Meet the Fockers: an Analysis of Interpersonal Communication

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Meet the Fockers: an Analysis of Interpersonal Communication

By | March 2012
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Meet the Fockers is a movie about two families who meet to prepare for a wedding, but some funny and surprising things get in the way when secrets are revealed. Ben Stiller plays the groom, Greg Focker, and Teri Polo plays Pam Byrnes, the bride. The two of them decide to finally bring their families together to settle out wedding plans. As the their families get to know each other things do not go well. Greg knows that his family is not a typical family so he tries to impress Pam's family by downplaying the strange ways of his parents. This paper studies communication in the movie by looking closely at eight specific communication principles and applying them to eight scenes. 1. Elements of Interpersonal Communication - Feed Forward

1. Define feed forward
Feed forward happens when a communicator gives clues about what message is coming up. Feed forward is kind of like setting up the next message by warning someone what mood they should be in or how they will feel about the statement. 2. Apply the concept to the scene

In this scene from Meet the Fockers, Jack, who will be Greg's father-in-law, introduces Greg to Jorge, who is probably Greg's son. Greg doesn't know he might have a son. In this scene, Jack uses feed forward when he says, "He's never met his father." This hints at what is to come. Jack acts casual, but he has his own motives. When Jack mentions that Jorge is 15 years old, it seems like Greg does the math to figure out how long ago he was in a relationship with Jorge's mother. Jack also says that Jorge never knew his father. Greg says, 'That's a shame,' but it appears as if Greg is wondering if he is Jorge's father. 3. Evaluate the communication strategies in the scene

The communication in the scene is awkward because Greg doesn't know whether Jorge is his son or not. Jack believes Jorge is Greg's son, but he doesn't come right out and say it directly. Instead, he uses feed forward hints to build up a mood and make Greg uncomfortable. The feed...

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