First trailer for 'Little Fockers' debuts

Posted Monday, June 28, 2010 at 12:48 AM Central
Last updated Monday, June 28, 2010 at 12:50 AM Central

by Tim Briscoe

The Focker family returns this Christmas. Universal Studios recently dropped the new trailer for Little Fockers, the latest in the comedy franchise.

The first film, 2000's Meet the Parents, remains one of the bigger comedies of the past decade. It began with the story of male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his fiancee Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo) as they travel to meet her parents. Robert De Niro was her overprotective, ex-CIA father Jack Byrnes. Blythe Danner played mom Dina.

The sequel Meet the Fockers (2004) introduced Greg's parents, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Steisand. The follow-up didn't pack as much punch (IMO) but surpassed the original at the box office with $279 million compared to the first film's $166 million.

In this upcoming film, Greg and Pam are now parents themselves. They have a little boy and girl. The adoring grandparents make a holiday visit. Cue trailer...

Maybe it's just me but the trailer relies too much on gimmicks from the first film -- awkward dinner, "I'm watching you" fingers, the whole presence of Owen Wilson as the ex-boyfriend. The addition of Harvey Keitel (love the KISS t-shirt) and Jessica Alba to the cast is definitely intriguing.

The other big change is Paul Weitz as director. The auteur responsible for About a Boy, In Good Company, American Pie, and Cirque du Freak takes the helm from Jay Roach.

I think Weitz can breathe some fresh life into this one but the introduction of kids troubles me. The "new kid in town" cliche is a common method for jumping the shark. Can this film overcome the same disaster that has plagued many a TV series?

Are you looking forward to this movie? We'd like to know your thoughts. Let us know.

Little Fockers arrives in theaters on Dec. 22.