Monday, August 9, 2010

Meet the Fockers. C+

I've never really had as much of an issue with the MPAA rating system as some people have, but occasionally I do find a film with content demanding a higher rating than the one given. That's the case with Meet the Fockers, a comedy filled with so much crude humor that I honestly wonder how it came away with a PG-13 rating. I guess it all comes down to box office gross, but I definitely think a line was crossed here. A lot of families will take young kids to a PG-13 movie, but I can't imagine they'd be pleased after taking their kids to see Meet the Fockers. In spite of this, the movie is still funny, though, like Step Brothers, I feel sort of immature that I laughed as much as I did. A sequel to Meet the Parents, the movie introduces Gaylord's (Ben Stiller) hippie parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand) to his wife's more traditional parents. It's the story of two families trapped in the same place that we've seen plenty of times before, but what makes the movie so funny is just how inappropriate the Fockers really are. But the good thing is they're just sensitive enough to keep the movie from becoming total slapstick. It's good when a comedy makes things just serious enough to keep us from abandoning any truth in the characters. Ben Stiller, normally the comedic powerhouse, isn't really that funny here, at least compared to something like Dodgeball. He pretty much spends most of his time looking like the embarassed son wondering why he brought his fiancé to meet his crazy mom and dad. But that's what he's supposed to do, and it's a good thing because he doesn't try to take away the attention we're supposed to be paying to Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro (who plays the father of Gaylord's lady) Meat the Fockers is best when it follows along its title. Meeting the Fockers is an hilarious experience. But once we get to know them, the movie fades and starts to drag. And the reconciliation process was just absurd as the movie tried to cram in too much in an already liberal running time of nearly two hours. But I still found enough of the material funny that I can marginally look forward to Little Fockers, due out this Christmas.

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