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Parental Guidance

  PG HD Closed Captioning

Andy Fickman

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Plot Summary

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei prove that laughter is relative in this hilarious comedy that’s fun for the whole family! Old-school grandparents Artie (Crystal) and Diane (Midler) get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their type-A daughter’s (Tomei) over-protected kids. But things go from hectic to hysterical when Artie realizes the kids are running the house with their newfangled technology. By playing by his own rules, which include sugary snacks, old fashioned games and tough love, Artie manages to outsmart the kids and achieve the impossible-bring the family closer together!

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

18%
  • Reviews Counted: 85
  • Fresh: 15
  • Rotten: 70
  • Average Rating: 3.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: After a while it seems to run out of jokes, maybe to make room for all the crying and hug-it-out family redemption in the last half hour. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Dec 26, 2012

Rotten: I can't deny I did feel fonder of my own family afterward, mostly because I know none of them would ever make me sit through Parental Guidance. – Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine, Dec 26, 2012

Rotten: Deeply, willfully out of touch ... – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, Dec 25, 2012

Rotten: An extended "in my day" joke intended to convey the superiority of old people over a lot of supposedly contemporary behavior that doesn't actually exist in real life. – Chris Packham, Village Voice, Dec 27, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Hated because it isn't filthy or violent?

A lot of the negative reviews say far more about the reviewers than they say about the movie. "Out of touch" and similar remarks are reviewer code for saying that the kids don't have sex, the movie is not filled with f-bombs, no one is using drugs, and there is not a drop of blood to be seen. The charges of racism are completely out of left field and are obviously in the strangely distorted eye of the beholder who probably sees racists hiding behind his couch. What probably offends critics most of all is that the movie neatly skewers helicopter parents, politically correct school and sports officials, the culture of universal victimhood, and other cows sacred to modern graduates of liberal arts programs.

And there lies the fun of the movie: it gently mocks the real foibles of modern parenting without being really offensive (unless you majored in liberal arts and have been conditioned to be wildly offended by nearly everything). My favorite line in the movie is in the trailer: "You lied to me! Yogurt is not like ice cream!" It was funny to me because I have known parents who actually told their kids things like that.

Okay, not the greatest movie ever made, but certainly far better than the critics would have you believe.

Best Movie Ever!!!

One of the funnest movies i have ever seen!!!! LOL!!!

A MISGUIDED MESS OF A FAMILY FILM

I would've never seen "Parental Guidance" if it weren't for the fact that my family was in town during the holiday season and this was the only movie playing in theaters at the time that was "family-friendly." So I decided to go along and see it with them, assuming that the kid's film would be nothing more than a harmless little diversion to pass the time. Plus, it starred Billy Crystal, easily one of the best actors of a generation. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot. As hard as I tried shutting my brain off and going along with the madcap antics of the film's obnoxious family, it seemed all but impossible once the 30-minute mark came by. This film was filled with more juvenile pee, poop, and fart jokes than practically every Adam Sandler comedy ever made, and none of them were the least bit funny. If anything, they actually grew progressively more cringe-inducing as the movie went on. With the exceptions of Billy Crystal and Bette Midler (who stood out as the flick's only likable actors), the entire cast was a mess. The three child actors here were unbelievably annoying beyond belief, so much so that I nearly ended up walking out of my seat and sneaking into another flick, but unfortunately I didn't. And I can't even say that I liked the parents (played by Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott), since they were so bland and easily forgettable that they literally left no impact. Sure, the messages about family bonding and being yourself are sweet and honest, but they're completely drowned out by patronizing music cues and an endless barrage of gratingly lowbrow shenanigans that eventually lead up to the film's predictable moral lessons. Crystal and Midler are practically the only saving graces for this disaster of a movie due to their genuine comic chemistry, but even their combined talents just aren't enough to make up for the shamelessly crass toilet humor, excessively schmaltzy moments of sentimentality, and ridiculous clichés that completely overtake the film. The finishing result is less a heartwarming family comedy and more a been-there-done-that flick that delivers its bland material with well intentions, but never rises above the stale mediocrity that permeates its truly lackluster script. Then again, the kids probably won't mind. They'll mostly be distracted by all the bodily-function gags that reappear in just about every scene. After all, the people behind these family movies know that the easiest way to get a child's attention is a bathroom joke and/or physical comedy. And there's plenty of that in store here, much to the dismay of most parents. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy this film; you could even say I despised it. But my little nephews and nieces had a good time, so it certainly wasn't the worst experience I've had at the movies in a while. It's just not a flick I would ever want to watch again. Anyway, if you're still curious about viewing "Parental Guidance," just know that there's a whole catalogue of much better family comedies to choose from at your disposal. Unless you genuinely enjoy copious amounts of mindless slapstick and annoying sentimentalism that go for the lowest common denominator, this bland comedic romp is hardly worth anyone's time.

Parental Guidance
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings