Stiller’s Movie A Stand-Still

First off, let me allay any fears you may have about profanity use in this review…there isn’t any. The name “Focker” is indeed the family name of the characters in the film. While it is a play on words, and while some of the “comedy” in this film uses the similarity to its advantage, the name “Focker” is solely used in this review to make reference to the characters themselves.

A little introduction:

Little Fockers is the third…and hopefully LAST…of the series starring Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Jessica Alba, and more.

  • First was Meet the Parents, where Gaylord Focker (Stiller) has a less than pleasant time meeting his recent fiancé’s parents for the first time. It is from this film that the audience learns of Jack Byrnes’s (DeNiro) continual dislike for and disapproval of the male nurse Gaylord. 
  • Then there was Meet the Fockers, the awkward showing of when, not only Gaylord’s fiancé, but also her parents, meet the new age, very open, free loving Fockers who birthed Gaylord into the world. Needless to say, the retired-CIA agent Jack Byrnes and his wife, and the completely opposite Mr. and Mrs. Focker do not hit it off very well at all.
  • In both films, Gaylord ends up in inexplicable situations that appear a lot more inappropriate to sleuth Jack Byrnes than they really are. His exploits usually involve his womanizing, freelancing friend Kevin Rawley (Wilson), and the awkward level increases exponentially.
  • Well, the only thing different about Little Fockers from the first two is the fact that Gaylord and his wife now have kids tossed into the equation and a different premise for the film. Other than that, if you saw the first two films, you’ve seen this one.

The style of comedy in this film is one that many films become a victim of as it only appeals to some audience members. Ben Stiller and company bore with scenes that make the audience say “Seen that before….that’s was almost funny…that ONE part was hilarious…and, can’t they think of anything new?” From Roz Focker’s (Streisand) sex therapy company to Bernie Focker’s (Hoffman) obsession with curing his mid-life crisis; From Jack Byrnes (DeNiro) quest to groom Gaylord to be the new patriarch of the family to Gaylord’s attempt to juggle family, housing, work, and friends; From a young pharmaceutical rep (Alba) who really has no purpose in the film to the whimsical and flirtatious ponderings and actions of Kevin Rawley (Wilson); so much is going on in the film and, guess what? I haven’t even mentioned what the film should be centering around….the twin kids. Hence the title of the film! Don’t misunderstand me…it is relatable to see someone seek the approval of his overbearing father-in-law…but that got old 2 movies ago!

While it is the birthday of the twins that brings all of these stories and cast members together, the children take a backseat in the whole grand scheme of things until the very end. I had hopes that this movie just might be better than it was. I actually was not planning on seeing it…and you will see this title on my list of movies in 2010 that I wish I wouldn’t have watched on New Years Eve. And let me tell you, that while this movie “centers” around kids…it is not for kids to enjoy as there are several quick sexual innuendos and references. Plus, it’s been advertised as a “Holiday film” but only one scene makes it a “Holiday movie”…..the last one.

Dustin Hoffman signed on to be a part of this project at the last minute for 6 scenes. He had initially refused to do so (according to www.imdb.com), due to the fact that the director of the first two, Jay Roach, had been replaced by Paul Weitz; and due to disapproval of the script. Hoffman should have listened to his initial instinct. Harsh review, I know. I can’t believe it was number 1 last weekend (Click HERE to see the box office numbers). I advise you to skip it.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score: overall: 2.5 out of 10 stars “Little Fockers”

up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!” and reviews for Buried and Subscriber Selection: The Road

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