Meet The Fockers (12A)

Written by Jim Herzfeld, Marc Hyman and John Hamburg, Directed by Jay Roach
On general release (not FACT) from 28th January 2005

Reviewed by Adam Ford

“What kind of parents name their son ‘Gaylord’?” asked Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) in 2000’s Meet The Parents. For some reason it has taken four years for Jay Roach to come up with the obvious reversal, though those of us who saw Greg ‘Gay’ Focker (Ben Stiller)’s introduction to the Byrnes family can well understand his reluctance in bringing them home. Greg is still struggling to stay inside Jack (Robert De Niro)’s infamous ‘circle of trust’, and with the marriage on the way he is still desperate to impress his prospective in-laws.

Though ex-CIA man Jack is pleased to hear that the Fockers are a doctor and a lawyer, he is less pleased to discover that Roz (Barbra Streisand) specializes in sex therapy, while Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) – once “a regular Clarence Darrow” - quit the legal profession to become a full time dad to young Gaylord. For the next two hours all hell breaks loose, with an amorous dog, a genius baby and repeated use of the f-word – Focker that is - adding to the fun.

Meet The Fockers has divided the critics, with many decrying its style of humour and a perceived lack of progression from its predecessor. If anything, I think this film is even better. All the slapstick and toe-curling embarrassment is still there, but there is also a new, deeper side to the comedy this time. It’s your chuckle muscles rather than grey matter that will be exercised, but there’s a definite philosophical difference that underscores the clash between the uptight, conservative Byrneses and the delightfully liberated Fockers. Quite simply, fans of Meet The Parents will surely find its sequel similarly hilarious.