Old Hollywood actors never die. They're simply recycled.
Yesterday I watched the Fockers. I was looking forward to this movie. It had some great actors. Ben Stiller, who was brilliant in There's Something Special About Mary, Barbara Streisand, Robert DeNiro, and the immortal Dustin Hoffman. The movie had perennially funny scenario--the clash between a right wing stiff and some elderly hippies. There was, in other words, plenty of grist for the comical mill; yet somehow, the whole thing just didn't fly. Making a good comedy is like telling a good joke: No matter how good the material is, the humor relies on subtle pauses and patient build up of tension; in terms of acting, it requires creative delivery (think of "George" on Seinfeld) and intriguing facial expression. The Fockers forgoes all of this and instead bases the entire movie on a humorous title.
Not that the title isn't funny. The most I laughed was actually before the movie at the ticket office, trying to say "Fockers" with a straight face and then keep a straight face as the ticket agent repeated "two for the Fockers." From that point on, everything went downhill. The sexually liberated hippy couple who spend much of the movie attempting to free the repressed right-wing CIA bloke from his Freudian sexual repression began to grate on my nerves after a while. Whip cream on Barbara's boobs might have been funny in the 60s but we're all grown up now (especially those who aren't yet grown up) and whip cream and sex therapy sessions on yoga pillows fail to have the proper shock value.
The movie might be worth watching on video if you keep low expectations going in. Who knows? After a few drinks, or tokes, or some laughing gas, there might be something comical that I missed.