New Year 2011
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson, Jessica Alba, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand and Laura Dern.
Running Time: 98 mins. Approx.
Seen At: Parrs Wood Cinemas, Didsbury.
On: Wednesday, 5th January, 2011.
The original Meet the Parents was a worldwide smash-hit, with the inspired pairing of comedic favourite Ben Stiller and Hollywood great Robert De Niro, both proving to audiences just how funny they both are.
An even more impressive sequel followed in 2004, introducing us to Greg’s (Stiller’s) full-on parents played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand.
Now, a trilogy is created. It’s smartly released over the festive season not only to increase its box-office success but more importantly because it presents an endless capacity for various yuletide-related humour, most memorably a messily disastrous carving of the turkey at the annual family thanksgiving.
There’s a flurry of new characters such as Jessica Alba’s conniving gold-digger colleague, and a brilliant turn from Jurassic Park’s Laura Dern as a spritely schoolteacher. It’s lovely to see Dern back on the big screen – she’s and actress I feel we don’t see enough of – here’s hoping the spinning rumour-mill regarding the alleged fourth instalment of the blockbusting dinosaur franchise is true.
One observation of this film though, is that considering its title refers specifically to the children of that nearly profanity-sir-named family – for all its visual jokes and comic misunderstanding, not very many of either seem to feature the youngsters themselves.
The focus remains instead on the continued retorted sparring between the affably unlucky Stiller and the grimacing disapproval of De Niro’s Jack – either caught up in a word of words or an unfortunate bathroom incident. Alas, once again toilet-humour never fails to make an appearance, even if a substantial amount of that involves one of the best running gags of the series – Mr. Jinx the Persian cat!
Performance wise, Hoffman and Streisand’s relationship is still among one of the highlights, they bounce of each other wonderfully – it’s just unfortunate that Hoffman in particular is rather underused.
To conclude, while not quite equalling the hilarity that ensued in the second film, this does actually surpass the original.