Last night I watched Meet the Fockers on cable.

I tend to divide movies into certain categories:

Movies worth going to the theater to see (not very many).

Movies worth renting or watching on pay per view (mostly the ones I didn't get around to seeing in the theater for one reason or another).

Movies worth putting a Post-it note on the TV or setting the little reminder thingie on the on-screen cable guide.

Movies worth watching if you're in the living room, the TV's on, you don't have anything else to do, and there's nothing else on that's of interest.

Meet the Fockers is none of the above.

Ben Stiller is 10 years past being able to make his "I'm a schmuck and I'm indistinguishable from David Schwimmer" role funny anymore. He's just painfully stupid on screen.

Robert De Niro ISN'T FUNNY at all, never has been, not even in the first "Mafia Don Goes to the Psychiatrist Just Like Tony Soprano Did, But Funny." (Jeezus, you can even hear the bullshit artist in the producer's office coming up with that one. Doesn't matter -- He's NOT funny.)

Barbra Streisand is a persona best forgotten, but when seen, is a reminder -- as is Rob Reiner -- that Liberals have reason to be as embarrassed by those painful assholes as Conservatives are by Bush.

(ROB REINER WANTS TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR! AGAINST ARNOLD! GOD HAVE MERCY! There are 37 million people in the state of California, and I know political aspirations generally belong to self-serving schmucks, but REALLY! This would not be the lesser of two evils -- this would be the lesser of two inadequates. We can't do better?)

And Dustin Hoffman! Didn't he save any of his money? (Altho, he CAN be funny, as when he played with someone who actually knows how to be funny -- LilyTomlin -- in I Heart Huckabees.

Aside from Blythe Danner and Teri Polo who actually seemed to represent living and breathing, -- if subdued -- humans, the BIG FOUR mentioned above all played Meta-Lucy's (as in I Love Lucy) mining laughs from being self-aggrandizing, obnoxious people who are too stupid to dig themselves and too insensitive to give a flying fuck about anyone else's sensibilities, making us laugh when they get kicked in the ass or hit in the face with a rubber chicken.

Which would be ok if they managed to make it funny.

But here's the nub: Dustin Hoffman -- not funny this time around.

Ben Stiller, Barbra Streisand, Robert DeNiro:





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