Movie Review: Little Fockers (2010)
Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro are back, with Jessica Alba and Dustin Hoffman, in the new addition to the Meet the Parents lineup, Little Fockers. Yes, humor drawn from the risqué-sounding name continues in this third (and hopefully last) in the series.
Looking to expand his business and make some extra money, Greg Focker (Stiller) takes on the promotion of an erectile dysfunction drug while Jack Byrnes and family travel down for the Focker twins’ birthday party. Trouble erupts when Jack becomes convinced that Greg is cheating on wife Pam (Teri Polo) with the drug company’s hottie of a representative, Andi Garcia (Alba).
All that’s missing are the whacky romance hook-ups in this funny but inferior comedy that, at its core, has a story with a reasonable level of substance that falls back on the integrated family dynamics built up by the previous films. The children, Henry (Colin Baiocchi) and Samantha (Daisy Tahan), are actually involved in a useful way in the plot, which at least tries – with an initial degree of success – to fight off a looming sense of predictable.
What begins with a brief re-introduction to the Focker family runs immediately into sexual innuendo, which is where much of the film’s time is spent, with jokes on anal insertions and references to “musical condoms” and “manopause.”
The star-packed cast, which includes a brief appearance by Deepak Chopra, gives a much needed boost of energy to the crippled script that comes a day late and a dollar short of measuring up to the more genuine story quality exhibited in the previous two films, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Meet the Parents (2000).
Edging out weaknesses in the writing and covering for the fact that even some of the slapstick doesn’t go over as well as intended, a long-running and excessive theme of raunchiness is intended to supplement the silly levels of unlikely that characterize parts of this film and its comically overdone characters and predicaments.
None of this takes from the fact that Little Fockers works as a non-serious adult comedy that can be appreciated in a lighter mood, excusing some back-setting juvenile appeals along the way.
Grade: C+ (2 ½ stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for mature sexual humor throughout, language, and some drug content)
Director: Paul Weitz
Summary: Family-patriarch Jack Byrnes seeks to appoint a family successor while Greg Focker represents an erectile dysfunction drug.
Starring: Robert De Niro "Jack Byrnes," Ben Stiller "Greg Focker," Owen Wilson "Kevin Rawley," Dustin Hoffman "Bernie Focker," Barbra Streisand "Roz Focker,"
Blythe Danner "Dina Byrnes," Teri Polo "Pam Focker," Jessica Alba "Andi Garcia,"
Laura Dern "Prudence"