Editor's note: Don't miss this week's Film Forum Bonus, a look ahead to next week's release of In Good Company, starring Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Scarlett Johansson.

No. 1 at the box office for two straight weeks, director Jay Roach's Meet the Fockers is 2005's first smash hit. Considering the popularity of Roach's Meet the Parents, and taking into account Fockers' all-star cast (Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, and Owen Wilson), that's not a big surprise. Nonetheless, the film is faring poorly with critics.

Peter T. Chattaway (Christianity Today Movies) says it is "quite funny, and the crassness is quite tolerable, at first, because the humor is rooted in fairly believable and likable characters." But he argues that the film does not compare favorably to its predecessor. "Meet the Parents was an almost painfully funny comedy. In Meet the Fockers … there are times when the comedy is not that funny, just painful. The humor starts to go beyond mere embarrassment humor and into territory that some might think would be deeply psychologically scarring to the people involved."

Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) laments this misguided sequel. "So much talent. So much potential. So little that makes Meet the Fockers worth two hours of your time. Roach seems obsessed with juvenile gibes and pratfalls, and only offer[s] us a few moments in which we can laugh and not feel guilty. But at least it's a good-natured film about two sets of parents who love their kids and who're learning to love one another—despite their significant differences."

"Despite some brilliant casting and a decent concept this sequel … is a disappointment," says Michael Elliott (Movie Parables). ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.