Meeting one’s potential or future in-laws can be a harrowing experience. You want to be yourself, but you also want to prove that you are the right person for their child.
The 2004 film, Meet the Fockers is the sequel to Meet the Parents (2000). Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) are engaged. Now that they have cleared the hurdle of her parents, Jack (Robert De Niro) and Dina (Blythe Danner), the next step is his parents. Compared to the straight laced, middle of the road Byrnes, Bernie and Rozalin Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand) are very out there. Can these two very different set of parents find a middle ground and ensure that their children become Mr. and Mrs.?
Like it’s predecessor, this film is a satire. The comedy comes from the fact that the Fockers are a complete 180 from the Byrnes. My problem is that while it is funny, it relies a little too heavily on Jewish stereotypes when it comes to Hoffman’s and Streisand’s characters. While the cast is top notch, the script does not match the on-screen talent.
Earlier today, I saw Tootsie (1982). Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is an actor whose difficult reputation precedes him. Unable to get a job, he becomes Dorothy Michaels and gets a job on a soap opera. Garr plays Sandy, one of Michael’s actor friends whose neurosis is exacerbated by her inability to find work and Michael’s inconsistency during this period.
I’m not an actor, but I can imagine that many actors, especially those whose work history is sketchy, can relate to Sandy’s neurosis. She is the flip side to Jessica Lange’s Julie, Michael/Dorothy’s co-star and love interest. Ms. Garr could have gone completely out there, playing a stereotype. But there is a reality to her character. Sandy’s neurosis (which considering her choice of career is understandable) is firmly rooted in her lack of lack of self-esteem, which when done properly, can be incredibly funny. The character of Sandy is funny, as is the actress who plays her, Teri Garr.
Nearly 25 years ago, a little movie hit theaters. The movie was Hook and it’s star is the late and very missed Robin Williams.
Taking place a generation after the original Peter Pan story, the movie starts off with a very grownup Peter Pan, known as Peter Banning (Robin William). The mischievous, trouble making, charming boy has been replaced with an adult who spends more time at the office than he does with his family. When his kids are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), Peter must return to Neverland and save his children. The problem is that Peter is more in tuned with the pirates than the lost boys.
That being said, here are the reasons why I love this film:
1. It is one of my favorite childhood films.
2. Robin Williams was born to play this role.
3. What kid does not want Peter Pan as a father?
4. What kid at the time did not want Rufio’s hair or his skateboard?
5. It taught adults that it was ok to let out your inner kid every once in a while.
6. I was introduced me to Maggie Smith, who would later play one of my favorite television characters, the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey.
7. It’s just a fun film.
8. The screenplay is completely quotable.
9. This film makes me feel old.
Here’s to Hook’s 25th anniversary, thanks for the memories.
Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) has recently graduated college. He has started sleeping with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), the wife of his father’s business partner. The affair is short, but it comes back to bite Benjamin in the behind when he falls in love with Elaine (Katharine Ross), Mrs. Robinson’s daughter.
Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) and George (Richard Burton) are a middle aged married couple who seem to never stop arguing. Their arguments are fueled by alcohol and the fact that Martha’s father is the president of the university where George works as a history professor. They invite Nick (George Segal), a young, ambitious biology professor and his mousy wife, Honey (Sandy Dennis) out for a night cap after a faculty event. That’s when sh*t gets real and the underlying issues between Martha and George come to light.
While both of these movies are very different, they are both very good and worth another viewing.
It is said that until you walk a mile in another’s shoes, you can never truly understand them. To slightly alter that statement, one might be able to say that until a man walks a mile in a woman’s high heels, he can never truly understand her. This brings me to the topic of this Throwback Thursday post.
Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are musicians who unexpectedly become witnesses to the St. Valentines Day Massacre. The only way to hide is to join an all girl band heading to Florida. Reinventing themselves as Josephine and Daphne, they meet Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), the ukulele player in the band. Things become even more complicated when Joe reinvents himself again as a millionaire to woo Sugar and Jerry finds himself being wooed by an older man who doesn’t know that she is really a he. At the same time, the gangster who is pursuing Joe and Jerry is vacationing at the same hotel with his cronies.
In it’s own time, this movie was considered racy and controversial. Now we know that it is a comedy classic.
Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is trying to make it as a working actor in New York. But his difficult reputation precedes him. Resorting to creative measures, Michael transforms himself into Dorothy Michaels, a soap opera actress. His goal is to earn a living and be able to fund his friend’s play. What he doesn’t know that his dual identities will become problematic when he falls for his co-star Julie (Jessica Lange) and has to find ways to hide his new identity from his friends. More than twenty years after Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon put on makeup and high heels, Dustin Hoffman takes the men in drag to a new level. What is surprising to the audience and Michael, is that he becomes an accidental feminist. Michael, as Dorothy, refuses to cowtow to her male bosses and her character’s male colleagues.
This movie is almost 32 years old. It is as fresh and funny as it was when it premiered in December of 1982.
Peter Pan is now Peter Banning (Robin Williams), married to Wendy’s (Dame Maggie Smith) granddaughter, Moira (Caroline Goodall). When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps Peter’s kids, Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) has to find Peter and bring back the boy she knew. But the Peter she finds is not the Peter she remembers. He has more in common with his arch enemy than the boy she knew.
I love this movie, it’s such an integral part of my childhood. What I still love about this movie more than twenty years later is that it’s about being an adult, but still remembering the child you were.