Parental Guidance is a comedy about two grandparents who must help their daughter when she has to leave town for work by taking care of their grandkids. The film stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. Goody.
First, bet on there being shenanigan. Not hijinks. Midler, or Mids as I call her, and Crystal, or Billy Crystal as I call him (I am the king of good nickname-making), are not going to allow for hijinks. They’re too classy for that.
They get into shenanigans.
So, in Parental Guidance, Crystal and Midler play Mr. and Mrs. Decker, who have an ‘old school’ way of raising kids, and they struggle to do things the way their daughter does, which is touchy feely and screw her beat the little bastards. Chop off fingers, burn them with cow brands, WHATEVER IT TAKES.
Huh? I’m not allowed to raise children? Score. Back to my baseball games, beer and scratching myself in public.
Of course, the film devolves into a fun, happy go lucky grandparents learn about their grandkids and all is well.
Parental Guidance comes from director Andy Fickman from a story by star Billy Crystal and a screenplay by Lisa Addario. Crystal has a long history in Hollywood, and the film looks paint by numbers, so I’m not really worried about it being adequate. Did you see By the Dozen? Me neither, but it looks like that.
Parental Guidance Trailer
Parental Guidance Release Date
December 25, 2012.
Who’s In It?
Marisa Tomei … Alice
Bailee Madison … Harper Decker Simmons
Billy Crystal … Artie Decker
Bette Midler … Diane Decker
Rhoda Griffis … Dr. Schveer
Tom Everett Scott … Phil Simmons
Dwayne Boyd … Dad #2
Gedde Watanabe … Mr. Cheng
Madison Lintz … Ashley
Brad James … Rookie Cop
Patricia French … Marilyn – Pole Dancer
Marla Malcolm … Sexy Blonde
Karan Kendrick … Pre-School Mom
Joshua Rush … Turner Decker Simmons
Jody Thompson … X-Games Technician
Ron Clinton Smith … Umpire
Joe Knezevich … X Games Producer
Matthew Warzel … Security Guard Pollack
Gina Herron … Pole dancer
Kyle Harrison Breitkopf … Barker Decker Simmons
Nate Panning … Turner’s Baseball Coach
Corey James Wright … Drayton Glass
Brooke Jaye Taylor … Lois
Jan Harrelson … Dad
Peter Luis Zimmerman … Nate
Mavrick Moreno … Cody
Cade Jones … Ivan
Paul Nygro … (voice)
Jade Nicolette … Lulu
What’s Good About It?
Regardless of how bland he’s become, I really like Billy Crystal, and Bette Midler embracing her age is a welcome surprise. Add in Marisa Tomei’s remarkable looks considering her age and you have a quality offering. The film may be basic, but since it’s a family film for Christmas, expect it to be enjoyable.
What’s Bad About It?
Parental Guidance looks a bit basic. Don’t expect anything new from it. The trailer has a nut shot.
Don’t get me wrong, the nut shot was good. Funny stuff. But it’s still a nut shot. These days you have to set a guy’s junk on fire and have a bull ram him with a horn to make me really laugh.
Our Clever Prediction
I think Parental Guidance is going to surprise people with how successful it’ll be. I think this will be the “Night at the Museum” of 2012. Maybe not quite as successful, but Christmas day is a good day for family-friendly films, and Parental Guidance is, without question, a family-friendly film. Looks good.