Rental Corner: “Fockers” fail while “Dilemma” laughs
I would like to say that I never saw “Meet the Parents.” I am aware of the premise and creative idea it has of the horrors in meeting future in-laws. Instead, I caught “Meet the Fockers,” which wasn’t too bad and did have an assortment of laughs. While not terrible, at least it was light hearted compared to the dismal entry “Little Fockers.” To viewers, its another sequel, but to the cast and crew, its just an excuse to earn a paycheck.
From the title, you think it would focus on the kids Greg (Ben Stiller) and his wife had. That would have been a great concept seeing the son following in the dad’s shoes or having tables turn with Greg in the role of the “protective father” as in “Meet the Parents.” Instead, the script focuses on themes of divorce and death that make this movie more of a dark comedy and less of the light-hearted feel the previous ones had. In fact, everything about this movie is dark from the cinematography to the tastless and poorly written gags like Greg slicing the tip of his finger off on a turkey dinner and have Rober DiNero covered with a streak of blood. You heard me right! That was written, because they thought a painful action like that would be hilarious. Personally, it makes the booby traps in Home Alone 2 look painless.
But what’s more, turns out Greg has a hot assistant at the hosptial as they copy “The Last Temptation of Homer” episode with some “Focker” changes. Even having Owen Willson as an ex-fiance doesn’t help the picture as his antics of being Yoda-ish are awkward and annoying to the point of wishing his role to be a cameo. I almost didn’t finish this movie and was going to stop it at an hour in because of one gag that pushed it too far. All I can say is that once I find out who wrote the idea of having Rober DiNero taking an erictile dysfunction drug and having Ben Stiller inject a decreasing stimulant into his “Captain Winky” and having it be witnessed on accident by his younger son ought to go back to Comedy 101 and know the rights and wrongs in creating such filth. Not even a fist fight between these two at the climax can save this dismal and snail-paced picture. The jokes are not worth a laugh, the pacing feels slow and rushed, evey frame that goes by feels like an embarrassing baby picture being uploaded to Facebook, and above all is about as unclean as Rob Riener’s “North.”
The only good highlight of the evening was Ron Howard’s “The Dilemma,” where Vince Vaughn and Kevin James play Ronny and Nick, two friends in auto design and try to keep their love lives in order. However, things get rocky when Ronny spies Nick’s girl (Winona Ryder) cheating and plans to tell his friend the news if Nick wasn’t doing the same thing.
At first, the pacing feels somewhat slow as characters are established and the plot is set, but midway it manages to pick up a bit and prove to be entertaining. While not the best of Ron Howard’s work, it manages to have some solid moments and knows when to be funny and when to be serious. The jokes are not in your face and build around the subject matter as opposed to mocking it to the bone.
In many ways, “Dilemma” can be seen as a comical version of “Rear Window” in the second half as Ronny digs too deep into Nick’s relationship and finds out quite a lot. The movie as a whole is a safe watch and while slow at times knows how to be funny and how to be serious as we are treated to an “intervention” with the characters that sets off a really clever twist. Above all, “The Dilemma” is one rental you won’t regret.