Parental Guidance

Film

Comedy

Parental Guidance.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>1</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Thu Dec 20 2012

‘Use your words’, a mantra popular in modern Montessori-style parenting, is repeated several times in the course of this aggressively processed family comedy. The scriptwriters, however, don’t appear to have taken it to heart. Seemingly found languishing in a studio vault from around 1988 – with then-bankable stars Bette Midler and Billy Crystal having aged, Dorian Gray-style, in celluloid – it at least offers some sort of narrative alibi for its litany of dated, blearily delivered punchlines.

Midler and Crystal play out-of-touch retirees looking to bond with their estranged grandchildren when their neurotic Type-A daughter (the wonderful Marisa Tomei, desperately seeking to add more to the role than hair and a handbag) and son-in-law call on them to babysit for a week. The three kids, who range from precocious to positively psychotic, are wary of the intruding oldsters – as well they might be, given that the eerily preserved Granny Bette and Grandpa Billy can scarcely move one facial muscle between them. The latest in a long run of 2012 films to confront the indignities of ageing, this one is arguably, if not intentionally, the most harrowing.

Needless to say, it all comes drippily right in the end as the dynamic duo gradually teach the children the joys of granola-free living, via the usual assortment of pained pratfalls, potty humour and, in one particularly toe-curling musical number, 1950s doo-wop music. Watching this pair of formerly spry comic forces shuffle around the kitchen yowling ‘Book of Love’ at each other, you may well need to use your words… if you can even find them.
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Release details

UK release:

2012

Duration:

104 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Andy Fickman

Cast:

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
1 person listening
Helen

Really enjoyed this film, I am not over 60 and don't have grandchildren and still found it very entertaining. Worth a watch for feel good fun.

Steve

Watched it on a aeroplane, very enjoyable even though corny at times.

Steve

Watched it on a aeroplane, very enjoyable even though corny at times.

scrumpyjack

Ian, nicly put......was actually heading for a fuzzy wuzzy 3* but dreadfully annoying youngest kid costs it that. Billy & Babs as pro as ever, other boy and his sister good as well....and Tomei just gets hotter and hotter with age! 5/10

siama

I have just come back from watching this film with agroup of girlfriends we laughed loudly all the way through. I read the first review and was worried we had picked the wrong film! Not at all very funny, if you have granchildren you will get it if not go anyway we all loved it.

siama

I have just come back from watching this film with agroup of girlfriends we laughed loudly all the way through. I read the first review and was worried we had picked the wrong film! Not at all very funny, if you have granchildren you will get it if not go anyway we all loved it.

Ian

I think the reviewer needs to get out a bit more. Sure this isn't a great film, it isn't even good but it is better than the review makes out. Ok the plotline is cliched and there are a number of big mistakes such as Billy's woeful attempt to get down with the kids at the X games. In places the film does really annoy and the importance of baseball to a family will go over the heads of many here in the UK but the real story is about the separation of generations and particularly those in their 60's and 70's and their 30 to 40 year old kids. I am not the films target audience but there were more than enough of them to perhaps give the film a reasonable opening week and certainly more than were in the cinema when I have watched many so called "better" movies. It is an OK 2 star film that lays it on thick and syrupy and when it sees a gag hits it out of the park unsubtly. Best viewed if you are over 60 and have grandkids. Otherwise maybe see something else. An adequate 2 star film soon to be forgotten.

Sue

I enjoyed it. I thought that Billy Crystal and Bet Midler made it and was left wondering why we don't see more of them!!!