Domestic disaster looms for male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) when his straight-laced, ex-CIA father-in-law (Robert De Niro) asks to meet his wildly unconventional mom and dad (Barbara Streisand, Dustin Hoffman).

3.5
A well-observed mainstream comedy.

Nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is still engaged to Pam (Teri Polo). He's still mortified about 'Gaylord' being his real name, still copping flack for being a 'male nurse', and, living in mortal fear of his father-in-law-to-be Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), the uptight ex-CIA agent. An uneasy truce has been called between them however, with Greg grudgingly being admitted to Jack's family 'Circle of Trust'. The problem is that in the upcoming weekend it could all go belly up when both sets of in-laws meet for the first time. What we witness is tantamount to a celebrity death match between conservative and liberal America.

Meet The Fockers
closely follows the original formula laid out in Meet The Parents. There is a 'calm' before the storm of jokes to come, an awkwardness early on while the characters and plot are being set up. But once Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand come into the picture as Greg's hippy parents Bernie (the 'home husband') and Roz (the 'sex therapist'), sparks really begin to fly. The face off between the Byrnes's and the unfortunately-named Fockers is priceless, especially when De Niro and Hoffman go at it in their third time working together on screen after Sleepers (1996) and Wag The Dog (1997). And in their very first time on screen together De Niro and Streisand are also priceless. Streisand makes a meal of her screen time, showing just why she is one of the best comedy actresses in the business, even after an eight year hiatus since the dismal The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). And Dustin Hoffman is surely the 'renaissance man' of the moment, absolutely tearing up the screen in Meet The Fockers. He has so much fun with the role – as he also did in I Heart Huckabees – it is just as much fun watching him. There were some dark 'walk through' moments for Hoffman in the '90s – the lowest point probably being Outbreak (1995) – so it is great seeing him do what it is he does best: act up a storm.

As Jay Roach (Austin Powers) keeps proving time and time again, he is a fine commercial comedy director, and in this sequel he milks the 'tension and embarrassment' comedy that struck such a chord with audiences first time around.

Meet The Fockers turns out to be a 'focking' funny, well-observed mainstream comedy, and a great film for the summer holidays.