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|Index||104 reviews in total|
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.
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.
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.
My expectations weren't that high and Parental Guidance failed to meet
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.
Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) is somewhat estranged from her parents
(Billy Crystal, Bette Midler). When her husband Phil (Tom Everett
Scott)'s work takes them away, she's forced to ask her parents to look
after her kids (Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf).
I like Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. I like their chemistry. I like their 'old fashion' ways. But some really stupid scenes destroy any chance this movie had. 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.
... 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.
*** 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"!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My expectations were high considering this movie had three major actors
all of which are noted for comedic roles. My enthusiasm dropped within
the first 15 minutes and only nosedived thereafter. It didn't take long
to notice how considerably bad Bette Midler, Billy Crystal and Marisa
Tomei's acting was in this overly drawn out and boring movie.
All actors seemed to to lack talent and struggled through lines. There were no moments I could honestly state were funny. It was mediocre at best. There seemed to be a huge disconnect between characters and the plot was not only unoriginal but had no deeming qualities. Marisa Tomei had an appearance of being tired or worn out which is quite the opposite from her usually bright and peppy self. I loved watching a lot of Bette's past performances but she definitely didn't shine in this role. There was a huge lack of enthusiasm reflected by the actors and it was obvious they missed many comedic punches. The entire movie lacked direction and the few lines that were somewhat funny seemed forced. Some of the elements of this movie I found to be degrading toward the adults and children alike. I would compare this to a thrown together made for television movie not a movie worthy for the big screen. It is a low grade movie at best.
The kids in this movie were cute although considered a bit irksome by other adults watching this movie with me. The only part I felt drawn to was when the one son conflicted with bullying due to his stuttering had the courage to overcome his awkwardness to publicly express himself. The entire scenario relating to the imaginary kangaroo friend of the youngest boy was utterly ridiculous.
I am confused to who is actually the targeted audience. I couldn't recommend as a movie an adult would find interesting or a family type movie but this film might appeal on some level to young children. For those that haven't seen this movie but still are compelled to do so should rent not buy a DVD.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this movie, Billy Crystal's talent for comedy takes a back seat to
sentimental schlock. If you did not cringe at the scene where the whole
family solemnly buries Carl, the imaginary kangaroo, then you might not
agree with me on this. Or if you did not groan when, in yet another
movie, Billy Crystal waxes rhapsodically nostalgiac for baseball as it
was when he was a kid.
Sure enough, Billy wipes off the mold from that early-1950s broadcast of "The Shot Heard Round the World" (THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!) and not only makes us listen to it in its entirety but then a second time as delivered by his grandson Turner, who miraculously overcomes his stutter in the process.
But there's more where that came from, folks! Crystal and co-grandparent Bette Midler solve all of the family's problems in the space of a few days.
The high point of the movie was the duet by Crystal and Midler singing "The Book of Love." The low point was everything else in the picture.
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