Little Fockers is the third film in the Meet The Parents franchise, and it’s also the least funny of the lot. Even today it’s hard not to smile when you remember those hilarious scenes from the first film in which Ben Stiller must take a polygraph test from his suspicious father-in-law Robert DeNiro, or in which Stiller accidentally knocks down an urn containing DeNiro’s mother’s ashes.
The jokes have all but dried up by now. In this film, Stiller and his wife are preparing for a party to celebrate the fifth birthday of their twins. Robert DeNiro has a heart condition, and that prompts him to prepare his disappointing son-in-law to take his place at the head of the family. Jessica Alba shows up as a pharmaceutical representative who offers Stiller (who’s a nurse, remember?) the opportunity to endorse a new erectile dysfunction drug; and Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand return as Stiller’s parents.
There’s an awkward gag in which Stiller must give DeNiro a penile injection, and another one in which Stiller’s mom discusses her son’s inadequacies in the bedroom department on her television show. There is much punning on the Focker name, and at one point DeNiro anoints Stiller ‘The Godfocker’ of the family which leads to some silly Brando riffs. None of this unfortunately is funny.
The only real laughs in this film involve Owen Wilson’s character Kevin, the pretentious hippie ex-boyfriend of Stiller’s wife, who shows up with a tattoo of her face on his back. And do wait for the end credits sequence in which DeNiro logs onto the Internet and catches a remix version of a speech Stiller made at a pharma convention. These are the only times you’ll smile through this dreadful film.
I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Little Fockers. By the end you really couldn’t care less for these characters – to hell with these Fockers!