Parental Guidance (2012) Movie Review
Released : Dec. 25h, 2012
Reviewed : Sept. 24th, 2013
Genre : Comedy
Story (from IMDB) : Artie and Diane agree to look after their three grand kids when their type-A helicopter parents need to leave town for work. Problems arise when the kids’ 21st-century behavior collides with Artie and Diane’s old-school methods.
After having Parental Guidance on my back burner for a while now I finally decided to watch it and almost as I expected I got a generic family comedy with a few shine out things.
We follow Artie and Diane who after hearing from their daughter with the request to watch her kids while her and her husband go on a trip agree to do so. Diane sees this as the chance to make a relationship with their grandchildren as they don’t have one. Once arriving though they realize Alice and Tom have raised their kids in a strict almost no fun manner making it a odd combo between them. From here on we start to hit the cliches and generic moments. The grandparents and kids argue, fight, have troubles adjusting, and such.
What the movie does try to do however is show how parenting techniques are in the modern day. They show off the strict always looking for the future no fun type against the easy going fun loving parent, This works somewhat but it often feels way overdone and sometimes thrown in just so the story doesn’t fall apart.
The real shine though to the film is Billy Crystal. He is funny to watch and always the shining moment when on screen. Without him this movie would fall into the most generic average hole available for this type of film. Bette Midler does a decent job as well as his wife but her moments are more predictable and mainly there to be with Billy Crystal. Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott play the parents Alice and Tom and while they are okay neither role is memorable. I feel like Tom Everett Scott is usually just there in the scene without much effort put in.
While the jokes may not always hit or be fresh and the story isn’t anything new it does have its charm sometimes and Billy Crystal is fun to watch. I can’t say much about this movie without throwing words like generic and average around. If by chance you are bored and have the chance to watch this you could enjoy it. There are much worse films of this nature to watch.