Review: Meet the Fockers

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Some jokes, regardless of how shallow they may appear, do not seem to get old. The fact that Ben Stiller's name in Meet the Fockers, the sequel to Meet the Parents, is Gaylord Focker is one such joke. Regardless of how many times the word "Focker" is used on the screen, it still makes the audience roar with laughter.

Ben Stiller could very well be described as a new generation's Jerry Lewis. While Stiller's antics may not be as "zany" as Lewis', the embarassment suffered in these comedies of abjection is as integral to Stiller as they were to the original Nutty Professor.

For those that did not see the first film, Ben Stiller played Gaylord Focker, a registered nurse who has to go through the ordeal of meeting his fiance's parents, including her father, a former CIA agent played by Robert De Niro. Meet the Fockers focuses on the parents of Gaylord's fiance meeting the Fockers, and hilarity ensues as the conservative De Niro, who seems to almost be playing a parody of himself, finds himself overwhelmed with the liberal Focker parents (played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand).

There is not much more to say about the story, as the film is basically one embarassing gag after another. This is not a criticism per se, as the film makes no justification for its over-the-top comedy. However, Meet the Fockers does get bogged down towards the end of the film as the cathartic closure inherent in most Hollywood films supplants the outrageous humour with a last-minute emotional epiphany.

Meet the Fockers is good for many, many, many laughs. Stiller, De Niro, and Hoffman work wonderfully together, and are all able to play off of each other's comedy. Although there is not much to the film beyond the laughs, the vast number of laughs still make Meet the Fockers a film to see.

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