Meet the Fockers

Cast:
Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes
Ben Stiller as Greg Focker
Dustin Hoffman as Bernie Focker
Barbra Streisand as Roz Focker
Blythe Danner as Dina Byrnes
Teri Polo as Pam Byrnes
Owen Wilson as Kevin Rawley
Spencer Pickren as Little Jack
Bradley Pickren as Little Jack
Alanna Ubach as Isabel
Ray Santiago as Jorge Villalobos
Tim Blake Nelson as Officer LeFlore

Critique:
It has been almost four years since audiences met Male Nurse Gaylord (Greg) Focker who was about to endure a brutally funny yet trying weekend with his future in laws in the comedy classic “Meet the Parents”.

When we rejoin Greg (Ben Stiller) and his fiancĂ© Pam (Terri Polo), they are about to meet up with Pam’s parents Jack (Robert De Niro), and Dina (Blythe Danner), as they venture to Florida to meet Greg’s parents. Needless to say this is a very stressful time for Greg as he is still trying to stay on Jack’s good side and inn the “circle of trust” in order to make his pending marriage to Pam go smoothly. The clan makes the journey in Jack’s state of the art Kevlar plated RV that underscores the fact that Jack still has a hard time letting go of his former C.I.A. life. Upon arriving in Florida Greg is horrified by his father Bernard’s (Dustin Hoffman) very affectionate greetings and by his mother Roz (Barbra Streisand), teaching a class on senior sexuality in their family home.

Convinced that this openness is going to offend the very conservative Jack, Greg soon goes on slow boil as he attempts to divert one potential disaster after another as his very laid back and open parents are a direct contrast to Jack and Greg is sure that calamity is lurking, just waiting to strike.

Naturally the comedic moments fly fast and furious as everything from the dog flushing cat Jinx, to the amorous former housekeeper and the potential babysitting nightmare all conspire to drive Greg to the brink of madness and the audience over the edge with laughter.

Directed by Jay Roach, the film takes some time to build up but soon finds its stride as it sprays merriment and mayhem that is sure to delight and entertain fans of the first film. Roach and the cast waited until they had the perfect story to bring the two families together and the inspired casting of Hoffman and Streisand is a brilliant mix. They mix very well with the cast of the previous film and it is obvious that the cast is having a great time working with one another on the film.

Kudos are also in order for the writers John Hamburg and James Herzfeld who keep the story moving without resorting to rehashing jokes from the previous film yet keep many of the in jokes and character nuances intact. While some may call the film formulaic and take issue with Stiller yet again playing his patented lovable looser, the film is a very funny and charming romp that will satisfy fans of the original and provide a fantastic holiday treat.

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