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Little Fockers
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Paul Weitz

Written By:
John Hamburg, Greg Glienna, Larry Stuckey, Mary Ruth Clarke

Cast:
Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Teri Polo, Harvey Keitel, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner, Laura Dern, Daisy Tahan, Rob Huebel, Robert Miano, Sergio Calderon, David Pressman, Liam Ferguson, Kat Kramer, Christina Gabrielle, Stan Egi, Hash Patel, Devin Williamson, Scott Takeda, Selena Johnson, David Williams, Daniel Cage Theodore, Ama'ri, Dan Bowles, Debbi Burns, Shirin Caiola, Nelson Carvajal, Joe DeVito, Tony Domino, Nick Ferrin, Larry Goldstein, Erika Jensen, Jossara Jinaro, Lala Khanian, Thomas Kosik, Don Kress, Vladimir Kubr, Michael Kuster, Dan Latham, Christopher Mason, Joseph Mazurk, Hunter James Mckeever, Christopher Midkiff, Ed Moy, Westley Nguyen, Richard Porter, Gary Sievers, Laksh Singh, Amy Stipkovich, Giota Trakas, Yul Vazquez, Erik A. Williams, Hayley Zeccardi, Erin Pickett, Carlo Aparo, Jim Hager, Colin Baiocchi, Robbie Tucker, Lei'lah Star, Andre Alexsen, Nicole Pano, Evan Campbell, Duke Dlouhy, Justin Verstegen, Germaine Mozel Sims, Kelly Anne Sweeney, Laura Atwood, Quetta Carpenter, Olga Fonda, Jim Hager, Al Kwok, Bea Kwok, Jillana Laufer, Josh Raphael Margulies, George A. Martinez, Matt McAbee, River Stone Mckeever, Gabriel Rydel-Jurgens, Chelsey Valentine, Zhazira Nurkhodjaeva, Kawani Villanueva

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Little Fockers (2010)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
January 2nd, 2011

It started out amusingly enough with Meet the Parents in 2000, a male nurse with the truly awful name Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) tried desperately to win the approval of his girlfriend's father, Jack (Robert De Niro). In 2004, Jack and his wife Dina (Blythe Danner) got to Meet the Fockers, the very liberal and eccentric Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Roz (Barbra Streisand). Now, where there is money to be made, more sequels are destined to follow, so now we have the completely useless 'Little Fockers', which continues the story in the worst way imaginable, completely devoid of original ideas.

This was a miserable, largely unfunny experience, mostly because of De Niro, who I realize now should never have been lured into comedy. He was very good in Analyze This, with Billy Crystal, and even in the original Meet the Parents, but as his commitment to this series grew, and he became one of its producers, he gradually began to lose his appeal, and this once-beloved, highly respected actor morphed into a sad parody of his former self. I fear that the De Niro of Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Heat, and Goodfellas might be gone forever, replaced by this goofy old guy who enjoys humiliating himself.

Stiller used to be one of the reigning champions of good-natured self-deprecation, but De Niro sinks to levels Stiller never would, and Stiller at least gets to retain some of his dignity, as both an actor and human being. Gaylord has married Jack's daughter, Pam (Teri Polo), and they have had two children, Samantha (Daisy Tahan) and Henry (Colin Baiocchi), and are planning a birthday party for them. This, of course, merits a visit from Jack and Dina.

Jack approaches Greg with a proposal, to become the new head of the family, the "Godfocker" as he calls it. This is jeopardized, though, when Jack begins to suspect that his son-in-law is having an affair, with Andi (Jessica Alba), a drug company representative promoting a new erectile dysfunction pill called Sustengo. This triggers an all-out war between the two men. Now, of course, Jack gets to take some Sustengo, so that several gags can revolve around the problem of his persistent, 5 hour erection. This is followed by equally groan-inducing jokes about colonoscopies and projectile vomiting.

And I don't think I have to mention the seemingly countless double entendres involving "Focker", which bears a suspiciously strong resemblance to an expletive that can't be heard too much in a PG-13 film. Ben Stiller had a real triumph earlier this year in Greenberg, which nobody apparently watched; he must have chosen this project for the large paycheck it inevitably offered. I have already mourned the involvement of Robert De Niro, who is saddled with a stupid, thoroughly loathsome character; Jack Byrnes is a real jerk, mistrusting of everyone and jumping to conclusions so that moronic conflicts can occur.

Danner and Polo stand idly by in thankless, instantly forgettable roles as women who must accept, and put up with, the idiocy and immaturity of their husbands, when common sense would tell them to file for divorce. Barbra Streisand shows up for a glorified cameo, and, as for Hoffman, he joined the cast during the post-production phase, and so all of his scenes are reshoots, which helps to explain his limited interactions with his co-stars. It was rumored that Hoffman would not return for this third outing, but he agreed to, again because I imagine he was promised a lot of money.

There is also a cameo from Harvey Keitel, who shares a scene with De Niro, and we are reminded that these two iconic actors once worked with Martin Scorsese, and we think of Keitel's collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. There is practically nothing here to recommend; it is an artificial, soulless, joyless, mean-spirited mess, an embarrassment for all involved, but most especially for De Niro and director Paul Weitz.

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