Interpersonal Film- Meet the Fockers

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I chose Meet the Fockers for my paper dealing with Interpersonal Communication. Each character in this movie has their own distinct style of communication which ranges from complete openness to as secretive as you can get and even nonverbal that lead a great two hours of communication disaster but is still very relatable to. Although I chose a comedy I felt that this was a great story and displayed everything we have been studying. This film displays many different styles of communication between the characters and how they choose to interact with each other ultimately impacts their relationships. The story is second in the comedic series of Greg Focker and his soon to be wife Pam Byrnes. Greg is from a Jewish family where his father had chosen to give up a successful law career to be a stay at home dad, and his mother is a sex therapist for the elderly who is very open and comfortable with discussing the topic of sex with everyone. Pam comes from a Catholic and much more tradition family with a stay at home mother and a father who has recently retired from the CIA, but with a cover story of being a florist. Jack Byrnes is the perfect example of an uptight, hard to impress, “my way or the highway” upper middle-class man. Pam’s father Jack has already run Greg through the ringer trying to impress him and now it’s time for the family’s to meet before the wedding. Greg want his parents Roz and Bernie to basically tone down their eccentric ways to satisfy Jack’s very uptight standards which they go along with for a while but eventually find much too difficult and just don’t understand the point of having to do so. The story becomes more complicated when Jack’s secretive CIA ways of non-communication and cover-ups are added in because he believes Greg has a 15 year old son with the family maid that he is trying to hide. Also Pam has told Greg she is pregnant and doesn’t want her father to find out about. The story has a variety of interpersonal relationships between Greg, Pam, Jack and his wife Dina, LJ “little Jack” their grandson by another daughter, and Roz and Bernie. By the end everyone’s truth come out and all the deception, cover-ups and lying are revealed. When communication is opened up and truth is finally told the characters not only understand each other better but they improve their relationships.

Meet the Fockers is a wonderful example of how difficult is to communicate with honesty of who you really are as a person and what your morals and beliefs are. In our society today we seem to be more focused on giving others an impression of who we think they want us to be and not on whom we want ourselves to be. This movie is a great definition of this in that the main character spends all his time and focus on trying to keep his future father-in-law happy at the expense of letting himself and his family be who thy truly are. It also speaks to the lack of open and honest lines of communication between family members. The main character, Greg Focker, has a career as a male nurse and loves his job but felt that it was not good enough to win the approval of his girlfriend Pam’s father. In the first film he told many lies and omitted information about his family to Jack that will come back to haunt him, such as the fact that his father’s law career has been over since he was a child and he was the one at home taking care of his son and the ever famous milking of his nonexistent sisters cats nipples. Very ironically Jack has what he calls a “circle of trust” with his family, which now includes Greg, but neither of the men seems to follow their own rule of abiding to this. When Greg’s parents Roz and Bernie Focker tell the story of how Greg lost his virginity at age fifteen to their housekeeper Isabel Villalobos, who has a son about the age that might make him Greg’s and looks almost identical to him, Jack goes on a secret mission to find out the truth. He believes Jorge is his son and Greg has been lying to Pam and the...
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