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.
NOW & THEN is four minute meditation on technology and its effects on communication through time. Using two distinct temporal spaces, this film explores the emotional disconnect through our... See full summary »
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
At the beginning of the movie, when Artie mentions team names that he gets to announce, one is the "Rancho Cucamonga Quakes." Though that is a real team, they are a single-A team, and would not play against the Fresno Grizzlies, who are a triple-A team. See more »
A smooth Bette Midler and a even more smoother Billy Crystal try to take you attention of their faces for a few moments in Parental Guidance where they play Grandparents who have to look after their grandchildren when the parents go off for a few days business holiday.
Crystal is a broadcaster who has been fired for being old hat and comes up with corny one liners. Marisa Tomei is the helicopter mother who hovers over her kids to almost to the point of suffocation and at turns spoiling them. She is rather apprehensive about leaving her children with her parents and for a lot of the film refuses to join her husband who has gone on the trip before her.
The kids of varying ages are spoilt brats who simply have not had much fun in their lives and have issues. One having an imaginary kangaroo, other having communication issues with the daughter about to enter puberty and not enjoying her music with the constant practise and no social life.
However the film comes across as a sit com style clichéd family relationship film you have many times before. The kids get hyper by eating sugary food, getting into scrapes much to the irritation of their parents.
However hen watching this movie you do actually wonder if Midler and Crystal are actually Tomei's parents as she is so uptight it seems someone else must have raised her. In that case why were they invited to look after her kids?
The film gives you a few brief laughs but mostly will leave you bored because of the familiarity of the story. Maybe the screenplay needed a face-lift more than its two stars.
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