Parental Guidance (2012) Poster

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3/10
Unlikable characters
vantikaci7 July 2017
I'm a Progressive, but this was just upper class flakiness gone too far and too wrong.

I tried really hard, because I love the lead actors, to find some tiny redeeming quality in them to like. But they, and their weirdly pretentiously named children (HarpER, TurnER, and (B)(P)arkER{?} were just obnoxious, selfish, sheltered, and unlikable.

I just don't care enough to comment further.

The only reason I"m posting a review is that I really liked the credits. The inclusion of family photos with the names of the producers, etc. was a very clever and enjoyable experience.

But if one has to endure a bad film and get to the final credits to find something positive to say about a film, well, that speaks for itself, doesn't it?
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9/10
IMDb Sucks...
robb-044923 November 2016
...mainly because of the insane rigmarole one is put thru to post a "simple" review.

But, back to the movie... "Parental Guidance" The movie reminded me of how much fun an idiotic and mindless movie can be. It had all the love, slapstick comedy and just good old time fun a movie can offer!

Is it esoteric? Is it deep and moving? Is it a movie to be talked about for years? NO! But, this is a movie that could kinda draw tears to your eyes. It is a movie that could maybe sorta can make you smile.

"Parental Guidance" is that exact kind of movie you might just NEED when a smile, or a laugh, or a gee-whiz moment to remember what life means in this manic world of ours.

Maybe that is putting a lot on a simple movie. But. The actors, including greats like Bette Midler and Billy Crystal, and my fave... Marisa Tormei, put forth wonderful performances that had this lowly fella smiling, laughing and just plain crying throughout.

Was this Oscar material? No frelling way! But. BUT!! It WAS an amazing escape to make one (me??) escape from the blah-blah yadda-yadda that life tends to throw at us... ME??!!

Give this a watch. I think you might be surprised.
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8/10
The Ultimate Movie Review! - http://tss5078.blogspot.com - @tss5078
Tss507819 September 2016
Now days, Billy Crystal doesn't appear in films as often as he used to, but for the right project and cast, he's always willing to remind us of why he's a household name. It doesn't matter if it's a raunchy comedy or a family film, his quirky and unique sense of humor always makes whatever he stars in that much more enjoyable and Parental Guidance is no different. On the surface, this is just another family comedy about Grandma and Grandpa getting in over their heads when they agree to babysit for the weekend. Add Crystal and Bette Midler to that and all of a sudden the film is taken to a whole other level. Everyone knows what to expect from both Crystal and Midler, but the real magic is their chemistry and how they play off each other, especially when you throw three unpredictable kids into the mix. Some of the scenes with the grandparents trying to use the modern technology or the kids taking advantage of the grandparents lack of respect for their parents strict instructions are truly laugh out loud funny. Yes, that's exactly what I said, it's a PG rated family movie, but it has more than a couple of laugh out loud moments. Parental Guidance is a film that the parents and grandparents will want to see for it's terrific cross-generational cast, but the kids will enjoy it too, for both it's old school and modern humor. It's the perfect rainy day weekend family feature film.
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5/10
Crystal Guidance.
Python Hyena21 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Parental Guidance (2012): Dir: Andy Fickman / Cast: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison: Family comedy about limits. In this case Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play grandparents who haven't seen their grandchildren in a while. When given the opportunity they are met with the reality of change. Crystal plays a passionate sports announcer who loses his job. Their daughter is played by Marisa Tomei whose husband is off on a business trip. She is suppose to accompany him but her fear of her parents unable to deal with the children hold her back. The plot is simple and the structure is more or less just a series of screw ups with regards to cultural differences in raising children. The ending is no surprise but director Andy Fickman does his best with a theme he employed in The Game Plan and You Again. This is not much of an improvement but at least Crystal and Midler provide their share of amusing moments as they struggle to adapt to their daughter's methods of raising their children. Marisa Tomei is limited as their daughter, whose best scene has her being a good sport receiving a cake splat in the face. Tom Everett Scott as her husband is given even less to do other than video chat as a plot filler. Their children are cookie cutter at best. We have the violinist who pushes herself too hard. We have a kid with an overacting stutter. More embarrassing is the kid with an imaginary kangaroo. While the message of parenting and the cultural changes from generations is present the only guidance needed is for a better screenwriter. Score: 5 / 10
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1/10
Oh, That's Why We Never See The 'Other' Grandparents.
William Reid19 April 2016
Billy Crystal's movie career has been hit or miss. Alright, mostly miss. Too bad there's no three strike rule in Hollywood. (Although why Crystal never had a TV show, where his lovable cozy charm might work, I don't know.) Here his talents are wasted. It's painfully bad. Blame the writing. This movie isn't the worst I've ever sat through. I mean, it's no 'Jerry'. But it's bad. If you have a ten minute rule about watching movies then you might want to consider having a five minute rule. But frankly, this doesn't pass the smell test after one minute. They keep selling it as a family movie. Maybe the family from 'Honey Boo Boo' but for anyone else it's a stinker.
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4/10
Parental Guidance
Jackson Booth-Millard5 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I knew this film was most likely going to be very average or possibly terrible, I think I was mainly attracted by the cast, so I watched it anyway, directed by Andy Fickman (She's the Man, The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain). Basically minor-league Fresno Grizzlies sports commentator Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) is fired due to his old style commentary and lack of social media. Artie is accustomed to calling the shots, but his wife Diane (Bette Midler), who is eager-to-please, gets a call from their daughter Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) and, despite his insistence, agrees to babysit their grandchildren, Harper (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark's Bailee Madison), Turner (Heroes' Joshua Rush) and Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) in Atlanta. Alice and her husband Phillip 'Phil' (Tom Everett Scott) are going away for an entrepreneur exhibition, but problems arise as Artie's and Diane's collide with the alternative "helicopter parenting" of Alice and Phil's. Alice is especially panicky leaving the children behind, but eventually leaves Artie and Diane to it, who learn of the children's various problems, including Harper's high achievement syndrome, Turner's stutter and Barker's imaginary friend, but they try to make the kids their new best friends. Alice is given the assignment to redesign the website for the X Games, so eventually returns home, Artie uses this to his advantage to arrange an interview for the role of sports commentator, but Barker is with him and almost gets hurt by a skateboard ridden by Tony Hawk. Tension rises when Alice clashes with Diane who wants to allow Harper to attend a party the night before a recital, and Barker's imaginary friend, a kangaroo named Carl, is killed, so arguments occur. Eventually Alice reconciles with Artie and Diane, and Harper is allowed to withdraw from the recital, Turner takes her place and resolves his stutter reciting the 1951 baseball Shot Heard 'Round the World commentary, following this in the end Artie and Diane become a major part of their grandchildren's lives, and Artie, along with Turner, takes up a new job as commentator for a little league baseball team. Also starring Mulan's Gedde Watanabe as Mr. Cheng, House M.D.'s Jennifer Crystal Foley as Cassandra, Road Trip's Rhoda Griffis as Dr. Schveer and Steve Levy. Crystal does his wisecracking character well, Midler is somewhere between annoying and amusing being kooky, and Tomei gets her moments being the concerned and worn out parent. It is a predictable story with a strained relationship between the grandparents and their adult daughter, and lack of connection with the kids, babysitting the kids becomes chaotic, most of the laughs come from the sarcasm and banter between the kids and the grownups, it did make me laugh in the right places, so overall it's an alright comedy. Okay!
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1/10
This movie is terrible
John Doe19 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I wish I could give this 'movie' a zero out of ten because it doesn't deserve a1 (which is the lowest I can give it .) The movie is unfunny with a boring cast and a very badly written script.

Billy Crystal (Artie Decker) and his wife Bette Midler (Diane Decker) have to babysit their three grand kids.

This movie is 105 minutes long but I wish I could take all those minutes back. There is a scene where Billy Crystal (Artie Decker) and Bette Midler (Diane Decker) dance in the hallway and the whole movie is just painful to watch and listen to. Marisa Tomie is too old to even play Billy Crystal's daughter so the casting was way off too. The director thought it would be 'cool' to get Tony Hawk to appear in the film as they probably thought it would raise ratings...but it just made it worse...please do not see this movie...It should be buried along with the rest of the badly made garbage out there...I give it a 1/10.
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9/10
kids will be kids
wilson trivino29 November 2014
This movie brings together the modern feel good holistic parenting as compared to the dictatorship parenting of yesteryear. In it, the grandparents are asked to come care for the grandkids after the parents are converting a business trip to a mini-vacation. What is really good is the paring of Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as the grandparents. I was reminded of how funny Crystal can be. Lot of gag bits but humorous to see how the family dynamic plays out. It reminds you that parenting is trial and error and there is no real way to mess up the children's lives. This movie is fun and should be perfect for any family who has a challenge for teaching intergenerational lessons.
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3/10
Not for kids....
thedeftone-12 November 2014
Where to start with this movie, as a family movie this fails, simply because if you watch this with your kids they will be bored to tears as my 11yr old and his 10 year old friend were. This movie isn't really for adults as it always stays very child friendly at all times, adults acting as if they would if a child were in the room in every scene. This movie is based around family relationships, its quite mellow dramatic, lots of old time stories, tears and make ups. I perhaps see elderly people liking this movie. Please do not force your kids to watch this, they wont forgive you for it. The story is nice and the acting is good, im just not sure who this its aimed at. Its not at kids thats for sure.
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10/10
What a Fun Movie!
cynmull24 August 2014
I read the "expert" reviews when the movie hit the theaters. Subsequently I did not see the movie at that time. It has appeared on cable numerous times, & I have seen the movie more than I can count. I find something else to like about it each time I watch. It is a family focused movie - heartwarming & funny and at times, hysterical.

When grandparents Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane (Bette Midler) are asked by their somewhat distant (emotionally and geographically) daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) and son-in-law Phil (Tom Everett Scott) to care for their three children while the parents attend a work conference/mini-vacation, Bette is thrilled to try to connect with the family (especially the grand-kids). Artie has just been fired as the long-time announcer for the Fresno Grizzlies for being "old-school", so he's going into the situation a bit wounded. The fact that the young family has a talking/interactive house and car (which Phil invented/developed) is baffling and Artie takes the mispronunciation of his name personally (& it's just funny). The hyper-type A parenting style of Alice and Phil (especially Alice) is well balanced by the easy-going style of Diane and Artie. Artie allows his self-centeredness to interfere on occasion – that's when the most trouble arises. Still, Artie and Diane are a strong team and that heart is shared with Alice, Phil & and kids. The three children are distinctly different from each other, but all affected by the type-A parenting of Alice and Phil. A strong sense of family and love is what binds them together – warts and all.

I enjoy watching Billy Crystal movies, he does not disappoint in this movie as well. Bette Midler just glowed in this role – she held her own with Billy Crystal without dominating; Bette just made the scene better and believable. The movie has an all-around great cast; the acting is natural. LOVE the closing credits & final scene after the credits. This movie has become one of my recent favorites.
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10/10
Best movie I've seen in a long time
Elaine McClure13 July 2014
I cannot believe this movie got such a low rating. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler were awesome. It had a great story line and was very entertaining. The kids in the movie were excellent as well. Everyone in the cast did a great job acting. Bailee is an awesome child actor. She is believable in every scene. Joshua and Kyle also stole the screen. Both were very good and believable in their character. I saw it on video and it was amazing. I watch it again today when it came o television. The movie was just as good and the first time I saw it. I will probably purchase if for my DVD library. This is a great family video.
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8/10
Sweet, Harmless Fun!
g-bodyl25 May 2014
Parental Guidance is one of those films where it's perfectly safe to take the entire family to see, including the little ones. This film is enjoyable for the most part, although the film plays it safe. I felt like the filmmakers could have stretched out the material, but it seems they wanted to make this film family-friendly as possible. That being said, it's an entertaining comedy that has a charming cast, harmless but cute gags, and the notion of what family is all about.

Andy Fickman directed a film about old clashing with new. When a couple, Alice and Phil decide to travel, they recruit Alice's parents to watch their kids while they are away. How will the old-fashioned grandparents keep up with their grandchildren?

The acting is solid. Billy Crystal is funny and charming as Artie. But like the script, Crystal often plays it safe. Bette Midler does a good job as Diane and we are treated to her singing voice here. The kid actors are not too annoying thankfully.

Overall, Parental Guidance is a sweet, but mainly forgettable comedy. The gags are amusing, but the old versus new jokes may grow old after awhile. Nonetheless, I had a good time and was entertained throughout. The film plays it safe, but that's good for the younger children. I rate this film 8/10.
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3/10
Family running
Prismark1010 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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10/10
Humorous, realistic, inside the bounds
jacob-mccandless14 February 2014
Something I don't like about movies with kids is when the child roles are unbelievable or near villainous.

This film portrayed the children accurately and lovably. Billy Crystals humor was understandable to all ages. The fun kept me watching and -- was that Betty Middler?

This movie is so up beat. I would recommend it to those who are having a hard time in their lives. As well as to families. I can see this movie being very influential on airplane flights to vacation spots. I really trust Billy Crystal in this regard. The world need more movies like these.

I still shave my legs BTW.
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1/10
If you like Billy Crystal.....you will probably enjoy this.
Neil Lovelady10 January 2014
Oh those darn new fangled people with their new age parenting and their high tech computer machines. What we need is a good old fashioned comedy hack and a has been (who needs to sing in every movie) to show us the old ways. I'll bet that in the process we will learn some life lessons and solve everyone's problems, by the end those crazy old ways might not seem so crazy eh?

I tried to change the channel when this came on. But it's like trying to ignore a rodeo entirely comprised of midgets and miniature horses. You want to stop and you feel guilty...but part of you wonders where they make the tiny leather chaps, and how Billy Crystal is allowed to breathe air and make movies after "Analyze That"

That being said. Billy you are forgiven for two reasons. The first is a small part in one of the best movies ever made (it involves a princess, a giant named Andre, and a revenge obsessed spaniard who is not left handed). And the second is... well.....City Slickers. I know it's bad but god is it good.

In summary, I have never left a movie review before in my life. But for some reason I felt the need to get this information out there. You may be one of the people who enjoy this movie and in that case please disregard this review. On the other hand you may be under the age of sixty, and have an iq higher than a bowl of soup. In that case... press play, take four valium, drink a bottle of gin, and take a bite of a big shotgun sandwich.
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A mostly entertaining family movie starring Crystal and Midler.
TxMike10 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Billy Crystal is Artie Decker, baseball announcer for 35 years. His family has patiently moved around with him as he hoped to one day be in the major leagues. But we find him in California, finishing up the season with a minor league club.

His long time, patient wife is Bette Midler as Diane Decker, who has had some success as a TV weather girl. Their daughter is Marisa Tomei as Alice Simmons. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Tom Everett Scott as Phil Simmons. He is an inventor, and will shortly be going to New York to receive an award for his home automation system. They have three children, 12 and younger, played by Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf.

With this as the background, first we see that Artie is fired right after that last game. He is "old school", they want someone who will appeal to the younger fans. Then we see that Phil wants Alice to go with him to get his award, for a mini-vacation of sorts. But what to do with the kids?

So most of the movie is about the grandparents going to Atlanta to be with the grandkids for a few days. There is a lot of physical comedy and gags, many work and are funny, some are not. But once we get past all that the core of the story is about family.

In one exchange when Alice talks to Artie about her job with ESPN he asks how long she has worked for them. She says "five years." At another point Artie explains how he doesn't feel welcome at her home. It is a commentary on how the two of them, once very close when she was a child, have grown apart. Even with the many issues that arose while the grandparents were minding the kids, the whole thing was a catalyst for mending relationships.

For me this is a better movie than I expected it to be. Part of that is because I genuinely like Crystal and Midler, and at one point they do a very cute duet. But for those who don't care for them, it might not be a good movie experience.

My wife and I both enjoyed it.
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7/10
Crystal clear
kosmasp27 October 2013
Billy Crystal, an actor I wasn't fond of a couple of years ago. Not because I didn't like his movies, but the buzz that was surrounding him and his Oscar Speeches (of which I hadn't heard any) was too much for me. In this movie he's doing speeches too, but he's also doing other things and almost everything works on some level. I thought this would be fairly funny if I was lucky, but it turns out this was more than that! It is really funny.

The premise might not feel like much, but the actors make the difference! Be it the adults or the kid actors at hand. Especially the girl, whom you might have seen in other movies too. Parenting can be difficult, but also very funny. Of course it is obvious where the movie is going, but you can still have a lot of fun on your way there ... if you let yourself enjoy it
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3/10
Expectations crushed by poor acting and lack of comedy
kimberlyanngerber24 October 2013
Warning: 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.
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1/10
A script that insults the intelligence of a 5 year old, with EVERY bad cliché about families ever invented!
domain-514 October 2013
Hello!

First off, I would like to say that EVERY potential film director and script writer should watch this film...

...they should watch this film to learn EVERY POSSIBLE mistake that you can make in writing and filming a family oriented movie.

Don't get me wrong, I like Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei, the three principal actors, quite a bit. Billy Crystal's small performance in "The Princess Bride" as Miracle Max, is hilarious, and one of the high points of the movie. There are a number of other movies that they have done solid, good work in.

Unfortunately, though, this film wasn't one of them.

Billy Crystal would seem to be most at fault here. He is listed as one of the "Producers", so presumably he had some control over the final script. How he let this script abomination get to the filming stage, is beyond me. He made this film at the age of 64, and I would say this turkey has just about tanked his fading film career; and he has taken Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei along with him.

The characters in this film act like sub-grade morons, and somehow manage to insult just about every age group there is. In itself, this would actually appear to be a minor achievement, as I don't remember ANY other movie that I have seen, actually insult so many age groups in a single movie.

If you have seen other family movies, don't worry, EVERY BAD cliché you have EVER seen about families, is in this movie. They have neatly collected them all together, for your viewing displeasure, so you don't have to watch dozens of other bad family movies, to see them all.

For a comedy, you might call it "comedy light" or "comedy free", as there were virtually NO funny moments, or laughs over the entire movie.

In the end credits of the movie, they said that 14,000 jobs were created by this movie, with over 600,000 man hours spent in the production.

WHERE did all this time and effort supposedly GO? This movie was worse than even an average made-for-TV, very low budget, family production.

600,000 hours to make this God awful STINKER? GEEZ! It staggers the imagination! Frankly, if I were involved with the production of this stinking pile of you-know-what, I WOULDN'T plaster my face all over the end credits, as they did with the actors, their families, and the production staff, and their families, in this movie.

I'd wear a paper bag over my head, instead, and pretend that I had nothing what-so-ever to do with this movie.

The script is SO, BAD, BAD, BAD, that it is a little difficult to figure how bad the acting was. Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei were obviously NOT in top form, however, the dialogue was so reekingly BAD, that it was difficult to tell how much was bad acting, and how much was the terrible script.

I pardon Bette Midler a bit, here. Even though she was listed second in the credits, she was given virtually nothing of importance to do in the movie. I expected some hilarious moments between her and Billy Crystal, but there were virtually NO humorous moments between them.

Andy Fickman, as director, deserves more than a few barbs, here. Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei are decent actors, but it sure wasn't obvious from this movie. I would say Andy Fickman was instrumental in the reekingly BAD quality of this movie.

Run, don't walk, as far away from this stinking pile of... "film", as possible.

My 2¢ worth.

Karl
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6/10
Parental Guidance Needs Remediation **1/2
edwagreen5 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Billy Crystal essentially is not allowed to show his comedic abilities here. Sometimes, I felt he was actually playing it totally straight here. Ditto for Bette Midler. She seems to have garnered a part that usually comes at the twilight of one's career. She is given little opportunity to show what she can normally do in pictures. The dialog really did her in this 2012 film. She is all too ready to constantly appease her grandchildren. She is just too sweet for Bette Midler.

This film does properly show the generation gap when it comes to handling both children and grandchildren.

Marisa Tomei co-stars as the daughter of Crystal and Midler. She has got a great husband and naturally 3 kids with each of their own hangups. We've seen this so many times in films-the stuttering child, a child with an imaginary friend and a daughter forced to attempt the life of a musician.

Our grandparents just can't seem to hit it off with the children. Of course, when they finally do, the parents come back at an inopportune time and all appears to blow up. Naturally, the film resolves itself.
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3/10
My oh my...Generation Gap
gradyharp16 September 2013
Often in restaurants, eateries, while shopping, or while just observing behavior patterns wherever they occur one wonders whatever happened to parenting and discipline. Reasoning with public misbehaviors doesn't even lift an eyebrow for fear of damaging a child's freedom of expression. Place this depressing bit of generation gap on the screen and the result is this flimsy, trite, overacted, and wearisome PARENTAL GUIDANCE. The true test of patience is being able to resist turning it off. Sixty-something grandparents Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane (Bette Midler), pushed into the background because of their old-fashioned structured ways of dealing with their grandchildren Harper (Bailee Madison), Turner (Joshua Rush), and Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) as raised in the permissive non-confrontational new parenting modes of daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) and husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott). Asked to 'baby sit' for a week, the two forms of parenting clash and the result is a display of some of the most trite overindulged childish behavior ever screened. There are occasional moments of giggles - such as when Artie bribes the kids with money to do his will - but for the most part this is just a loud silly movie for the masses. There are some good actors here but by and large their acting is sub par and who can blame them. This is a film that falls into the 'must miss' category even if you love Marisa Tomei, Bette Midler, and Billy Crystal.

Grady Harp
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7/10
Far better than average family comedy; Midler and Crystal shine
vincentlynch-moonoi16 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First, to Billy Crystal -- I really enjoy watching you in films. But man, you gotta get a toupee. Your forehead stands out like Mount Rushmore, and it makes your face look fat. It was distracting. Many great actors wore or wear toupees, please consider it.

Aside from that, I really enjoyed this film. No, it's not one of the great films of all time, but it's a very pleasant and very funny film. If you're thinking this sounds like something you'd see on the Hallmark Channel...no. It's more sophisticated that that; it's well written. It gets into to difference between parenting from one generation to the next, how families drift apart, and how they can come back together. It also is a commentary on our ever-increasing drift toward electronic living.

The performances here are really very good. Billy Crystal has always had a very pleasant screen persona, and he does here as the grandfather. He plays the role well...very believable. Same for Bette Midler. I'm not a fan of her singing (and she doesn't here), but as a performer and actress I always found her top notch, and she doesn't disappoint in this film. Marisa Tomei provides just the right touch here, as the mother. And in some ways, the film revolves around the issues she had with her parents, how they drifted away, and her conflicts with modern parenting. It's a good and believable performance. Tom Everett Scott, as the father, has the least interesting role here. He does what he needs to do, but doesn't have much of an opportunity to get very deeply into the role. Bailee Madison, as the oldest of the grandchildren is quite remarkable, and I suspect we'll continue to see her on television and the big screen as she matures. Joshua Rush, as the middle grandchild was very good and very believable as a stutterer. I was not impressed with Kyle Harrison Breitkopf as the youngest of the grandchildren. Perhaps it was his role that was annoying...or perhaps it was just his screen persona.

The film is a great advertisement for the city of Atlanta! What a beautiful city and metro area...at least as portrayed here.

So, if you like family films, this one is entertaining, and could appeal to both kids and adults. Recommended!
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4/10
Schlock Cures Every Ill in This Stupid Movie
bob-790-19601816 September 2013
Warning: 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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6/10
Good Family Movie
dj_fernandez15 September 2013
This was a surprisingly good family movie. It was good enough to keep the entire family entertained including two 10 year old girls, two teens and even a grandmother. A fresh look at differing generational approaches to parenting. There were enough funny or heart warming situations to allow you to overlook a few that were a bit too far fetched. Billy Crystal and Bette Middler were believable grandparents and delivered solid performances. Kyle Harrison Breitkopf (the actor portraying the youngest grandchild) was outstanding, and the scenes with him and Billy Crystal were very good. Gedde Watanabe (most commonly know as Long Duck Dong for us Sixteen Candles fans) was very funny in a few over the top scenes. I don't think this movie will make anyone's top ten list but it will not disappoint either.
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10/10
Fantastic, hilarious movie
iouatv14 September 2013
This was actually a pretty good movie. When I heard about it, I thought, 'Oh man, this is probably going to be one of those cliché comedy movies. Same material, yawn. But it turned out to be pretty good!.' I am only eleven years old,( I'm on my dad's account, by the way) but I love comedy movies. I watch shows like Parks and Recreation (my favorite) and Modern Family. I don't know why most comedy movies like this have such a low rating. For example, Guilt Trip was not the best, but it was still funny. I seriously think more families should sit together and watch movies like this one. This movie is both funny and cute, and Billy Crystal was excellent, as always.

Side note: I spend a lot of time on IMDb.
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