Parental Guidance (2012) | Movie review

Parental Guidance 2012 film large movie poster

Rated: P13
Genre: Comedy
Director: Andy Fickman
Screenwriter: Joe Syracuse, Lisa Addario, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Cast: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Bailee Madison

Synopsis: “Parental Guidance movie follows the story of old school grandfather Artie, who is accustomed to calling the shots and who meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane agree to babysit their 3 grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it’s learning to bend – and not holding your ground – that binds a family together” (20th Century Fox).

Verdict: This is yet another typical comedy about disconnected and outdated old folks trying to get along with the younger generation. The only difference is that this one’s unfunny. When the ending credit rolls, one could only wonder if the title Parental Guidance is just another bad joke attempt ’cause the parenting in the movie is as poor as its humour and unconvincing plot development. It’s rated P13 here but it’s not even amusing enough for teens, and not logic enough for adults to relate to. Also, all the characters are totally unlikable, not even Billy Crystal’s one. What a waste of a great veteran actor. The unnecessary racism on Asians is pretty darn lame as well.

Second opinion: “I’m okay with the second half of the film” (Iris Loong).

Awesome cameo appearance by… Tony Hawk! He’s never old.

Rating: 0.5 / 5

Little things that don’t make sense: At the beginning scenes, we can see that Artie (Billy Crystal), an old school sports commentator, is so outdated that he doesn’t even know how to operate a house phone… but in later scenes, he uses a mobile phone without any hesitation. He forgets to pick up his married daughter, Alice (Marisa Tomei), and left her waiting for hours… but why can’t she just call him to remind him? Also, the parents are portrayed to be extremely strict with how they teach their kids (they don’t even allow ice cream and cake)… so why is it that the kids have no manners and respect towards their grandparents?

Worst scene: During the climax of the movie where the family is at a high class music audition, the stuttering kid goes up onto the stage for no reason and starts imitating the commentary of an old baseball match to the mic. When he finishes, everyone in the hall starts applauding instead of questioning what the fuck was that all about? He could’ve done that anywhere, but why then and there? The producers could’ve paid me half of what they paid the writer for a way better script.

Bailee Madison looks like Katie Holmes

Thanks to 20th Century Fox and Nuffnang for the screening invites.

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