‘Meet The Parents: Little Fockers’ a crushing disappointment

Hapless male nurse Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) is blissfully in love with his wife Pam (Teri Polo) and their twins, Samantha (Daisy Tahan) and Henry (Colin Baiocchi).

(Cert 12, 93 mins, Comedy/Romance)

Hapless male nurse Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller) is blissfully in love with his wife Pam (Teri Polo) and their twins, Samantha (Daisy Tahan) and Henry (Colin Baiocchi).

Pam’s father, retired CIA operative Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), still views Greg with suspicion and isn’t sure that his son-in-law is made of the right material to lead the Byrne clan.

“Are you prepared to be the Godfocker?” Jack barks sternly. Tensions escalate with the unexpected arrival of old flame Kevin (Owen Wilson). Meanwhile, Jack’s wife Dina (Blythe Danner) tries to reinvigorate their staid marriage by taking advice from Greg’s sex therapist mother (Barbra Streisand).

'Little Fockers' is a crushing disappointment.

There’s not so much a whiff as a stench of desperation about the third chapter in the hugely popular ‘Meet The Parents’ series, leading to preposterous comedic set-ups involving a ceremonial carving knife and a drug to combat erectile dysfunction.

John Hamburg, who co-wrote the screenplays for the first two instalments, seems to have dusted off all of the (wisely) rejected scenes from his earlier drafts and pasted them together with a gossamer thin narrative about patriarchs on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The cast looks embarrassed by the farrago, not least Oscar-winner De Niro, whose contribution is reduced to an unsightly protrusion and a fight in a children’s ball pond.

Any sense of joy, which coursed through ‘Meet The Parents’ and ‘Meet The Fockers’, has completely evaporated, leaving us with characters, who we had come to love, desperately in search of a dramatic purpose.

Rating: 2/5

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