Meet The Parents: Little Fockers

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Ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) is still concerned that his son-in-law Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) isn’t good enough for his daughter (Teri Polo), and suspects he is cheating on her with a sales rep (Jessica Alba).


The universe does not greatly benefit from the addition of a third film to the Meet The Parents franchise, especially since the joke it’s proudest of – the name Focker sounding a bit rude – stopped getting laughs ten minutes into the first movie. The premise was wrung dry in the last two entries, so this falls back on sit-com favourites like the innocent flirtation mistaken for an incipient affair and children puking on grown-ups. Not to mention a four year-old surprising his Dad giving his grandad a penile injection to counter the effects of an unwisely-taken erectile dysfunction medication and then drawing a picture of the incident while auditioning for a posh kindergarten. It seems that uptight Jack is finally ready to trust his son-in-law, and bestows the position of ‘Godfocker’ on him, but as a crowded supporting cast pop in for cameos, the family threatens to melt down several more times.

When De Niro and Harvey Keitel argue about building work, it’s impossible not to remember the pair used to make films like Mean Streets, but are now coasting through in-flight pap like this. Seriously, when was the last time Robert DeNiro – officially the best screen actor of his generation – made a film anyone could care about? Indeed, everyone here – including Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand, Laura Dern and Deepak Chopra (!) – really ought to find something better to do.

With all these folks in the same movie, there are inevitably moments when Hoffman or Wilson get a laugh, but on the whole it’s the same again but weaker and with fewer good jokes. We’re too tired of the gag even to think of a ‘focker’ line to sign off the