Published Dec 22, 2010Since I am slightly perplexed as to why anyone would think Meet the Parents required two sequels to explore the sheer hilarity of the surname "Focker," I'll start by mentioning the two good things about the misleadingly titled Little Fockers. Firstly, it's nice to see Teri "Mystery Date" Polo getting work. I think the last things I saw her in were guest spots on Medium and Ghost Whisperer, which can't be particularly dignified. Secondly, Barbra Streisand makes me think of Kids in the Hall's Scott Thompson in drag; I think it's the mouth and teeth.
Unfortunately, neither of these women have much to do with the middle-aged male shenanigans taking place in this broad, manic retread of dick jokes and sociopathic behaviour. Skipping the crazy lactation humour of Meet the Fockers, this outing attempts to revert to the core relationship between Greg (Ben Stiller) and father-in-law Jack (Robert De Niro), with the role of family "godfocker" up in the air.
From what I gather, screenwriters John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey are exceedingly amused by the prospect of Greg and Jack in an ersatz homosexual union, since the core gags in the film involve them either being mistaken for a couple by Laura Dern or caught in compromising positions when a male-enhancement drugs requires uncomfortable genital manipulation. It's really just expanding on the comic genius of how emasculating it must be for a man to be a male nurse named Gaylord Focker.
Beyond these mawkish sitcom set pieces, reaching clumsily for laughs with unflattering desperation, the only thing new to the storyline is a test of fidelity for Greg when a pharmaceutical rep named Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba) inexplicably targets him to promote a new Viagra-like drug. Since Greg and Pam have been together roughly ten years, this male desire to pollinate new flowers isn't particularly shocking, reiterating the blasé heteronormative tedium of the entire franchise.
The entire cast (save Stiller) deserves more than this. If I were to picture what a film would look like if written, assembled and structured by a room full of marketing reps in power suits, this would be it. I haven't felt this dirty since Valentine's Day. (Universal)