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Parental Guidance
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Reviews & Ratings for
Parental Guidance More at IMDbPro »

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64 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Good Family Movie

7/10
Author: avenger442
29 December 2012

When I read the reviews by the "experts" online I didn't want to see this movie. However, my three granddaughters 16, 13 and 10 insisted they wanted to see it on the recommendation from some friends. I am happy they did. It was much better than the professional reviews led me to believe. I would recommend that any parent or grandparent, as in my case, take take their kids to see this movie.

I will say this about the expert reviews, they helped give us excellent seats. Sometimes I wonder if they have lost touch with what movie goers want to see. They have gotten to wrapped up in the technique of the art to be able to recognize a good movie. Maybe the courses on movie making should modify their guidelines to include what the general public considers a good movie.

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41 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Nice Family Comedy, You Won't Be Disappointed

8/10
Author: Bob_the_Hobo
26 December 2012

When Alice (Marisa Tomei) and Phil (Tom Everett Scott) have to leave town for an influential business trip, they are forced to entrust their three hellion children to Alice's parents, the equally hellion Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane (Bette Midler). Hilarity ensues.

You watch a movie with Billy Crystal to laugh, and he doesn't disappoint. Crystal keeps in tune with the easygoing wit that made his hosting the Oscars so funny. "Parental Guidance" is a return to what made him famous in the first place: nice, funny family-friendly comedy.

Bette Midler is one of the only fairer-sex comediennes that could play opposite the scene-chewing Crystal. They make a great pair, and divvy out the laughs equally as hopelessly inept, secretly genius parents.

The script is written with a focus on the family being an audience, which is not to say the individual or the date can't enjoy it just as much. I was laughing in the first ten minutes, and it kept a steady procession of comical response.

Marisa Tomei is still a stunning beauty. She steals her scenes with unrivaled grace, no matter the movie, and here plays a mom different than her own parents. The comparison makes for a laugh in itself; especially where Crystal and Tomei interact.

There's no smut, no swearing, and no vulgarity. "Parental Guidance" is a refreshing blend of old and new that proves what made the classic laughs so great. Well done.

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33 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Great Family Movie

8/10
Author: Sara Fleischman
25 December 2012

This was an excellent family movie, had plenty of laughs and some really heartwarming moments. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler made a great pairing, I don't know why it hadn't been done before. Crystal brings his great acerbic wit combined with Midler's warm demeanor and the great comedic timing of both makes for gold medal hilarity. Marisa Tomei is great as a new-age parent with high anxiety when it comes to allowing her parents into her automated life. Bailee Madison is a little fireball, and she is one to keep an eye on. With her innate acting ability she will have you on the edge of tears one moment and laughing till you pee the next. Madison is an absolute joy to watch and it was great to see her paired up with classic comedic talent like Crystal and Midler. The writing is fair, but luckily with such a well-placed cast you hardly notice those short-comings. This is definitely one I would take the whole family to, it's got enough for all to enjoy. I highly recommend it for the holiday season, it will have you walking out with a smile.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Bad source material but decent acting

5/10
Author: Roland Jakobsson (rolandddd) from Sweden
3 April 2013

Parental Guidance is a pretty decent family comedy about bridging the generation gap, and the process of re-building relationships that have been neglected for a very long time.

It is obvious to me that neither Billy Crystal or Bette Midler get too many good movie roles nowadays, and I think you can clearly see their joy at being back in the limelight in starring roles. They deliver strong performances and have great timing, and it is a pity that the source material is so weak to begin with. The basic plot is okay with me, but some of the comedy is far-fetched and grandchild Barker's bizarre behavior is used as an excuse for comedy too many times.

I liked a couple of scenes, which deal with the pressure of constantly keeping up with the technological advances of this day and age, with Artie losing his job because he doesn't tweet or know what an app is. This is a very relevant issue and unfortunately it is lightly dealt with.

All in all, the plot is thoroughly predictable and the points the movie wishes to make are obvious to all without any hint of subtlety, but the strong acting performances saves it from being a train wreck.

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30 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Yawn

3/10
Author: jelly336 from United States
29 December 2012

My expectations weren't that high and Parental Guidance failed to meet them.

Bette Midler got the very few good lines, but other than that I was in turns bored or irritated. Bored because Billy Crystal never shuts up when he's on-screen. Irritated because I fail to see how bratty kids are funny. It's just an old, tired cliché from every sitcom from the last forty years.

Especially annoying was Marisa Tomei's helicopter-mother character. It was a cartoon character with no redeeming qualities.

I found myself wishing I sneak into whatever was playing next door.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Billy and Bette are lovely, but too many silly scenes

5/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
27 August 2013

I like Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. I like their chemistry. I like their 'old fashion' ways. But some really stupid scenes really destroy any chance this movie had.

Marisa Tomei plays their child who is forced to ask the old couple to look after their grandchildren. They are somewhat estranged and she is reluctant to ask. However her husband Tom Everett Scott's work is forcing her hand. So the grandparents are stuck with her 3 kids led by Bailee Madison.

Grumpy Billy Crystal has some funny moments. Bette Midler is likable as the peacemaker. But by the middle of the movie, they just piled on one too many ridiculous premise to accept, and the movie falls apart.

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23 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Would have gotten 10 stars if only . . .

9/10
Author: GoUSN from United States
30 December 2012

... the suits who fired Billy Crystal at the beginning would have tasted some bad karma at the end.

But everything in between was pitch-perfect - a tremendously accurate (if only slightly over-the-top) portrayal of multi-generational families, their dynamics, and the outcomes that can occur when folks empty their pockets of defense-mechanisms.

The plot is simple: grandparents Billy Crystal and Bette Midler (the "other" grandparents) babysit while their daughter and son-in-law go on a long-overdue mini-vacation, leaving their three intensely over-supervised children in the care of Bette and Billy, who don't much care for that type of hyper-parenting.

The delight of watching this movie is seeing how such a conventional plot will unfold with this superb cast. With humor consisting of both good writing and sight gags, with Bette and Billy and Marissa acting their hearts out, this is B-movie material brought to the top-tier in these very capable hands.

This is a wonderful confection of a movie. Go! And, for those of us from Northern California, it was great to see the San Francisco Giants play a fun supporting role. A pleasant surprise.

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27 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Really, really bad

1/10
Author: evening1 from United States
25 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can see how Bette Midler might need a job, but why would Billy Crystal stoop to a role like this?

"Parental Guidance" was grueling to sit through. Whoever came up with the storyline should reconsider his career path.

Maybe it's all right if you're starting out in screen writing and this is a rough first draft, but to dress it up for release over the Christmas weekend? That's highway robbery if not consumer fraud. Counting snacks hawked at our NYC multiplex, my 10-year-old and I got clipped for $37.50!

Odd-couple grandparents spend weekend babysitting obnoxious trio of rug rats while kids' parents try to copulate during rare, out-of-town trip? (Oh, I am just slapping my knee!) As a long-married couple, Crystal and Midler share nothing in common but an obvious reliance on hair dye. Crystal just phones in his lines and the long spotlight-deprived Midler tries way too hard, missing no opportunity to mug for the lens.

And almost every minute spent with the children -- gratingly named Harper, Tucker, and Barker -- is an ordeal. One of the kids stutters and is bullied -- would YOU consider that funny? This film's "writers" apparently did. But I found Kyle Harrison Breitkopf to be the most squirm-worthy grandchild. Calling Grandpa Artie "Fartie" isn't humorous the first time around but we must endure this alleged witticism incessantly. And then there are the urination and defecation gags. Gag me with a spoon!

As if all this weren't bad enough, the film takes time to ridicule the foreign-born. Lovely American actress Rhoda Griffis impersonates a Stalinesque Russian violin teacher, and US-born Gedde Watanabe provides a (albeit slightly entertaining) caricature of a Chinese-restaurant owner.

My pre-adolescent son did actually enjoy this film. I couldn't wait to go home.

Shame on you, Crystal, for lending your heretofore-respectable name to this utter piece of "doody"!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Family running

3/10
Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
10 March 2014

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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17 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A generic McFamily movie but grandpa Billy Crystal steals the show

6/10
Author: MosHr from United States
25 December 2012

"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.

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