Family-patriarch Jack Byrnes wants to appoint a successor. Does his son-in-law, the male nurse Greg Focker, have what it takes? (IMDb)
A little old and tired, just like its characters, with a dumb plot pulled out of thin air (“Godfocker”? Really?) and over-the-top body/sex humour trying desperately but failing to get some laughs (see the finger-cutting; erection incident). Elsewhere, there are a few funny moments (Dern’s small part is a highlight; Wilson’s Spacey Kevin is always good), and the marriage/family drama probably would have been decent if the film didn’t try and make it funny (see the uncomfortable hospital scene).
All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time. (IMDb)
A most minimal of plots is saved by the excellent cast, who play off their characters’ striking contrasts (to DeNiro’s no-fun Jack and Stiller’s awkward Greg is added Hoffman’s delightfully exuberant Bernie and Streisand’s free-spirited Roz) with natural ease and to hilarious results, as the script takes the chaotic tension impressively far (even deep) before the heartwarming payoff (see Jack’s “we’re family now”). Given the film’s length though, the silly son sub-story could have been cut.
Male nurse Greg Focker meets his girlfriend’s parents before proposing, but her suspicious father is every date’s worst nightmare. (IMDb)
The “meet the parents” premise is taken to amusing extremes here as Stiller’s average Joe buckles under the pressure to please De Niro’s intimidating former CIA agent dad. The humour that results doesn’t miss: The awkward dad-boyfriend interplay is on point, the slapstick mishaps are funny and not overdone, and Murphy’s Law pushes its limit in an excruciating but hilarious storyline. The script is shallow but content to simply generate laughs, which it thankfully does on a consistent basis.