All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.
The casting in this film, bringing together the stars of the original with Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as Greg aka Gaylord Focker's parents, is sensational.
While I admit that I believed I would read comments and reviews about the crudeness of the material, I believe the reason this is not a typically tragic Hollywood farce is due to the strength of the performances and the interaction of the characters.
As you know, the premise of the movie is very simple. Prior to the wedding of Greg and Pam, the two families will meet. In typical Hollywood sequel fashion, we already know that the Byrnses are somewhat reserved, set in their ways. So it is no surprise that the Fockers are almost the complete opposite.
Hilarity ensures, some crude, some overtly sexual. But the cast is skillful and it plays more like a comic version of "Closer". You will believe that Bernie and Roz (amazing performances by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) are Greg Focker's parents. Not only is their interaction genuine, their love for their child is as well. Part of Greg's embarrassment is the knowledge of his parents' "quirks" and how different they are from the Byrnses. Ben Stiller aptly conveys this while not backing down from his love for his parents.
Meanwhile, stern Jack Byrnes scans the Fockers for clues to prove why he should not like them, therefore not allowing his daughter to be married into that family. His design of the RV is classic Jack Byrnes. What is an improvement in this film, is that Jack discovers some things about himself and his relationship with his wife and daughter that change him. This may be the funniest performance in Robert DeNiro's career.
Throughout the film, there are themes that everyone has experienced but most of all, how important love is. The love of another and the love of family and friends. There is a very good example of this in a scene between Teri Polo and Ben Stiller, after some new information is exposed that could possibly tear them apart once again.
All in all, when you know the cast is having a good time, the audience does too. I will be seeing this one more than once.
- Dec 18, 2004