Parental Guidance

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Aaron Silverman, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Caught a sneak preview of this last weekend. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play relatively old-school grandparents tasked with watching their semi-estranged, overprotective, helicopter-parenting daughter's kids for a few days. Hilarity and hankies ensue.
    Lucy and I both really enjoyed it. On top of being very funny and sweet (without being cloying), it's appropriate for all ages and has something for both kids and adults. There is some gross-out humor, but it's pretty mild by today's standards. There aren't a lot of PG movies these days that will actually appeal to the whole family, so this is very welcome. Once you get past the idea that Billy Crystal is Marisa Tomei's dad, the cast is great, including the kids. :)
    If you're looking for something to take the family to on Christmas, you could do a lot worse. 4 stars on the ol' 5-star scale.
     
  2. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    I'd go with a four, too, Aaron. I was very pleasantly surprised by Parental Guidance. At no point did I feel like any of the characters were behaving like "movie people"; these are folks who could be our neighbors in real life, depending on where you live. I have a set of grandparents who were the "second" grandparents and now I get how they must have felt all the years I was growing up.

    Ultimately, I think, this is about parents knowing when to let their kids go and when to step in to course correct what is going on. It's also about learning, accepting and figuring out how to relate to your children and parents as everyone grows and matures.

    The ending is very obvious, but I loved it all the same. I think I got something in my eye at the end because my eyes started to tear...
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Last I checked on Rotten Tomatoes, the critic percentage was under 20%, but the audience score was around 70%. Score one for the general public. :)
    Box office hasn't been spectacular, but considering the competition, it's doing alright for itself.
     
  4. lanalowe

    lanalowe Auditioning

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    Thanks for the feedback guys, I have been wanting to see this film ever since I saw the preview a while back. And now it is confirmed, going to see it this weekend!
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I found "Parental Guidance" pretty enjoyable, with a script that is a bit on the predictable side, but it moves rather well, not too much sag in the storytelling. Billy Crystal does what he does (as Artie, the grandfather), and his schtick is like comfort food in the form of movie entertainment. Bette Midler is also fine as Artie's wife Diane, and plays up her part effortlessly. Marisa Tomei is also solid has their daughter Alice who's raising 3 kids of her own with her inventor husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott), but with a different set of priorities and philosophical outlook. When Alice begrudgingly ask her parents to look after her kids for a long weekend, it's a clash of parenting philosophies, but with some comedic turns with the kids, the generational gap is bridged and all of the parities meet somewhat in the middle. I give it 2.75 stars or a grade of B-. Worth a matinee viewing with your kids.
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Made the mistake of seeing this tonight. Ugh. And I do mean: UGH. Not a cliche left unturned in the tired, stale script. It feels like a throwback to the early 90s, but I don't mean that in a good way. It has one lame gag after another with not a laugh in the bunch. Crystal and Midler don't act: they mug. You're unlikely to find two broader performances in quite a while, and it's unclear if they even realized they were in the same movie, as their flat interaction/lack of chemistry makes me think they shot their scenes separately on green screen. The kids are the worst kind of Hollywood cutey-pies: they just ham it up so bad you can hear their stage mothers giving them direction off-camera. There's no story, no logic and no humor. It starts with broad humor and degenerates into maudlin sentiment that it doesn't earn. This film's so awful it can't even keep the lead character's age straight! It's a "D-" - and that's being generous...
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    You know, I noticed that when I watched the movie, but when I thought about it later, I realized that there was a logical explanation. Of course, now I don't remember what that was. . .
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I'd be curious to hear a logical explanation for why he's supposed to be 58 at the movie's start but he's 61 later. Maybe he's lying about his age early but the movie doesn't give us any hint of that, as far as I recall...
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Seriously, I figured it out, and now it's making me kind of crazy that I can't remember! Maybe I can find a shooting script online or something. . .
     

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