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Meet the Fockers (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  22 December 2004 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 191,304 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 424 user | 140 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.

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Title: Meet the Fockers (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Spencer Pickren ...
Bradley Pickren ...
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Storyline

Having given permission to male nurse Greg Focker to marry his daughter, ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes and his wife travel to Miami to Greg's parents, who this time around are Mr. and Mrs. Focker, who are as different from them as can be. As asked in the first movie, what sort of people name their son Gaylord M. Focker? Written by Uber Minion

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

And you thought your parents were embarrassing. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a brief drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meet the Fokkers  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,908,934 (Australia) (24 December 2004)

Gross:

$279,167,575 (USA) (29 April 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alanna Ubach, who plays Greg Focker's former nanny, Isabelle, is actually 10 years younger than Ben Stiller. See more »

Goofs

While Greg is babysitting Little Jack and sings the song, LJ's hands change positions from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Roz Focker: I'm wondering why you run around with a rubber boob strapped to your chest!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, Jack is seen watching the tapings of his secret camera, this was also done in the first movie when he watched Greg, this time he sees all of the Fockers in the camera. Also, this time, Greg realizes he's on-camera, and he has some fun at Jack's expense before revealing he's onto the surveillance. See more »

Connections

Features Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

We're Gonna Get Married
Written by Randy Newman
Performed by Randy Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A different kind of comedy than Meet the Parents
30 April 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Series note: As this is a direct continuation of Meet the Parents (2000), it is recommended that you watch that film first. It gives necessary background exposition and characterization for this film.

Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) and fiancée Pam Byrnes' (Teri Polo) wedding is fast approaching, and their parents still have not met each other. So Greg and Pam fly from Chicago to New York to meet her parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), before heading off with them to Miami to meet his parents, Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Mother Focker Roz (Barbara Streisand). The problem is that the Byrnes are staid, conservative (though slightly crazy) types who would never think of showing public affection, while the Fockers are still hippies--she is a sex therapist for elderly couples and he's a lawyer who became Mr. Mom once Gaylord was born. Can Gaylord keep his parents reined in enough to not cause Jack blow his lid and try to stop the wedding? Although I didn't think Meet the Fockers was quite as funny or successful as Meet the Parents, it's still funny and successful, with a bit less of an emphasis on nonstop outrageous humor and a bit more of an emphasis on the often amusing complexities of extended family relationships.

If you've seen Meet the Parents first--and you should--some of the material, such as Gaylord's job, jokes based on the "Focker" name, and even Jack's background and disposition will have less of an impact, which initially partially depends on novelty and surprise. Additionally, director Jay Roach and the writing team of James Herzfeld, Marc Hyman and John Hamburg telegraph quite a few of the punch lines. For just one example, it's obvious that something is going to happen to Gaylord's rental car in New York as soon as we hear him opt out of purchasing insurance, blowing it off as a "scam" to make money.

On the other hand, Roach and crew make it clear from the start that they're not exactly shooting for the same style of film as Meet the Parents. This is evident from the beginning, which cleverly pokes fun at Meet the Parents' "gradually going to hell in a handbasket" style by having everything go exactly right.

Roach aims for classic scenarios of families colliding that have surprisingly serious subtexts (and in the real world, these kinds of situations do have an attendant humor, at least when we're not right in the midst of them). Every family tends to have its own customs and norms, its own take on ethics, etiquette, politics, religion and so on. Naturally, when we try to merge families through marriages, uncomfortable, often embarrassing, and frequently tense situations abound. Aside from the humor, this is the crux of Meet the Fockers.

Another important subtext that occurs in various guises through the film (and for which the potential was there in Meet the Parents even if it wasn't capitalized on in quite the same way) is opening up to "free", honest expression of one's thoughts, feelings and desires versus showing a "proper" public face. This is particularly amusing and poignant in the case of Jack, whose job involved obtaining honest expression, but who is the strongest case of putting on a false public face--to an extent that he's bought into the persona himself. In a way, Roach and crew are suggesting that if we can really reach that ideal self-expression, maybe those family mergers, and even other kinds of cultural encounters (such as the Fockers' run-in with the police) could proceed more smoothly.

So it's not so important whether Meet the Fockers is as funny as Meet the Parents. Roach isn't just trying to make you laugh, even though he does so frequently. Despite all the comments in others' reviews about sex-oriented humor (how could you not expect that in a film with a title like this?), or general "low-brow" humor, the comic situations here are more sophisticated in many ways than a typical "outrageous" comedy. That means that you're not going to laugh out loud, with tears streaming down your face, as often as you're going to be sitting there with a big smile on your face watching scenarios such as Bernie trying, and mostly succeeding, to hold on to his hippie ideals no matter what the short term costs. This is more a humor of slightly exaggerated but realistic folly, played fabulously by a stellar cast.


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