Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Meet the Fockers

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a brief drug reference

Reviewed by: Chris Monroe
STAFF WRITER

Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
December 22, 2004 (wide)
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

Marriage in the Bible

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner
Director: Jay Roach
Producer: Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Productions, Robert De Niro, Jay Roach
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“And you thought your parents were embarassing.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “The makers and stars behind the runaway hit of 2000, ‘Meet the Parents,’ are re-united-and joined by some formidable future in-laws-in the the follow-up comedy, ‘Meet the Fockers.’

Now that Greg Focker (Stiller) is “in” with his soon-to-be in-laws, Jack (De Niro) and Dina (Danner) Byrnes, it looks like smooth sailing for him and his fiancée, Pam (Polo). But that’s before Pam’s parents meet Greg’s parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Hoffman and Streisand). The hyper-relaxed Fockers and the tightly-wound Byrneses are woefully mismatched from the start.”

Read our review of the prequel to this movie, “Meet the Parents

Review

The surprise you may experience from hearing this family’s unfortunate last name matches the surprise you may experience regarding the content in “Meet the Fockers.” It’s obvious that the makers of this sequel have run wild with the idea that this obscure last name seems to suggest, and made these people highly overt, sexual people. All throughout this story, from the theme to random jokes, the filmmakers are engrossed with ideas and humor revolving around this subject matter.

With some passage of time between “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers” begins with Greg (Ben Stiller) and his fiancée Pam (Teri Polo) meeting up with her parents Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina Byrnes (Blythe Danner) to drive down to Florida to meet Greg’s parents. Everything starts off in their favor until they finally arrive in Coconut Grove and encounter Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Roz Focker (Barbara Streisand), who create a conflict of lifestyle, personality and temperament completely opposite of the Byrnes family. Keeping the same farcical feel as the first film, this sequel strives to settle the same dispute about whether or not Greg and Pam should marry.

The most objectionable aspect of this film is the sexual humor. There really isn’t any nudity, but the constant talk of sex and everything revolving around it is very prevalent. For instance, in the beginning, we find that Roz Focker is a sex therapist for elderly people. When we first see her, she is leading her class and instructing them on how to work together physically. Everything is intended to be humorous, but it seems that this film has dropped to a low echelon of comedy in order to get laughs. Aside from this, there is also a touch of foul language.

Probably the best part of the entire movie was seeing Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman play opposite of each other. Having Bernie (Hoffman) be the sensitive, overly encouraging-father-type clash with the strict, conservative, former CIA agent Jack (Deniro) was a great contrast. There are some fun moments between them, but certainly not enough.

This story maintains Greg (and sometimes Pam) as the focus of the story, but the creators of this sequel should have given the young couple even more of a back seat role in order to highlight the dynamic contrast between their parents. This kind of focus, plus less course joking could have made the movie far greater.

One strong image that this movie provides is when Jack changes his mind and his attitude and realizes what a jerk he has been. At this, he slams on the brakes in his RV and turns it completely around in the middle of the road. It was an amazing stunt having this enormous vehicle skid and spin like it did, but it also provides a great picture of what it means to repent. Jack was being completely stubborn and traveling in one direction, and then changes his mind, turns and goes the complete opposite direction—a great image of repentance.

“Meet the Fockers” plays off of a lot of the same jokes, situations and conflicts established in the first film. It would have been better to see them move away from the conflict of Jack being suspicious of Greg (which was resolved in the first movie) and show more conflict between the two sets of parents. This sequel is entertaining in some new ways, but it ultimately holds to the same formula as the first. Lots of potential here, but in the end sold a bit short.

Reviews of other films in this series:

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I thought this was a funny film. It’s really not for kids. If you are fairly mature and have not been living in a bubble the content should not be that bad. Some of the humor is sexual but big deal if you are married and you and your wife like a laugh its fine. It’s not going to change your life for the worse or better, but will make you laugh for an hour or two.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Rob, age 32
Positive—This is certainly not a movie for children. That being said, I find it very interesting that Christians have so much more tolerance for violence in movies than for sex. This movie does contain a lot of sexual content and innuendo, so if you are unmarried, it might make a date a little awkward. My wife and I saw this movie and we both thought it was much funnier than the first one. In my opinion, any adult who is confident in their walk with God will not feel ashamed to go see this movie and laugh.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Ben, age 26
Positive—It wasn’t quite a movie I would take children to, but it was a funny movie. The use of the family’s last name gets old after a while just because it’s the same joke time and time again. The word it is alluding to is a valid word in the English langauge, and the way they are referring to it is its valid dictionary definition. Other than that the movie is quite funny. There is a lot of sexual talk in this movie. There’s also a lot of sexual talk in the Bible (more so even than this movie).

The only offensive part about it is that Gaylord and Pam aren’t married yet. No one, Christians especially, should be offended at the site or inference of two married people showing their feelings for one another. A lot of the sexual content in this movie is between Greg’s parents who ARE MARRIED.
My Ratings: [Average/3½]
—Collin, age 24
Positive—This wasn’t nearly as funny as the original, but it was still a pretty good laugh, and it was nice to get to see how everything turns out for the characters we knew and loved form “Meet the Parent’s.” The most objectionable thing, in my opinion was when Greg was pocked in the neck with truth syrum. The thought of getting anything in the neck would have really bothered me as a child.

If you haven’t discussed sexuality with your children yet, you might want to pick another movie though because a lot of the jokes have a sexual nature and they might leave the theater with a “Mommy/Daddy, what’s a (insert word here),” so just beware. For teenagers and above though it’s absolutely fine.

I think it’s mostly just a “for fun” movie, but it does teach a very good lesson about accepting people for who they are, and not changing who you are for someone else. Although the Fockers and the Burns’ where very different, they learned to get along, which is something every one of us should take to heart.

The Fockers also appeared to be a very loving family which I also believe sets a good example. For the most part though, don’t expect any profound moral messages, just go for a laugh. The humor wasn’t intellectual or high brow, but you have to be made of stone not to laugh, and we all can use a little laughter now and then.
My Ratings: [Average]
—Kat, age 19
Positive—Ok, I know I’m supposed to rate this movie “biblically,” but come on. I know some of the material is somewhat offensive, but no one should be taking an 8-year old to this movie and then complain about the content. This is an adult movie and most of the reviews I’ve read on this web site go along with every Christian stereotype that atheists, agnostics, etc. have about us. Everything is sooooo offensive, but the Passion of the Christ is the best movie in the world. Jeez people, it’s time to lighten up a bit, and take movies for what they are. Nothing serious, just movies. I’m a strong advocate of the belief that people don’t go shooting up schools because of the movies they watch or the video games they play. It’s the way they’re raised and their psychological status. And before the rest of you start attacking me, my faith, and my relationship with Christ, I want you to know that I am studying to be a youth minister and have already led many youth functions and delivered messages to the youth in my home church. Once again, LIGHTEN UP!!!
My Ratings: [Average/4½]
—Jon-Michael, age 19
Neutral
Neutral—I was offended by the sex-related material in the film just like everyone else (especially how Greg’s parents didn’t mind him losing his virginity before he was married). However, this is probably THE FUNNIEST movie I have seen in years. It’s offensive, but it is hilarious (a guilty pleasure, if you will). That’s the reason for my NEUTRAL rating. However, it isn’t for anyone younger than 17.
My Ratings: [Average/3]
—Shannon H., age 23
Neutral—If any believer was expecting to see a wholesome movie they should have realized it was not the film makers intent. I viewed the movie, the humor was crude and I laughed when situations were funny. I feel some of these reviews are hypocritical, the movies’ title speaks for itself.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/41]
—Leslie Thomas, age 3
Neutral—Okay, I sat through the whole movie, and seriously contemplated leaving about 3 times. I went with Christian friends and we were made uncomfortable by the amount of blatant sex in the movie. But every time you think you’ve seen all you can take… a good joke or line is thrown in. We did watch the whole movie, and it did have its very humorous parts. The whole theatre was in stitches a lot of the time, including us.

Personally, as a DayCare worker, I loved the baby in the film, and they do show the reality that what you say around your children will be repeated… sometimes not in the best way. Overall, I do not suggest Christians to go to this movie in theatres.

I went because I really liked the prequel, but if you’re going to watch this movie… do it at home where you can fast forward anything you feel necessary. The movie will only be an hour long then, and you’ll save an extra hour for something more productive. If you leave out all of the sexual references, and even in keeping the pregnancy out of marriage, it would be a good movie. It’s classic Ben Stiller, what do you expect?
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—Blondie, age 21
Negative
Negative—My husband and I went to see “Meet the Fockers” last night. Although there were a few funny moments, most of the humor is sexual and crude. I can’t laugh at things like Gaylord’s sex therapist mother asking him “Is your fiance still having regular orgasms?” Then there is the revelation that Gaylord had his first sexual intercourse (as a teenager) with an older babysitter (and with his parent’s approval—they act like she did their young son a favor, and they treat her like she is one of the family)This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the offensiveness of this movie. In fact, I can’t believe that we actually stayed for the show, but since we did, I can at least do some good by warning others about the content of this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/2]
—Debbie, age 51
Negative—I was looking forward to seeing a fun sequel to Meet the Parents, but was really disappointed. They are nothing alike. The few true laughs don’t make up for the rest of the tasteless, tacky, crude, humor. I am surprised this was a PG-13.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4]
—Mom of four, age 46
Negative—I expected this movie to have some objectionable material. I did not like the pre-marital pregnancy and the ridicule of traditional moral values. The constant sexual innuendos were not necessary.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Robert, age 43
Negative—This movie is not good. Crude jokes, bad language, sick humour (anything to get a laugh). Nudity, dog having sex with cat. The family name “Fockers” is mentioned throughout the entire movie, always insinuating the “swearing word.” The Bible tells us to feed our minds with things that are pure, loving, honest, good, etc. This is surely NOT one of them.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
—Jerry, age 52
Negative—…Although there were a few funny moments, most of the humor is sexual and crude. I can’t laugh at things like Gaylord’s sex therapist mother asking him “Is your fiance still having regular orgasms?” Then there is the revelation that Gaylord had his first sexual intercourse (as a teenager) with an older babysitter (and with his parent’s approval—they act like she did their young son a favor, and they treat her like she is one of the family)This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the offensiveness of this movie. In fact, I can’t believe that we actually stayed for the show, but since we did, I can at least do some good by warning others about the content of this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/2]
—Debbie, age 51
Negative—I came out of this movie feeling dirty! This movie was totally debased. I know we should have left early but somehow hoped it would get better. I guess I wanted to get my money’s worth. You probably could have drug your kids into a bar and not had as much garbage spewed at you. The producers of this filth would want you to believe that that there is nothing wrong with immorality like; fornication, bestiality and sex with minors.

Then there was the convenient use of the name “Focker” in every imaginable way you might use the swear word. I also thought it was curious that they promoted an inter-faith minister. Wearing a Jewish Yamaca and carrying a Holy Bible.

Sounds like the great harlot church of the end times mentioned in the Bible. I heard the words El-Shadia mentioned as if God was giving his blessing on all this filth. To be honest, as Christians we had no business watching this type of stuff. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” From now on I’ll make sure to check out this Web site before attending a movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Jay, age 56
Negative—This movie is a very poor choice for any Christian. This movie being a number 1 box office hit demonstrates the moral decline in America. My family walked out about 30 minutes into the movie because of the constant crude and obnoxious sexual content. I do not think this movie is appropriate for anyone to see.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Janice, age 37
Negative—I would strongly recommend AGAINST watching this movie. It was filled with innuendo and often direct references to sexual acts, including scenes with animals in the act. Unlike the first one, there was nearly nothing that was funny. Most of the attempts at jokes were crude and vulgar. It was an absolute waste of time and money.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3]
—John P., age 31
Negative—This movie is not good. Crude jokes, bad language, sick humour (anything to get a laugh). Nudity, dog having sex with cat. The family name “Fockers” is mentioned throughout the entire movie, always insinuating the “swearing word.” The Bible tells us to feed our minds with things that are pure, loving, honest, good, etc. This is surely NOT one of them.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
—Jerry, age 52
Negative—Waste of time and money. Offensive and vulgar throughout the entire movie. Was not even funny.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Alexis, age 26
Negative—I expected this movie to have some objectionable material. I did not like the pre-marital pregnancy and the ridicule of traditional moral values. The constant sexual innuendos were not necessary.
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Robert, age 43
Negative—Wish I had come here first before spending money to see what I thought would be a lighthearted comedy. We stayed the whole time, hoping it would get better. It didn’t. Besides the overt sexual allusions (both visual and verbal), I felt it bordered on animal abuse and baby abuse. Even secular folks should just feel scummy when they come out of it. WHY is this movie number one at the box office? Hope to see it drop quickly.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1½]
—Kelly
Negative—I went with a couple of my christian friends to watch this movie. I thought I was going to see a funny comedy movie, but we ended up leaving in the middle of the movie because of the sexual content. It was not funny it was extremely offensive and embarrassing to have to leave in the middle of the movie. I would not encourage anyone to see this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3]
—Adam, age 19
Negative—Crude and really dumb sexual humor. If you were hoping for a funny sequel, with only “mild” offensive humor, you will be very very disappointed. Boo.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—The Powells, age late 30s
Negative—This movie slips in a lot of “new age” ideas, and tries to push the idea that, the happiest people are those that are not restrained by morals. Hoffman and Streisand promote a world where sex is GOD, and DeNiro and wife promote the idea of,” trust no one.” this movie exemplifies the type of world people live in, that glorify the flesh and are spiritually ignorant. Definitely not a Christian-friendly movie.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive]
—Darryl Anderson, age 48
Negative—Although, the movie contained a few jokes and laughs, it was nothing close to Meet the Parents. Sex, sex, sex and so on. We as Christians have the obligation to show the world a better way, purer way, the Only way. Halfheartedly laughing at the improper jokes and values leaves us, at best, no different from those without the Truth and Light. Thus, our very purpose of being Christians is compromised. Neutered Christians, salt without its power.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2½]
—André P., age 28
Negative—This is not a PG-13 as far as I can understand the rating system. How do they get away with it. Everything revolves around sex. It was embarrassing. I can’t believe I took my 13 year old to see it. After reflecting on the situation, there was a row of 6 girls in front of us without parental supervision. They obliviously were dropped off to see the movies. What if their parents never see the show? At least I know what my child saw and can talk to her about the movie. I will have to use it as a learning experience for the both of us. Read this review site before going to the show. I did not see any reviews before going, and I was assuming that it was going to be a movie like FATHER OF THE BRIDE. Situational comedy, not crude. I had the thought to get up and leave but did not I kept thinking it would lighten-up. NOT a movie for kids.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1]
—Shelly, age 42
Negative—Definitely not for anyone under 17!!! This film should be rated R. Not much was left to the imagination from early in the movie with the “sex therapist” mom finishing her senior citizen sex therapy class - clothes were the only ingredient present to prevent this scene from being X-rated. I was disgusted that I had taken my 12 year old son and 16 year old daughter, who were tremendously embarrassed. I’d have walked out, but had come with non-Christian friends/neighbors so leaving would have been awkward.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3]
—Sandy, age 44
Negative—I went to this movie with my boyfriend and his parents which was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve done in a while. In studying sexual content in the media I have learned that it is one of the leading causes of domestic violence and the breakdown of families. Hollywood portrays sex in Meet the Fockers as a trivial and casual thing rather than a binding, committing thing that is the most intimate physical thing you can do with a person. The movie only emphasis the lies that Hollywood tells us about sex and what it should look like. The movie was full of disgusting jokes and put to shame the value that God places on male/female relationships. I know that this may seem like a typical Christian world view, but look at the consequences of the objectification of men and women in our society… we should be affirming truth to our children no lies on the “healthy” ways we can exploit sex.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/1½]
—Jenelle, age 21
Comments from young people

none

Negative—I usually go see movies with my girlfriend but on this occasion i went with her and my parents. Usually when I see movies by myself I won’t notice many offensive portions, but when I’m with my girlfriend I’ll notice much more. With my parents however I noticed everything. I really liked the first movie but this one pushed way too many buttons and used sex too much. I remember one scene where they drive by some bikini bus and I figured I’d look away. I thought the scene was almost over and then some girl flashed the screen, I’m not sure if it showed everything, but it showed a lot. I kept looking over at my girlfriend and saying sorry. We saw the part with the old people practicing the sexual positions and we decided to leave. I really wouldn’t recommend the movie just because of the vulgarity, and I usually let a lot of stuff slide, but for a PG-13 movie that’s not right.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—jordan, age 18
Negative—I have not viewed the entire movie because we left halfway in the movie. Well, “Meet the Parents” had clever funny humour, this movie wastes its time on disgusting sexual humour. It is just plain disgusting. Me and my parents didn’t feel comfortable sitting there and watching this movie, that’s why we left halfway. Don’t even waste your time with this one.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/3]
—Adam, age 14
Negative—Went to see this with a few Christian friends of mine last night (Dec. 27, 2004). We left three-fourths of the way through the movie. Now, it takes a lot to offend me, and this movie did just the trick. Not only was this movie unfunny (I only laughed at times because the crowd laughed. I didn’t get what was so funny about it.), most of the “humor” was crude and sexual in origin (apparently two of the Fockers, the family that the main character Greg (Gaylord) belongs to, were named Randy and Horny.). Trust me on this one—it’s not worth blowing $7.50 on.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/1]
—Clay Waters, age 14
Negative—That movie was nasty! I really liked Meet The Parents, but everything in the sequel was sex related! Dogs humping cats and dolls, Gaylord’s mom being a sex therapist for older people and watching them in their lesson, and the showing of Gaylord’s parents “playing” in the bedroom. It was just horrible. I couldn’t even stand it! I wish my parents and I had never wasted our money or stood in line. Don’t see this movie!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive/3½]
—Emily, age 13
Negative—Wow this movie had about as bad a storyline as you can have! It begins by telling you that Greg’s mom is a sex therapist… a little to much information. Although the movie was supposed to be funny, it wasn’t AT ALL! Compared to “Meet The Parents,” I found myself just wanting to leave the movie. With the amount of inappropriate parts of this movie I wouldn’t recommend this movie to any family. It shows his mother and father having “sex” although she is covered it is by whipped cream and nothing else. NOT FOR FAMILIES!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/2]
—Morty B, age 14
Movie Critics
…crude humor, brief nudity and many pitiful plays on words with the name Focker seals this tasteless film’s fate as one to avoid…
—Brian Hughes, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…I’m sad to report that Meet the Fockers is a resolutely average sequel, several subbasements below the first film in both comic inspiration and energy…
—Ty Burr, Boston Globe
…never quite reaches critical mass as a comedy…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…though it’s good to see [Stiller] back in his stumbling, bumbling element, it’s a bummer to see his element wasted in such stumbling, bumbling gags…
—Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune
…Because no good joke in Hollywood goes untold again… and again, the mixed-couple setup receives another extended workout in this modestly amusing sequel…
—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
…as tacky as its title, as crass as a kid learning his first cuss word… few good laughs…
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…fails to “Meet” expectations… The jokes… tend to be lame…
—Robert Denerstein, Rocky Mountain News