Meet the Fockers
December 22, 2004
Robert DeNiro is one of the finest actors Hollywood has ever seen, but it was still surprising to most moviegoers what a deft comedic touch he has proven to have. With his performances in Analyze This and Meet the Parents, he emphatically demonstrated that he is the perfect comedic foil for hyper and/or nervous counterparts such as Billy Crystal and Ben Stiller. The proof of this is in the fact that both films attained a level of success that created studio desire for a sequel. Analyze That will reach theaters first, of course, but Meet the Fokkers is the much more exciting project.
The concept of the original movie is one of the most simplistic and simultaneously malevolent in recent memory. After all, there is nothing more universal than the idea of meeting your loved one's parents for the first time, or the corollary of being the one making the introductions to your parents. It's the very definition of an awkward moment to begin with. Making the father a man like Robert DeNiro is truly inspired, and the proof of the film's success is the nearly $300 million in world-wide receipts. A sequel was an eventuality with the only concern being that the last name of Focker is a bit *ahem* risqué with regards to potential misspellings in press clippings. So, one letter has been switched out and voila! Green-light!
The premise for Meet the Parents has been duly noted as similar to Father of the Bride, with the only real difference being who the protagonist of the film is. This makes even more sense when we consider that Ben Stiller has the comic timing of a young Steve Martin (and arguably the acting skill of a young Spencer Tracy; I think he's that good) but the producers of Meet the Parents decided that they wouldn't follow the story path of Father's Little Dividend and give the younger couple a baby. Instead, the film is predicated upon one silly little thought from the first film about what sort of people would name a child Gay Fokker. In the sequel, we will...wait for it...meet the Fokkers, Gay's zany parents who are night-and-day different from Jack and Pam Byrnes AKA DeNiro and Blythe Danner.
For now, there is still no confirmed casting of the title roles in the film, but if Jay Roach does as expected and follows up Austin Powers in Goldmember with this sequel, these announcements should be on the horizon and the film should be ready for release in 2003. As long as Sports Night goddess Teri Polo is back though (and she is), who really cares? (David Mumpower/BOP)
August 27, 2003
Although this movie was originally supposed to be released some time in 2003, as of this writing, we still don't have casting information for the titular Fokker parents and we have yet to hear of an official production start date. It looks like 2004 is the earliest we can expect this one (which must be making Stiller nervous, what with the dubious looking prospectus for Duplex and Envy.) (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)
October 9, 2003 Variety reports that Jay Roach has committed to a 2004 production start date for Meet the Fokker/Focker/Fookers, after finally agreeing to stop dithering around with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie adaptation.
March 11, 2004
After announcing the additional of Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Focker (bet that's not the first time he's been referred to in those terms), the producers have announced that they are in final negotiations with Barbra Streisand for the role of Mother Focker. (It's the cheap joke that keeps on giving!)
This movie will mark the third time Hoffman and DeNiro have acted together (the first two being Wag the Dog and the star-studded Sleepers) and the *seventh* movie collaboration for Stiller and Wilson. (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)
Comparison films for Meet the Fockers
|Meet the Parents
|Men of Honor
|Father of the Bride 2
|City by the Sea
|Royal Tenenbaums, The
|Keeping the Faith
|Father of the Bride
|Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, The