Meet the Parents: Little Fockers
Director: Paul Weitz
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Striesand, Jessica Alba, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Laura Dern & Harvey Keitel
By Róisín Lacey-McCormac
After an intense weekend, in which I consumed the entire Godfather trilogy, Meet the Parents: Little Fockers presented itself as a welcome form of comic relief. Ironically so, then, the plot of Little Fockers is a subtle parody of Robert De Niro’s former incarnation as the young Vito Corleone.
De Niro’s Jack suffers an inconsequential heart attack within the first few minutes of the film and the episode sees Jack confronted with a startling sense of his own mortality. He must find someone to take over his role as head honcho of the Byrnes family, and so he approaches Ben Stiller’s Greg with the honor and or burden of replacing him in the event of his demise. Greg welcomes the invitation to replace Jack as the “Godfocker” as the long-awaited gesture of acceptance into the Byrnes family, and the film doesn’t really follow any type of plot so much as it meanders around the series of mishaps and double-entendres that result from this appointment.
Meet The Parents and Meet The Fockers mainly follow the same plot where Greg is set up for failure by Jack, and the same premise is reproduced in ‘Little Fockers’, where Jack basically just doesn’t like Greg. However, in spite of the fact that Little Fockers once again plays out what is seemingly a game of snakes and ladders between Greg and Jack- in Jack’s favour- a certain amount of praise is owed due to the fact that the plot is revived here as Greg is, for once, presented with the opportunity to prove his worth by Jack.
I liked this film. It isn’t sophisticated, but its cheap laughs elicit laughs all the same. In one scene, the sexy pharmaceutical rep- played by Jessica Alba nonetheless- trying to push her company’s latest solution for erectile dysfunction, pops a few pills herself in the hopes of seducing Greg and Jack happens to stumble upon the scene at precisely the same moment in which she leaps on top of her prey, confirming all of Jack’s suspicions, while causing the audience to cringe on Greg’s behalf. Elsewhere Owen Wilson pops up again as Kevin- the bohemian investment banking Casanova with a timeshare- who is still infatuated with Teri Polo’s Pam and his conspicuous plays for Pam’s affection- in Greg’s presence- provide much of the comic element.
The lead actors are all in top form- Stiller is sharp, De Niro is shrewd, Wilson is kooky and Jessica Alba is…well…sexy. So overall the film is alright, and while it might not be worth the full price of an adult cinema ticket, it’s probably worth the student rate if you’ve got nothing else on.
By Róisín Lacey-McCormac
The Trailer to Meet the Parents: Little Fockers