Eyes Only: A Message For Robert De Niro. Please Read.

Dear Robert,

I just ran out of the screening of your new holiday movie, Little Fockers.  I take partial blame here. I volunteered to do the review, knowing none of its agonized background. Your ads on all of the DART buses look pretty great, and I thought your first Fockers movie, Meet the Parents, was silly, implausible, and annoying, but fun. With a cast including you, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Alba, Harvey Keitel, Laura Dern, and Luke Wilson, I figured Little Fockers would be, at the very least, a nice diversion. What the heck.

Heck is exactly what Little Fockers turned out to be, Robert. Pure. Heck.

So I have a question: was this about money? Because that’s the only explanation I can come up with. A 10-second Google search revealed that the movie was a disaster in production and, for a long time, it looked like it wouldn’t get made. You strike me as a serious man, Robert. Your commitment to Tribeca is heroic; you’ve starred in some of my all-time favorite dramas; you directed The Good Shepherd, for Pete’s sake. So to see you wrestling with Ben Stiller amongst a jillion plastic balls in a bouncy castle was appalling. To sit in the movie theater, enduring the script as it ran through its list of requisite puke, vagina, anal finger test, erectile dysfunction, and condom jokes was just plain awful. You even let the writers slip a whoppie cushion into the last two minutes of the movie: “C’mon guys, there’s still time for a fart!” I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so desperate.

You have a marvelous clown face, and I get that you love to perform comedy. But Little Fockers isn’t funny. The free-ticket crowd who came to the screening wanted to laugh more than anything in the world. Instead, they finished their popcorn.

Please, for all of our sakes, stop fockering around.

Thank you. And Merry Christmas.

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