- Meet the Fockers (2004) movie review: Multiple award-winning Meet the Fockers cast members Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, and Blythe Danner waste their talent and prestige on a loathsome Ben Stiller comedy aimed at the Jackass: The Movie and There’s Something About Mary crowd.
Meet the Fockers movie review: Award-winning cast flush their talent & prestige down the toilet in rancid Ben Stiller comedy
Meet the Fockers cast members Robert De Niro (who also coproduced), Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, and Blythe Danner – four of the six principals in Jay Roach’s “families” comedy – have among them five Academy Awards for acting and an additional ten nominations, one Tony win and six additional nominations, and numerous other acting awards and nominations from various film groups and institutions from around the world.
What to do with all that honor and prestige?
Well, how about throwing it all into the fetid garbage dumpster of a Ben Stiller comedy about chopped-off foreskin, babies that say “asshole,” and little dogs that get flushed down the toilet?
You won’t believe what those four Meet the Fockers cast members have done – i.e., that De Niro, Streisand, Hoffman, and Danner have allowed themselves to become part of this cinematic sewer – unless you see it for yourselves.
Unrelentingly stupid hero for the masses
Geared to the millions of moviegoers who turned Bobby and Peter Farrelly’s crudely infantile There’s Something About Mary – also starring Stiller – into a major box office hit, Meet the Fockers revolves around the clash between two disparate all-American families: the free-wheeling, Jewish Fockers (Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand) and the traditionalist, Waspy Byrneses (Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner).
Previously seen in Jay Roach’s 2000 box office hit Meet the Parents, the Byrneses are forced to mingle with The Other Side because their Aryan (and insane?) princess, Pam (Teri Polo), is about to get married to the klutz Greg Focker (Ben Stiller).
Also featured in Meet the Parents, Greg is not only incredibly, unrelentingly stupid, he is also a walking bad-luck magnet. Whatever can go wrong with him, does. Compounding matters, the Byrnes patriarch, a constipated right-wing Republican and former CIA agent, will do whatever it takes to prevent Greg from marrying his daughter.
Papa Byrnes should have resolved the matter the CIA way, but tragically no swift assassinations take place in Meet the Fockers. Ben Stiller’s Greg and his family members and in-laws are all still very much alive at the end, ready for the next neuron-zapping, vomit-inducing sequel.
Meet the Fockers (2004)
Director: Jay Roach.
Screenplay: John Hamburg & James Herzfeld.
From an original story by Herzfeld & Marc Hyman.
Characters created by Greg Glienna & Mary Ruth Clarke.
Cast: Robert De Niro. Ben Stiller. Dustin Hoffman. Barbra Streisand. Blythe Danner. Teri Polo. Owen Wilson. Tim Blake Nelson. Shelley Berman.
“Meet the Fockers Movie (2004) Review” notes
Cast members’ Oscars + Tonys + Emmys
- Robert De Niro: Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for The Godfather: Part II (1974); Best Actor for Raging Bull (1980).
- Barbra Streisand: Best Actress Oscar winner for Funny Girl (1968) (tied with Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter), in addition to an Oscar for composing with Paul Williams the song “Evergreen,” for Frank Pierson’s 1976 A Star Is Born remake. Moreover, Streisand won four Emmys for three of her televised concerts (1965, 1995, 2001), plus an Honorary “Star of the Decade” Tony Award in 1970.
- Dustin Hoffman: Best Actor Oscar winner for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988), and Emmy winner in the Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Special category for Death of a Salesman (1985).
- Blythe Danner: Tony winner for Leonard Gershe’s Milton Katselas-directed Butterflies Are Free (1969–70).
In all fairness, one can’t ignore the fact that another Meet the Fockers cast member – Ben Stiller himself – also won an Emmy, in the Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program category for The Ben Stiller Show (1992).
“Meet the Fockers Movie” endnotes
Image of Meet the Fockers movie cast members Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo, and Blythe Danner: Universal Pictures | DreamWorks Pictures.
“Meet the Fockers Movie: Cast Prestige Flushed Down Sewer” last updated in September 2021.