Making the Grades
Greg and Pam Focker (Ben Stiller and Teri Polo) may be the parents of two children (Daisy Tahan and Colin Baiocchi) but that doesn’t mean this film is anywhere close to being family friendly. Like its predecessors, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, this sequel has three jokes that it parades out over and over again. The first one has to do with Greg’s job as a male nurse. Rather than seeing it as a commendable career choice, Greg’s father-in-law Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) bemoans what he considers to be a wimpy occupation and relentlessly badgers Greg about it.
The second has to do with the family’s moniker. As in the last movies this script goes overboard trying to drum up jokes where it can insert Greg and Pam’s last name—a slight variation of the sexually explicit expletive. And almost every other punch line has something to do with S-E-X, including a male-enhancing pharmaceutical, a perky and provocative sales representative (Jessica Alba) and a misunderstanding about sexual orientation.
Obsessed with these three gags, the script pays only the flimsiest attention to the storyline in which Jack recognizes his days as patriarch are numbered. Despite his disdain for Greg, he realizes his son-in-law is the only option to take over the job. With mafia-like solemnity, he makes his wishes known and starts grooming Greg to be the man of the house.
However, after arriving in town for his grandchildren’s birthday party with his wife Dina (Blythe Danner), Jack begins to question his choice, especially when he discovers a bag full of erectile dysfunction medicine in the closet. He also catches the pretty sales rep engaged in a full-on smooch with Greg. Being a man who is used to getting his way, Jack doesn’t hesitate to suggest to his daughter that she reconsider her marriage to Greg in favor of her former lover Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson), a wealthy and eccentric world traveler who never misses a chance to check in on his old flame.
If those aren’t enough problems for one family to deal with, Greg’s sex-obsessed parents, Bernie and Roz (Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand) show up just as the party begins.
While in-laws have long been the subjects of wisecracks, Little Fockers does nothing to repair the dysfunctional relationships among these relatives. Meanwhile the excessive use of sexually oriented content and suggestive language in this story makes the Fockers one family many parents will want to avoid.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Little Fockers.
Like Jack Byrnes, many people are interested in finding out more about their family’s history. The following sites are just a few of the places you may start finding your ancestors (some are free and some are not): Ancestory.com, FamilySearch.org, and Genealogytoday.com.
Why does Roz recommend that spouses have an affair with one another? How can a couple keep the spark in their relationship?
How does Jack respond to the YouTube video of Greg’s presentation? Why is it impossible to control what is put up on this site? What privacy issues are impacted by these postings?