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Parental Guidance (2012)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  25 December 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 20,340 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 104 user | 137 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Artie and Diane agree to look after their three grandkids 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.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Hawk
Steve Levy ...
Steve Levy


Old school grandfather Artie (Billy Crystal), who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane (Bette Midler) agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Dianes old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, its learning to bend and not holding your ground that binds a family together Written by Twentieth Century Fox

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Here come the grandparents. There go the rules. See more »


Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 December 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Us & Them  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,554,053 (USA) (28 December 2012)


$77,264,926 (USA) (17 May 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Billy Crystal is 16 years older than Marisa Tomei. Bette Midler is 19 years older than Tomei. See more »


Artie says there are six Saw movies after watching the first. There are a total of seven. See more »


Mr. Cheng: My parents are Japanese, I'm Chinese, my kids are Korean and they go to a Hebrew school, oy vey!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is one final scene, after the end of the credits. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Written by Michael Chapman (as Michael Donald Chapman) and Nicolas Chinn (as Nicolas Barry Chinn)
Performed by Toni Basil
Courtesy of Stillwater Limited
Under exclusive license to Razor & Tie Direct, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

A generic McFamily movie but grandpa Billy Crystal steals the show
25 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Parental Guidance" is meant to be a comedy on the generational gap in parenting techniques but Billy Crystal completely steals the movie with his smooth and silky talking. Billy Crystal, acknowledging that he is the attraction of the senior crowd, embodies the fuddled grandpa trying to understand the softness of the suburban life but at the same time vying for his youth. As clichéd as "use your words" has become of modern parenting, Billy Crystal is the one who uses his words expertly and elevates the movie from being another generic family movie.

In regards to the modern methods of parenting techniques, there are two opposites of parenting presented: first, the red haired Russian shrieking "practice, practice, practice" method; and second, the soft version of baseball where no-one given out method intended so that there is no ugly competition and just good clean fun. The first type is deemed to produce uptight children and the second type deemed to produce stuttering, diffident children or children with imaginary friends. So, it is up to the grandparents to come in to the picture and sort this out. The solution of course, you might have guessed, fun in its various forms; feel good but not a real answer or revelation.

Without Billy Crystal, this movie would probably end up like every other movie in the same mold; the shrieking screaming kids running around in a McMansion with busy stressed out parents with one hand managing the kids and with the other hand managing their jobs; the parents desperately in need a change to solve their problems. Throughout the movie, Billy Crystal is relaxed and smooth talking and first provides the calmness to the dizzying hyperactivity of the family and then sparkle with his comedy to take us through the predictable second half.

Overall, it's a generic family movie but elevated by Billy Crystal. However, it's still a movie bogged down by its uninspired family dynamics.

18 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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