The first question you have when faced with the reality of a second “Meet the Parents” sequel, called “Little Fockers,” is “Why?” But the second question is “Why now?” It’s due in theaters this December, six years after “Meet the Fockers” and 10 years after “Meet the Parents.”
Look, you know I don’t like to be critical, but even the most expensive, special-effects-laden superhero movies manage to come out no more than three years apart. What’s so difficult about a Fockers movie that it takes the better part of a decade to produce? Lots of extra time spent crafting the baby-says-cuss-words jokes? Weeks of deliberation on how swollen Ben Stiller‘s eye should get after a giraffe kicks him in the face? Is Robert De Niro stonewalling on the contract negotiations, waiting for the deal to get a little sweeter before he chooses this over starring with Billy Crystal in “Analyze the Other Thing”?
Whatever the reasons, “Little Fockers” is coming this Christmas, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Having given the matter considerable thought, I present this list of…
Circumstances Under Which I Would Willingly Watch ‘Little Fockers’
– If it contains a scene where Ben Stiller actually milks a cat.
– If, instead of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, Stiller’s parents are played by Sam the Eagle and Janice from the Muppets.
– Remember when Robert De Niro used to plays mobsters and tough guys, and then he started doing winking self-parodies of that image? And remember how now it seems like that’s ALL he does? In “Little Fockers,” I want to see the old De Niro, the one who isn’t a jokey comedy version of a terrifying psychopath but an ACTUAL terrifying psychopath. I want him to physically attack Stiller’s character and cause permanent damage. I want his family to live in constant fear that he will snap and harm them. I want him to have a gun in his waistband and shave his head like Travis Bickle. I want him to bite off part of someone’s face, like in “Cape Fear.” I want people to exit the theater severely traumatized.
– If the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” technology is perfected and I am able to forget most of the slapstick comedies I’ve see in the last decade, rendering me more easily amused at the sight of Ben Stiller’s groin being kicked.
– If someone in the movie — just one person — will actually mispronounce “Focker” the way we’ve been expecting them to, just to quit being coy about it. Ha ha, we get it, “Focker” sounds like “f*****.” This is the third movie you’ve made based on that joke. JUST SAY THE F****** WORD ALREADY.
– If the screenplay is written by the guys who wrote “In the Loop.” This would ensure the previous requirement was met, too.
– If a tornado is heading for my city, and I happen to be outside when authorities urge everyone to seek shelter immediately, and the nearest safe structure is a movie theater, and “Little Fockers” starts in five minutes, and I’ve seen everything else that’s playing, and my iPhone battery is dying so I can’t just sit in the lobby and play Tap Tap Revenge.
– “Tropic Thunder” was Stiller’s street-cred comeback vehicle, a reminder that he can be very, very funny. “Little Fockers” seems like a step backwards — unless Robert Downey Jr. appears in blackface. I demand this.
– If my friends tell me we’re going to see a newly restored 35mm print of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” the heartbreakingly romantic, beautifully photographed jazz musical from 1964, but then it turns out my friends were tricking me and we’re really watching “Little Fockers,” and by the time I realize what’s going on I’ve already bought the movie theater nachos, the ones that cost like seven dollars, and eh, we might as well stay.
– If someone pays me to review it. Which someone probably will. So the whole thing is moot. Never mind.