Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Little Fockers, Big Whoop


I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking that because we're reviewing this movie means that we actually sat through it.  And that's a fair assessment normally, unless you're us and the movie in question is Little Fockers.  Not only did we not see it, but we'll go out on a limb and assume we'll never see it, just as many of you won't, in which case, why are you scrutinizing our research anyway?

Because you demand the best.  Go on, stick up for yourself! 

And we do too, goddamnit!  That's why we were completely disenchanted by Tinseltown when they decided to ramp back up the 'franchise that shouldn't have been a franchise' for another ride on the proverbial carousel.

In case you missed the first two, Ben Stiller is this guy.  He wants to marry this girl, but he has a funny last name and he's a nurse, so he feels self conscious around his soon-to-be-father in law.  And since it was method acting for Stiller aka 'who let this guy in here,' we kind of enjoyed the cringe worthy Meet the Parents, even if it was just There's Something About Mary magnified to a greater* scale.  But when the second installment came out effectively franchising the decent stand alone film and it's characters, our heads immediately went all RCA dog as we wondered just how much further the story could be taken.  And why. 

Turns out, it could be taken all the way to Tampa or wherever the hell the extended Focker family lived.  And Dustin Hoffman and Babs played the couple they were born to play, oozing sexuality on and off screen, the likes of which we've never wanted any part of.  But the "why" was never really answered, beyond assuming everyone enjoyed making money of unsuspecting movie patrons who thought they were getting their 15 dollars worth.  Luckily, after that fateful 3-week run in 2004 where the film managed to break even^, it seemed like the notion of "milking it" had finally subsided and everyone returned to their normal lives.  No one cared about the Fockers anymore as a generation of sheepish and soft spoken boys matured to men and married off by the thousands.  They had overcome their Meet The Parents moment.  They had overcome their terrible in-laws and they were buckled in for the ride whether they liked it or not.  And bumpy as it got from time to time, they were confident they could do it on their own.

Unfortunately, Ben Stiller thought otherwise, and after a meeting with Robert "call me Bobby if you're cool" DeNiro where Stiller confessed that Greenberg "ruined his otherwise sparkling track record," DeNiro agreed to help the aging nepotist and pad his 401K.  They agreed to one final film: Fockers Making Babies.  But after the studio changed the title and removed much of the gun-play that DeNiro insisted upon in his rewrite, many cynics feared the worst come release day.

They were right, of course.  The film looks to be nothing more than Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reminding America that they used to be relevant, and Deniro, Hoffman and Streisand banking on syndication of the film so they can finally buy that island they had their eyes on.  And since the 13-year old male audience of yesteryear has matured, they're having a hard time convincing us there's even a movie behind all those famous people.  If there is though, the story can only go like this:  Greg Focker wants kids, but since he's a nurse and he has a silly last name, his father in law can't take him seriously.  Darn it!  So he takes the time in this movie to prove what a good father he is by having his bird-brained parents move in down the street to help with his new kids.  In the end, everyone eats pancakes and you ask the theater for a refund.  The only laugh comes when the film says "The End" and doesn't include a question mark.

*greater, not better.  We're talking size here.  And it's a metaphor to boot. 
^obviously the film did gangbusters.  Gangbusters would be a great movie title.  Or a Discovery show with Jamie and Adam.

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