Saturday, March 05, 2005

Meet the Fockers

Painajainen perheessä / Familjen är värre. US (c) 2004 Universal / DreamWorks. D: Jay Roach. SC: James Herzfield, John Hamburg - story: James Herzfield, Marc Hyman - characters: Greg Clienna, Mary Ruth Clarke. DP: John Schwartzman. M: Randy Newman. Starring Robert De Niro (Jack Byrnes), Ben Stiller (Greg Focker), Dustin Hoffman (Bernie Focker), Barbra Streisand (Roz Focker), Blythe Danner (Dina Byrnes), Teri Polo (Pam Byrnes). 115 min. Comedy. Released by Buena Vista Finland, Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri / Hannele Vahtera. Viewed at KinoPalatsi 6, Helsinki, 5 March 2005. Meet the Family (2000) took us to the catastrophe zone of the bride's WASP parental home on Long Island focusing on the control freak father De Niro. This time, the familiar characters get to meet the groom's parents, the ultra-liberal Jewish Hoffman and Streisand in Florida. The film has not received praise from the critics, and it has been accused of repeating too much from the first film. I don't agree, and I liked this one more. The obligatory crude and gross situations are not what matter so much as the more personal character comedy that is often inspired. Hoffman and Streisand are a really funny addition, and they lift the material to a new level. I also like the way that Ben Stiller and Teri Polo rise above the catastrophe to defend their personal life despite their parents. The audience never stopped laughing till the last image of the end-credit epilogue. At least ***

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