meetthefockerssequel_posterI accepted an invitation to attend a screening of the new comedy, Little Fockers, with extremely low expectations. Having neglected to see the previous two movies, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, due to an aversion to crude comedy (and to Ben Stiller in particular), I didn’t think it would amount to more than another episode of toilet jokes. And it doesn’t, only it is cumulatively smaller than I had expected. Wrapped (like Judd Apatow’s pictures) in Judeo-Christian traditionalism, with a sympathetic yet essentially racist father figure, played by Robert De Niro, the movie expresses male bonding for the sake of family. Men are strictly vessels to serve the family unit (women are less than that), and any lone, stray individual, such as Jessica Alba’s drug rep character, or Laura Dern’s schoolmarm, is either an oddity or an imbecile. In fact, Dern’s character is mocked for teaching students “to become themselves” though her exclusive school, where Stiller’s nurse Greg Focker and his housewife (Teri Polo) consider enrolling their twins, is a textbook example of progressive education. Playing to conformity with no big deal, Fockers unfolds with innocuous humor, occasional blood spurts and gutter jokes, as Focker’s father-in-law, Jack (De Niro), contemplates Prius driver Focker as heir to lead the tribe. Add Owen Wilson as a hippie businessman, with Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman in bit parts, and the puny Little Fockers serves the notion that family is everything with tiny, little snickers, winces, and penis jokes.