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|Index||109 reviews in total|
Sometime we the viewers just need to relax and enjoy a movie for what
it is,and not for what it isn't. In this case, this movie is a fun time
romp that most parents and all Grandparents can and will relate to. The
storyline is obvious from the start but who cares, it's the journey not
the destination that counts. Billy Crystal is at his best in this one.
The man is a comedy genius, his timing is spot on, and his delivery is
always hilarious. Bette Midler is an excellent side-kick and helps a
somewhat silly but entertaining movie worthwhile.
This one will not be nominated for any awards, in fact I suspect the real critics found this attempt quite a disappointment. I for one disagree, this was clever when it needed to be, funny most of the time, and heartwarming with charm,and by the way, this movie is for the whole family, not just adults. Get the kids together, pop the corn and enjoy!
'Parental Guidance' is a good, light-hearted Family-Comedy. But the
reason why this recent box-office hit works primarily is because of the
legendary Billy Crystal. He's at his best!
'Parental Guidance' Synopsis: 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.
'Parental Guidance' offers genuine laughs as well as emotional moments in the proceedings. The humor works! Lisa Addario & Joe Syracuse's Screenplay is good. Andy Fickman's Direction is fine.
Performance-Wise: As mentioned right from my Summary, Its A Billy Crystal Show All The Way! Bette Midler is likable. Marisa Tomei is natural to the core. Tom Everett Scott does his bit well. Among the kids, Bailee Madison stands out.
On the whole, 'Parental Guidance' is a must for Billy Crystal Fans!
Definitely a family movie. I would have not given it an 8 if I was not a family man myself. Somewhat predictable, but it made up for it with real heartfelt moments. Billy was Billy, Bet was Bet, and Marrissa was, well, you get the idea. I say this with all positive connotations. I had high expectations given the history of the major hitters in this movie. Initially I thought I had landed a dud, but eventually the characters developed and I enjoyed it. The major hitters delivered. Sure there was the occasional bodily function humor but you need the kids to laugh as well. This did what it set out to do by crossing generations. I had no problem watching Tony Hawk struggle through his lines. Ironically Tony Hawk crosses generations himself. Both my son and I were fans of him at the same times in our respective lives. I digress. Watch this with the family or someone who isn't afraid to have a good time watching a family movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The trailers advertising "Parental Guidance" (hereafter PG) were not
only unpromising, but borderline appalling. It emphasized the tired,
painful slapstick and saccharine sentiment of so many other formulaic
family comedies, that I was determined to avoid it. But, visiting my
mother and deciding to take in a movie before lunch at Bugaboo Creek
Steakhouse, we decided upon PG because it was the only movie that had
subject matter my Mom (not particularly keen on hobbits, 40-somethings,
or even Lincoln) was interested in. After seeing it, we were pleasantly
(if surprisingly) entertained, despite the dilapidated old "Clash of
the Generations" plot. Our amusement was largely due to those reliably
schticky comedy workhorses Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.
Crystal and Midler play fairly (but not completely) old-fashioned Artie and Diane Decker, parents to Type-A, harried upper-class daughter Alice Decker Simmons (Marisa Tomei). Alice is married to Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott) a basically easygoing engineer who, like Rick Moranis's Wayne Szalinski in the "Honey, I.." movies has converted their home into a technological, computerized, self-sustaining "house of tomorrow". Their children are Harper (Bailee Madison), who is as neurotically driven as her mother, Turner (Joshua Rush) her more levelheaded, technologically savvy brother who has a stuttering problem, and certainly not least, the mischievous, irreverent, red-haired Barker (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) whose best friend is an invisible kangaroo named Carl (not Harvey).
Unlike the paternal grandparents, Artie and Diane have not seen their grandchildren in months, if not years. They are "the other grandparents". But they get a chance to bond with the tykes when Alice and Phil leave for a week for a scientific convention and, somewhat reluctantly, call on the "out-of-it" folks to baby-sit. As they say, hilarity (amazingly) ensues.
Artie and Diane, although sharp and game, have their work cut out for them. Besides the aforementioned baggage (and yuppified names!) each grandchild carries, and the mechanized Jetson-like home, Artie and Diane have to contend with the permissive parenting their charges are used to and their high-maintenance demands (e.g., each kid gets his own meal at suppertime, and Barker doesn't like his food touching other food). Furthermore, Artie is despondent over his firing from his minor league baseball announcer job, and he fears telling Alice. All sorts of slapstick hijinks, misadventures, and misunderstandings ensue. Examples, Artie has to bribe the bratty Barker to do anything, Artie's advice to Turner to stand up to the bullies making fun of his speech impediment gets the kid a shiner - from the bully's sister, the kids get an amped-up "sugar high" from some forbidden birthday cake, Artie protests at a little league baseball game that has no strikes, timeouts, or scoring and gets a bat in the crotch for his troubles, Barker gets indelible day-glo paint on Artie's face just before Harper's violin recital, and of course Artie sneaks off with Barker to an X-Games announcer's interview where Barker's escape and urination ruins an X-games skateboard stunt (and is broadcast nationally) as well as Artie's job prospects. Diane has a confrontation with Harper's demanding, martinet East European violin instructor, calling her "comrade". The comedy of errors keeps on coming.
In the hands of inexperienced actors, PG would be a groan-fest. But in Crystal's and Midler's capable, vaudevillian, borscht-belt hands, they are surprisingly funny. Crystal's cynical comments and one-liners wryly commenting on the insanity of their grandkids' lives, even more than the predictable slapstick, keep the laughs coming, because we agree with their disapproval of the grandkids' overwrought, permissive, but also perfectionist lifestyle. Even so, they love their grandkids and incrementally not only get to know them better, but also to overcome their handicaps and neuroses. At first shocked at Artie's and Diane's interference, Alice gradually gets reconciled to their ways of doing things, and to them as general. In unrealistic but satisfying sitcom fashion, everyone's issues get resolved and everybody's happy.
Yes, PG is unsophisticated and predictable and even a bit low-brow. But Crystal's and Midler's tried-and-true comic personae wring out the laughs and make you feel reasonably good.
When I watch a movie, there are several things I consider and base my
review on them.
Too many movies are written that have decided that blood and gore are the best way to entertain an audience and I think that viewers have become tainted.
Parental Guidance is just a good movie. It's not going to win any awards and as with any family movie there are many of the regular characters. Kids whine and cry a lot, parents struggle with their "Plan" to be perfect and grandparents, who are flabbergasted with the methods they have chosen to employ to raise or ruin their children.
This movie takes a different look at that process and in my opinion scores well in most areas. I would have preferred a slightly amended ending, and it's because in movies like this, I prefer the underdog to ultimately be the victor and even though that happens to many of the characters, there were a couple of others which would have made this a more complete piece for me.
All of that being said, I would recommend this movie. There were some pretty funny scenes, a couple of well placed "touching" scenes and a couple of better than average performances. No one failed here.
Billy Crystal was very solid and pretty much stole the show. Gedde Watanabe was really quite hilarious and the concept of raising children using really odd techniques made it pretty easy for me to giggle at the whole process.
If you have 100 or so minutes to spare, I think you'll enjoy it and if you watch and realize that you are raising your kids using anything remotely similar to how these parents are, I strongly suggest you stop sending your kids to a Therapist, change the appointment to when it's more convenient for you to go and stop doing it now!
Just my thoughts.
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.
*** This review may contain 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.
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
*** This review may contain 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you go to the movies say once a month and you have been doing for
five, ten years then by the second reel of this you can write the plot
yourself. In spite of that - i.e. nothing new, an us-versus-them
scenario that you know is going to end in victory for the
tried-and-true over the new- fangled PC thinking - this is one hell of
an enjoyable movie. For me, the draw was Marisa Tomei albeit I got the
impression from the reviews that she had a smaller role than turned out
to be the case. I can take or leave Bette Midler but here she wasn't
too hard to take at all, possibly because she was cast opposite Billy
Crystal and they did spark off each other. To be honest I didn't really
expect that much but what made it happen was the fine script, delivered
expertly by Crystal and co, many of the one-liners being way over the
heads of children in the audience.
Four and a half stars easy.
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