Meet the Fockers

Meet the Fockers
Meet the Fockers

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jay Roach
Produced by Robert De Niro
Jon Poll
Jay Roach
Jane Rosenthal
Nancy Tenenbaum
Screenplay by Jim Herzfeld
John Hamburg
Story by Mary Ruth Clarke
Greg Glienna (characters)
John Hamburg
Marc Hyman
Starring Robert De Niro
Ben Stiller
Dustin Hoffman
Barbra Streisand
Blythe Danner
Teri Polo
Music by Randy Newman
Cinematography John Schwartzman
Editing by Jon Poll
Lee Haxall
Studio TriBeCa Productions
Distributed by Universal Studios (North America)
DreamWorks (International)
Release date(s) December 22, 2004 (2004-12-22)
Running time 110 minutes (Theatrical)
116 minutes (Extended)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Box office $516,642,939

Meet the Fockers is a 2004 American comedy film directed by Jay Roach and the sequel to Meet the Parents. The film stars Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner and Teri Polo. It was followed up by a sequel, Little Fockers, in 2010.

Contents

Plot

Nurse Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller) delivers a baby in the hospital. Thrilled with his professional success, he goes home and picks up his fiancée Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) on his way to the airport. The couple are traveling to introduce their parents to each other for the first time. Over the opening credits, Greg & Pam are met with success after success, often making references to setbacks Greg suffered in Meet the Parents. The sequence ends with the couple in the first class cabin being served champagne by the stewardess who had ejected Greg from a plane, for verbal assault, in the previous film.

Pam & Greg's first stop is Oyster Bay, Long Island, at the home of Pam's parents, retired CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) and his wife Dina (Blythe Danner). Jack and Dina are babysitting Little Jack, the one-year old son of Pam's sister Debbie. Jack proudly shows off his parenting techniques, which include Baby Sign Language and the Ferber method. Pam & Greg are surprised to find out that they will be driving down to Coconut Grove, Florida in Jack's new RV, instead of flying as they planned. Greg calls his parents to tell them of the change of plans, but he has to leave a voice mail when they don't answer.

On the drive down, Jack informs Greg that he will be studying the Fockers to make sure that they are a good match for the lineage of the family. When they arrive on the island where the Fockers live, Bernie Focker (Dustin Hoffman) affectionately greets everyone with hugs and kisses. Greg slips away to meet his mother Roz (Barbra Streisand) who is a sex therapist specializing in senior sexuality and circumcision posttrauma. Afraid of scaring off the Byrneses with her offbeat profession, Greg convinces a begrudging Roz to pretend that she is a yoga instructor for the weekend.

Pam informs Greg that she is pregnant, and the couple agrees that they should not tell their parents during the weekend, particularly because Jack still thinks that the two of them are not having sex. Over cocktails and dinner, the forthright, affectionate demeanor of the Fockers is a something of a shock for the Byrneses. When discussing his grandson, Jack explains that he is Ferberizing the child. Bernie suggests "Fockerizing" him by smothering him with hugs and kisses.

That night, the Fockers decide to visit the Byrnes' RV, where they insist on sleeping. Bernie's dog chases Jinxie through the RV, and ends up getting trapped in the toilet bowl. Having been trained by Jack to flush, Jinxie flushes the dog into the blackwater tank. Panicked, Bernie destroys the toilet with a fire extinguisher to save his dog. The Byrnes are forced to stay in the house, and Bernie treats them to his famous 'Focker Fondue' at dinner. When Greg's old nanny, Isabel Villalobos (Alanna Ubach), comes over to help with dinner, Bernie reveals that Greg lost his virginity to her fifteen years before. After dinner, Roz tells Greg that she predicts Pam is pregnant, which he confirms is true, though he tells her to keep it a secret. Later, much to Greg's further embarrassment, the Byrnes family have to endure the sounds of the Fockers' role playing foreplay for the whole night.

The following day, Bernie takes Jack to Isabel's to fix the RV's toilet. The women go off shopping together, leaving Greg alone with Little Jack. Isabel's son Jorge (Ray Santiago) is a 15-year old mechanical prodigy and can easily fix the RV. Jack is struck by how much Jorge resembles Greg, particularly when he lies. During their shopping trip, Roz admits to Dina that she is a sex therapist and coaches her on ways to seduce Jack. She also drops hints at Pam's pregnancy towards her which she embarrassingly shrugs off. At home with Little Jack, Greg takes his eyes off him when Roz calls to check in, which is just long enough for Little Jack to get out of his crib and into trouble. When Jack returns home and sees his grandson with his hands glued to a rum bottle watching Scarface, he is furious.

Reverting to his old ways, he initiates an investigation into Jorge's paternity, securing samples of Greg and Jorge's hair for a DNA test. During a dinner party that evening, Pam tells Greg that she confessed to Dina regarding her pregnancy, Roz also tells Bernie (who starts making pregnant gestures at Pam). During the party, Jack introduces Jorge to Greg, shortly after Jack confronts Greg about Jorge being his son which Greg says he's never heard any news on him being his father, and just as Jack leaves the bathroom he injects Greg with sodium pentothal (also known as 'truth serum'). Intoxicated by truth serum, Greg gives a rambling toast where he claims that he is Jorge's father and reveals that Pam is pregnant before passing out.

The next morning Greg wakes up on his parents' bed but doesn't remember a thing. Jack summons Dina and Pam to the RV so that they can leave the island, but Bernie lies in front of the RV to prevent him from driving. Dina reveals that Jack injected Greg with truth serum, because she found the vial. Angry, Bernie threatens Jack and tries to roundhouse kick him, only to miss and hit Greg (who was standing between him and Jack) in the face.

Everyone confronts Jack about his inability to cede control and argue that there can be no 'circle of trust' if he doesn't trust anyone in it. The family reveal that they all knew about Pam's pregnancy but didn't tell Jack, causing him to drive off hurt. Bernie and Greg give chase, attracting the attention of a cop who pulls them over and arrests them. On his way out of town, Jack gets the results of the DNA test, which reveal that Greg is not Jorge's father. He realizes he is being ridiculous and turns around, passing the shackled Fockers by the roadside. When he stops to intervene, he is also arrested. In their jail cell, Greg insists that the two men get over their differences. They reconcile, and Greg decides to marry Pam that weekend. The men are later released by the local judge, Judge Ira (Shelley Berman), who is a student of Roz's sex therapy class.

The couple get married on the island by Kevin (Owen Wilson), Pam's ex-fiancée. During the reception, Jack asks Roz for some sex tips and slips off to the RV with Dina. Bernie smiles and concludes, "We've Fockerized him!".

During the credits, Jack watches hidden baby-cam footage (just like in the first movie) of the Fockers giving attention to Little Jack, something Jack didn't want previously. It shows Roz giving Little Jack some chocolate (which Jack shrugs off), and Bernie encouraging Little Jack to use his crying and screaming as his way of protesting everything Jack says (much to Jack's annoyance), and finally Greg, who drunkenly tells Little Jack that Pam is not really pregnant and only told Jack so that he would let them marry each other. Jack is suddenly serious and Greg notices the camera by saying "Ooh what's that? (GASPS) It's a camera!" and makes mocking gestures to it. Jack responds by turning the video off.

Cast

  • Jack Tiberius Byrnes (Robert De Niro): Pam's father and Dina's husband and a retired CIA agent. The anal retentive Jack is also the inventor of a Motion Sensor Nanny-Cam, and the "Manary Gland" (a portmanteau of "man" and "mammary gland"), an invention that lets Jack "breastfeed" his grandson. His cover-up job is a retired florist/horticulturist. Even though he has given permission for the two to marry, Jack still has a distrust of Greg and goes so far as trying to prove it by taking desperate measures such as injecting him with truth serum.
  • Gaylord "Greg" Myron Focker (Ben Stiller): A Jewish male nurse living in Chicago with fiancée Pam, the daughter of a retired CIA agent. He spends most of the film trying to win over his fiancee's father, and is embarrassed by his sometimes crude and obnoxious family, even if they are well-meaning. In his childhood, he often finished in mediocre fashion in competitive events which was displayed in the "Wall of Gaylord" his father built. His father calls him Gay or Gaylord, which is a recurring joke within the film. He graduated from Williams College which is shown on the Wall of Gaylord.
  • Bernard "Bernie" Focker (Dustin Hoffman): The father of Greg. He was an attorney for a brief period of time, but became a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Bernie lives on "Focker Isle" in Miami, with his wife Roz. He claims to be a practitioner of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art of dance-fighting. His fondness for chimichangas is a recurring joke within the film.
  • Rosalind "Roz" Focker (Barbra Streisand): The mother of Greg Focker, who is a sex therapist for senior citizens and often embarrasses Greg by sharing her knowledge of sex.
  • Pamela "Pam" Martha Byrnes (Teri Polo): Greg's fiancée. She is a second grade teacher in Chicago and lives with Greg. Before starting a relationship with Greg, she was engaged briefly to Kevin, with whom she is still friends. Learning that she's pregnant and not telling Jack about it, both Pam and Greg decide to move the wedding to a closer date and then to say she got pregnant during the honeymoon. However, Roz was the first to notice her pregnant when Pam refused to drink alcohol or play football with the guys.
  • Dina Byrnes (Blythe Danner): The wife of Jack Byrnes, and mother of Pam, Debbie and Denny. She balances the relationship with Jack as the soft spot, and the sympathetic voice-of-reason to her husband. In the film, it can be seen that she is envious of Roz and Bernie's sex life.
  • Little Jack (Spencer and Bradley Pickren): Jack's year-old grandson by his other daughter, Debbie. Jack is grooming him to be a genius using unconventional child-rearing methods. He communicates through baby sign language. His first word is an expletive, "asshole", which he accidentally picked up from Greg.
  • Isabel Villalobos (Alanna Ubach): Sexy former housekeeper and babysitter of the Fockers and current owner of a catering business. She had a brief fling with Greg when he was nineteen years old, which resulted in Greg losing his virginity to her. This affair led Jack to suspect that Greg may be the father of her child.
  • Jorge Villalobos (Ray Santiago): The 15-year-old son of Isabel, he is a mechanical prodigy with a reputation for being able to fix anything. His most definable attribute is his uncanny resemblance to Greg, which leads Jack to believe that Greg is Jorge's father. Another recurring joke in the film is that either Greg or Jorge look like a "young, Jewish/Hispanic Marlon Brando." It turns out that his father is former minor league baseball player Rusty Bridges, also played by Stiller. His Spanish name was redirected by Jack into its English translation: "George House-of-the-Wolves."
  • Moses (Terem): The Fockers' pet dog, a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix.[1] He has the sublime ability and urge to mate with anything that moves.
  • Mr. LJ Jinx "Jinxy": Jack's pet Himalayan cat. He is able to use the toilet and has extensive aquatic training. He once flushed Moses down the toilet in the Byrnes' trailer, but they are later seen eating wedding cake together in peace at the end of the film.

Owen Wilson makes a brief cameo reprising his role as Kevin Rawley, from the previous film, but this time as an ordained, inter-faith minister.

Critical response

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 38% of 157 sampled critics gave the film positive reviews and that it got a rating average of 5.2 out of 10.[2] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score 41 out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 41 based on 34 reviews.[3]

Box office

The film was a commercial success. The film grossed $46,120,980 on its opening weekend in North America (3,518 theaters, averaging $13,110 per theater)[4]. At the end of the film's 149 days of release, it grossed a total of $279,261,160 in North America, and $237,381,779 in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $516,642,939. The film's budget was $80 million.[5]

References

External links


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