Synopsis: Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star in this family comedy that puts Artie and Diane (Crystal and Midler) in charge of their daughter’s children for a week.
Review: When Phil (Tom Everett Scott) wins an award for product of the year, Artie and Diane Decker take charge of Phil’s and Alice’s (Marisa Tomei) children, and realize how coddled they are.
The children, Harper, Turner, and Barker (played by Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) are sheltered children and live in a fully automated house, something that goes against the old school methods of Artie and Diane.
The film is full of humor that highlights the huge generation gaps between Artie and his grandchildren as well as Artie trying to find his place after he is fired from his job as a baseball announcer.
There were subplots involving each child as well, and these child actors were top notch. For Harper, she was struggling between perfection on her violin and enjoying being a regular pre-teen. Turner struggles with a stutter that Artie tries to fix by the end of the film. And finally, the youngest Barker struggles to find control over his imaginary friend, Carl the kangaroo.
What makes Parental Guidance a fun film is that it appeals to all audiences. There were things that parents, teenagers, and children enjoyed and Crystal and Midler really shined in their first films in years.
This film won’t win any major awards and might not make lumps of money, but Parental Guidance is a great film to watch for the holidays that has heart and humor, and is great for people that don’t want to see the darker films this holiday season.
Final Grade: 8.0/10