Meet the Fockers

I hated Meet the Parents. You see, there's a certain style of humor involving humiliation that makes me physically uncomfortable that, unfortunately, is a big part of many comedy films and most sitcoms. For example, just about every scene in Friends that centers on Ross. I call that "the part of the show that I can't watch." When it starts, I know immediately, and I avert my eyes and start squirming in my seat. I usually have to leave the room. This meant that more or less the entire 108 minutes of Meet the Parents was completely unwatchable for me. I expected Meet the Fockers to be much the same, but Juliette wanted to see it so badly that I saw it anyway. And you know what? With one glaring exception, the movie was quite watchable. In fact, I found a lot of it hilarious. Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand were perfect as Ben Stiller's uninhibited parents. Sure, much of what they did would have embarrassed me horribly, but they were so well-meaning that it didn't really bother me. Additionally, they provided a much-needed contrast to Robert De Niro's character. In the first movie, De Niro's ex-CIA father figure is contrasted with Ben Stiller's Greg Focker, making Stiller look even more bumbling than he would on his own. Here, the Fockers make De Niro's Jack Byrnes look much less sympathetic. All of that added up to a movie that I was actually able to laugh at instead of running away screaming in agony.

Viewed: 1/2/2005 | Released: 12/15/2004 | Score: B

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