Welcome to Meeting the Parents Week: Day 3. We’ve come this far with the Meet the Parents trilogy, let’s go ahead and finish it with Little Fockers. I think this film mostly came as a surprise to everyone because the second film in the franchise wasn’t really rated very well as a whole, but since it made money, I’m sure that qualified enough for a third and final film – and it should also be noted that this third film is also the least memorable film in the series, even though I think the tone was slightly better than the second film. We’ll get into all of that in just a hot second, of course, but let’s first talk about the plot.
It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam, and countless hurdles for Greg to finally get in with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack. After the cash-strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack’s suspicions about his favorite male nurse come roaring back. When Greg and Pam’s entire clan–including Pam’s lovelorn ex, Kevin (Owen Wilson)–descends for the twins’ birthday party, Greg must prove to the skeptical Jack that he’s fully capable as the man of the house. But with all the misunderstandings, spying, and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack’s final test and become the family’s next patriarch, or will the circle of trust be broken for good? Written by Universal Pictures (IMDb)
Even though Greg’s parents are in this film, they are mostly sidelined as the focus once again comes back to Pam’s parents, where it belongs. That switch was able to turn things around and return to that awkward place instead of the uncomfortable place we found ourselves in during the second film. There’s a little bit of both here, but the awkwardness was much more welcome this time around. That being said, there was very little about Little Fockers that was ultimately of any importance. It exists for the characters alone and that’s about it. There is no meeting of anybody’s parents, there is no real goal that everyone is shooting for in this film, no one is really trying to impress the other… It is literally a big vat of nothing for no reason other than to shoot for laughs, which doesn’t always work out as well as it intends to. So while this film is a little better toned, as I wished for, it is left as the most forgettable film in the franchise with laughs that are ultimately touch-and-go.
Yet, we can only say these are my first impressions. Let’s go ahead and dig deeper to break Little Fockers down and interpret the starts to decipher what did and did not work for this film.
PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2
Alright, so as with the rest of this trilogy, it still has a good grasp on the humorous characters, who they are played by, and how well they perform together. That has always been strong in the series. So strong that the movies kept coming out, regardless of how good or bad the other categories become. The acting in this film didn’t really have the best range, as the first film clearly had, and their importance to the film really isn’t all that clear, either. While there is a remnant of what they are trying to do in this film, that goal is so unfocused on that it’s hard to call that their main importance.
WRITING SCORE – 3/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 0|Story – 0|Originality – 0|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, which results in a pretty massive dip in the score. The dialogue really isn’t memorable, and the jokes themselves only hit you half of the time, so that got half points. However, because there was never any true direction to what was going on, the balance was very loose and aimless, so I had to give that a zero. The story also has very little meaningful messages and we’ve seen this same idea done by these people a couple of times before, so there is no real story to see here. As for originality, like I said, we’ve seen it before and nothing new was really seen here. Was it interesting? Sigh, I suppose it was. It’s hard to say no to seeing these films for whatever reason, and I guess a big reason comes down to the fact that the movies are sometimes funny and that’s always an interesting factor that brings people in time and time again.
BTS SCORE – 6/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
So, even though the BTS category wasn’t rated as high as it could have been, that’s typically seen in comedies like this. Comedies don’t really have a huge focus on making things look pretty, so the visuals are just typical. Neither the directing or editing really had any challenges – so those didn’t really stand out past typical directing and editing, either. I still consider it an as-advertised film, and the music also joined the ranks of typical stuff. So, this score got what most comedies get, slightly higher than half.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 6/10
Introduction – 1|Inciting Incident – 0|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
Normally speaking, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to score high when it comes to the narrative structure, but this movie was a little different. The introduction itself was really quick and doesn’t really attempt to get us reacquainted with the characters and tell us where everyone is at in their lives, and that’s typical for any sequel. The inciting incident isn’t really super clear, either. I never once sensed a clear moment that occurs or a point in the film where there is no going back…which is insanely odd, but it is what it is. These films never had an issue with throwing in obstacles, so those are apparent, the climax is a good culmination of everything that occurred in the film, but the falling action doesn’t really take us to a point we haven’t been before. There is no return to the new norm. There just…isn’t. So, as weird as it is, the narrative arc category got a pretty low score.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 2/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 0
Like wise with the narrative arc being typically easy to impress, the entertainment category is the category that normally gets the lowest score, and that definitely happened here, as well. As far as rewatchability goes, I’ll probably always watch it as a series rewatch, but I will never watch it on its own just to watch it. Is it fun to watch? I think there are a few elements here and there that are fun to watch, but most of the movie doesn’t strike the right chords. I have no impulse to buy it, own it, or even talk about it. Finally, it really never sucks you in while you’re watching. Take that as you will.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 20/50
Meeting the Parents Week – 0|Sequel – 10|Comedy – 5|Romance – 0|Halfway Decent – 5
Now for the final five questions about Little Fockers that I wrote before seeing the film. This is meeting the parents week, so how does it fit in? Other than being the third film in a series that started out that way, no. There is nothing about this movie that has anything to do with meeting anybody’s parents. As a sequel, does it feel like it fits in, does everyone bounce back into character? Yes, I will give it that. As a comedy, how do the laughs hit? Not very well. Here and there, so that gets half points. As a romance film, how is the romance? I have to say, this is the film in the franchise where I really don’t sense much romantic chemistry between Greg and Pam or really, anyone else. Finally, was it halfway decent? I truthfully believe that the end result wasn’t entirely what the filmmakers were anticipating or ultimately wanted, so I’ll have to give half points for that.
TOTAL – 45/100