I heard Ben Stiller talk about this sequel years ago when he guest starred on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, but I never knew he was serious 5 years after the original.
Meet the Fockers (buy it with Meet the Parents in the Circle of Trust Collection) is the sequel to the rip-roaringly hilarious Meet the Parents. Male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller), after receiving ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes’ (De Niro) and his wife’s blessing to marry their daughter, is very anxious about them travelling to travel to Detroit to meet his parents, especially since he has allowed his own folks to believe that his non-Jewish fiance comes from a Jewish family.
This time around it’s Mr. and Mrs. Focker (Hoffman and Streisand), who are as different from them as can be.
Since his fiance, her parents and all the friends Greg encountered in the first movie were almost exclusively “WASP-ish,” it’s not surprising that the Fockers are being cast by two of Hollywood’s most famously Jewish stars. We have Dustin Hoffman as Bernie Focker, a retired legal-aid lawyer, and Barbara Streisand as Roz Focker, a sex therapist for seniors.
These characters introduce a whole new subplot for this sequel which you might not want to know about ahead of time, but is actually, really, really funny.
With such a stellar cast, you know that this film will be a holiday smash hit… and that while all concerned are state-of-the-art funny, it’s the chemistry between Streisand and DeNiro that electrifies the screen.
Their scenes together are hysterically funny – with Streisand matching DeNiro’s authority line for line. Dustin Hoffman told Entertainment Weekly, “I heard that Barbra was almost persuaded not to do it by her friends because she wasn’t the star.”
Thank goodness she changed her mind, because even though I’m not her number one fan, watching the two of them work together is a real lesson in brilliant comedic acting. I predict DeNiro and Streisand will be looking for a script to film ASAP as this kind of on-screen compatibility is a rare thing indeed.
Even though Ben Stiller’s character in the first movie was credited with the last name of “Focker”, Variety published that the original title Meet the Fockers was changed to Meet the Fokkers. It sounds to me like Universal (or someone) was concerned that they couldn’t actually release a film that was just *one* letter away from the “F” word. Two letters, though, must’ve been be okay, but they decided to revert the title back to Meet the Fockers to match the family name from the first movie.