ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY Little Fockers★★★ 9pm BBC3
Though this Christmas-set, toddler-laced threequel to Meet the Parents struggles to match it for comedy-of-embarrassment invention, it milks the principal cast with a certain brio. Ben Stiller’s hapless nurse still has overbearing ex-CIA dad Robert De Niro to impress – here because he’s being groomed to succeed him as head of the family. His smooth passage is blocked by a perceived affair between Stiller and Jessica Alba’s gorgeous erectile dysfunction drug rep. Divorce and mortality lend the farce some gravitas under the direction of American Pie’s Paul Weitz, but it’s largely fun and games based on misunderstanding, and it’s the veteran cast – Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman from the sequel, plus Harvey Keitel – who provide the comic high notes.
A premiere freeview showing for this glitzy period drama, with Twilight star Robert Pattinson attempting to leave his Sparklevamp reputation behind. The adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s book, set in Belle Epoque Paris, sees Pattinson as an ex-soldier who uses his not inconsiderable charms to bed a series of women (Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci) who will help him rise to the top of high society.
Before The Third Man, Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles worked together on this outstanding espionage tale. The two men co-wrote the script, and the film stars Cotten as an American naval officer in Turkey during the Second World War who falls foul of the Nazis.
Jason Statham’s up to his usual tricks here, playing a down-on-his-luck cage fighter who may have a chance at redemption when he saves the life of a young Chinese maths prodigy. Much bloody mayhem ensues, but Statham does hint at a more sensitive side – while still managing to kick some serious ass.
Do you see what they did there? Rick Moranis returns for this comedy sequel, but this time instead of shrinking his offspring, the scientist accidentally turns a two-year-old into a giant. It’s a 1950s B-movie as made over by Disney.