorous. Eventually, thankfully, the film begins a build toward something in the last quarter. DeNiro takes action on suspicions, Streisand (as Stiller's Sex Therapist mom) starts to work her magic on the stiff houseguests and Stiller finally breaks his nervousness with a drug and a microphone. But, it seems, all of this interesting build happens in the film's last half-hour, maybe forty minutes.

Overall, there's quite a lot of material here and some of it is quite funny, but with such a powerful cast, you may be expecting more substance and less sophomore.

Dustin Hoffman says of his character: "Bernie is basically the kind of a guy who wouldn't mind leaving the door open while he went to the bathroom on an airplane just so he could continue a conversation with the people that he was talking to around his seat."

  • Meet the Fockers. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo.
  • Directed by Jay Roach.
  • Screenplay by Jim Herzfeld and Marc Hyman and John Hamburg.
  • Produced by Jane Rosenthal at Universal/Dreamworks/Tribeca/Everyman.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:20 PDT