Little Fockers review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
And they’re back! Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) return to what they do best; they’re at it again: at each other’s throats. Whatever goodwill between the in-laws mustered in 2000’s hilarious ‘Meet the Parents’ and sub-par ‘Meet the Fockers’ have been debunked yet again in the threequel ‘Little Fockers’, and we’re left to wonder – why can’t they just get along?
In ‘Little Fockers’, the male nurse Greg is still a doting husband and now father of fraternal twins, Henry and Sam. But nothing is as happy family as it seems. Greg and his wife Pam are stressing out on how to enroll their Little Fockers to a private school while Greg battles with a smarmy contractor played by Harvey Keitel. Not to mention an attractive pharmaceutical rep named Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba) – no kidding – wants her paws on him. With Greg’s in-laws, parents, and even Pam’s ex-boyfriend Kevin (Owen Wilson) lurking, ready to pounce on his already frazzled life, it’s no wonder he’s again on edge.
The chemistry of the first two films’ characters/actors is still in tact, but with the latest additions – the kids, Alba, and Keitel – it’s become a hodgepodge of gags that are quite familiar because they’ve been totally done before.
Ben Stiller is a genius when it comes to interpreting inconveniences in a comedic and endearing manner but in ‘Little Fockers’ he’s become whiny and even annoying. Robert De Niro references his past ‘The Godfather’ status when he asks Greg to be the next ‘GodFocker’. It’s amazing how De Niro has become a parody of his own self. But you cannot dismiss the short yet hilarious turns of Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, and Laura Dern as the headmistress of the exclusive preschool.
They know how to work their material in the little time given them. Expanding Owen Wilson’s character is a welcome change; his charming character elicits sympathy from the audience. ‘Little Fockers’ is just here to make money instead of the funny.