Meet the Fockers

  • Review Date: April 15, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Lots of sexual humor in forced family farce.
  • Review Date: April 15, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite vast cultural differences between people, understanding and respect for differences can lead to satisfying, close friendships. Though taken to extremes in this film, love, warmth, and openness lead to stable, long-lasting relationships.

Positive role models

On the plus side: good parenting is a primary goal of each of the film’s main characters. Some gender roles are turned upside down: a leading male character is a nurse; a bright, vibrant lawyer finds his true calling as a parent and househusband who is supported by his psychologist wife. On the negative side, there’s lots of stereotyping that is meant to be over-the-top and funny: Jewish people, a Latina housekeeper (beloved, but played as a broad caricature), uptight "WASP" behavior, law enforcement seen as either harsh and rigid or inept and buffoon-like.

Violence

There are a number of minor pratfalls and accidents, all intended to be funny. Some examples: a dog is flushed down the toilet (and saved within moments); a backyard football game leads to a back injury (the character recovers quickly); a member of the Focker clan is injected with sodium pentathol; a character is attacked with a stun gun and has a brief “funny” seizure. In the background of one scene, a clip of a violent moment in the film Scarface appears on a television screen.

Sex

There is no overt sexual activity, but much of the film’s humor is based on sex. Beginning with frequent wordplay on the "Focker" name, this film is filled with sexual innuendo, sexual references, humor at the expense of the characters’ sexuality, as well as discussion of sexual acts, and bodily functions. The senior Dr. Focker is a sex therapist and is introduced conducting a "sensuality class" for elderly couples. In the film’s first scene, a male nurse starts to deliver a baby. A plastic breast is worn on numerous occasions by male characters to encourage a toddler to drink his mother’s milk. An oversexed dog simulates sex with a cat, a doll, and anything else he can find.

Language

Non-stop risqué language, always for laughs. There are breast-feeding jokes, "boob" jokes, poop jokes, fart jokes, and jokes and conversations about vasectomies, virginity, masturbation, circumcisions, and more. Language includes multiple uses of "s--t" in various forms, plus "ass," "crap," "hell," etc. A baby repeatedly says "asshole" (his first word). Some typical lines are: "Is your vagina happy?" "I gave her a matinee today," and "Does she climax regularly?"

Consumerism

A few minor product placements: visuals of Sesame Street’s Elmo, a mention of Underwood Ham, and a Starbuck’s coffee sign in the background of one scene.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Champagne, wine, and other alcoholic beverages are consumed during dinner and at some social events. A former CIA agent administers sodium pentathol (truth serum) to an unsuspecting victim.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that in the pursuit of laughs, Meet the Fockers stretches the PG-13 rating in terms of subject matter and language. There are frequent, vivid discussions about and references to: sexual repression, sensuality, breast-feeding, circumcision, vasectomies, masturbation, and the sex act itself. However, other than some gentle kissing and embracing, the only actual sexual behavior on camera is a dog that simulates sex with anything that moves and even some things that don’t. Language is coarse throughout, with mild swearing ("s--t," , "asshole," "crap," "bastard"), toilet humor (literally and figuratively), and constant talk of body parts and bodily functions (breasts, farts, poop, breast-feeding, virginity, climax, and more). The family name -- Focker -- is the source of an unending volley of puns and innuendo. In addition, the comedy tries hard to be both politically incorrect and to exaggerate all manner of stereotypes (ethnic, occupational, gender-based); it succeeds in these efforts.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After winning the approval of his fiancee Pam (Teri Polo)'s parents in Meet the Parents, Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) invites the straightlaced Byrnes family to meet his own eccentric family in MEET THE FOCKERS. Everyone -- including super-programmed grandchild Jack-Jack -- hops into Jack (Robert DeNiro)'s super-fitted RV and head to Florida, where they meet Greg's parents (Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman) -- the kind of people for whom the term "boundary issues" was created.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This movie reprises many jokes from the first movie as well of some of its own. There is a slight but viable joke in the very beginning of the movie, when Greg has to leave a voicemail for his parents and ends up waiting through their incompetent answering machine recording, not realizing that they had not turned it off so including some very personal material. But within the next 15 minutes, the joke is repeated two more times. That still leaves time for plenty of attention to Greg's mother Roz, a sex therapist. But most of all, this is about how Greg, instead of being embarrassed about his fears of his own inadequacy, he is embarrassed about the external representation of those fears -- his parents.

Everyone tries hard. They all but climb down out of the screen. Hoffman kisses everyone, sits on the toilet while DeNiro is in the shower, moonwalks, and spreads whipped cream over Streisand's breasts. DeNiro wears a prosthetic breast called a "man-ary gland." It doesn't have whipped cream, but it does have breast milk pumped through it so his grandchild will feel that his mother is nursing him. Blythe Danner asks Streisand for sex tips. And Stiller has to stand before a trophy wall that displays his 9th place ribbons, his bar mitzvah tallit, and his high school jock strap. It sounded like the audience laughed at these items more because they wanted to find it funny than because they actually did.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stereotyping. What kinds of stereotypes did you recognize in the movie? Were they funny, and if so, why? Where do stereotypes come from? What are the positives and negatives of stereotypes?

  • Talk about how sex is used in the movie. There's no explicit sex, but plenty of sexual talk. How did you react to it? Why do you think the filmmakers decided to use sexual humor so heavily?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 22, 2004
DVD release date:April 19, 2005
Cast:Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro
Director:Jay Roach
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual humor, language and a brief drug reference

This review of Meet the Fockers was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous November 9, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

17+ Only. Rated R/ TV-MA- Mature Audience.

This Film should have been Rated R. Not a PG-13. A lot a Sex Talk in this film. I say not for anyone Under 17. Iffy 17.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byTnMovieFan2 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Meet the Fockers

Good but too many sexual jokes, not for kids under 13.
Teen, 15 years old Written by5aret April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written bymike600 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

fun 4 hole family

this movie was great fot the hole family, some languege and violence but it was overcome with a good morall.

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