The ensemble is back; first, it was meet her parents, then meet his. Now, there are kids and they are having a birthday party, but things go astray. And crazy astray.
I was on board for the first two. Yes, there were a few things that I needed to suspend my belief for, but I went with it. But for this? They lost me totally. From the moment Jessica Alba arrived as a drug representative and stepped in for a bottom-related procedure in the hospital, it lost me. Not even a fist fight between Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller across a series of kids equipment was worth it.
Now that peace has been made between Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his soon-to-be-wife Pam’s (Teri Polo) parents Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), they must meet his family. They are far from ‘normal’ – sex therapist Rozalin (Barbra Streisand) and house-husband Bernie (Dustin Hoffman). Of course, it is a whole weekend that they must have to get the maximum ridiculousness of the situation.
It is totally silly, much like the first. And while it is a similar creature to the first, it is different. Not better, really, and not worse as such. Actually, probably a bit worse. But adding Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand was just a nice addition. If it’s on telly and you can bear slapstick, go for it. I wouldn’t race to hire it, but I also wouldn’t switch channels.
Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is in love with Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) and wants to marry her. But, her parents are traditionalists, and so he must meet them and win them over. Her mum (Blythe Danner) is fine, but her father (Robert De Niro) is a real hard-ass; ex-CIA and very protective of his family. What’s more, they are spending the weekend together for her sister’s wedding, so there is extra pressure. Of course, everything goes wrong, including the fact that Pam’s ex-boyfriend Kevin (Owen Wilson) who is wealthy, talented and charming is involved heavily in the family’s life.
A lot has been made over the years of De Niro’s move from serious acting through to comedy, and generally, he is heavily criticized. I’ve not seen all the films, but I really like this role and this character, and I think that the way he and Stiller work together is terrific. I didn’t expect to enjoy this film all that much, but I really did. Quite a lot, as it happens, even despite the ridiculousness of it.
Meet the Parents was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song (A Fool in Love)