DIR: Paul Weitz • WRI: John Hamburg, Larry Stuckey • PRO: Robert De Niro, John Hamburg, Jay Roach, Jane Rosenthal • DOP: Remi Adefarasin • ED: Greg Hayden, Leslie Jones, Myron I. Kerstein • DES: William Arnold • CAST: Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Robert De Niro
The first thing that caught my attention upon sitting down to Little Fockers was, naturally, the IFCO certificate. Instead of the customary 12A or even PG I was greeted by a suspicious 15A. Jay Roach directed the first two entertaining installments of this series while Paul Weitz takes the reins here. That Little Fockers is reminiscent of the toilet humour in films such as American Pie suddenly makes perfect sense considering that was Weitz’s directorial debut.
As with the previous two Focker films, the story follows the unending trials and tribulations of Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) as he suffers under the relentless gaze of his father-in-law Paul Byrnes (Robert De Niro). Focker is once again burdened with the arrival of his in-laws in anticipation of his twins’ birthday party and, following a health scare, Byrnes is eager to see that Focker will be able to fill his lofty shoes to become the, ahem, God-Focker.
The most irritating feature of Little Fockers is the lack of progress its characters have made in the decade since Meet the Parents. De Niro is still riding Stiller over not being worthy of his daughter whilst meeting any attempt at humour with a frown and spying on him in the rare instances when he isn’t staring him down. The best feature of the first sequel, Meet the Fockers, was the addition of Gaylord’s parents played with gusto by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand. That the senior Fockers are absent for much of the film is highly disappointing and the film suffers for their loss. That their playful humour has been replaced by an escalation of the previously mild gross-out comedy is more evidence of an undercooked script and an erroneous choice of director.
The filming of Little Fockers was rumoured to be in disarray with Universal considering replacing Weitz with writer/producer John Hamburg mid-shoot. That Hoffman initially declined because he wasn’t happy with the script and was brought in for re-shoots to add some much needed laughs is entirely plausible as his brief scenes feature the majority of the films humour. Despite the name, Little Fockers is only suitable for an older and less mature audience than the family-friendly older Fockers.
IFCO website for details)
Little Fockers is released 22nd Dec 2010