Starring: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Brietkopf
Directed by Andy Fickman
Run Time: 104 mins
Opens December 25th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Happy Holidays Phoenix Film Fans! If you’re looking for a film to go see after all the presents have been opened, opening in theaters Christmas Day is family friendly film “Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott and Bailee Madison.
Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) loves his job. For the past few decades, he has been the announcer for a minor league baseball game, and when the team decides to take the league in a new direction, Artie’s old-school ways just don’t fit with the new attitude and mindset of the audience. Not knowing what to do next, Artie is lost, and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) suggest maybe it’s time to slow things down and retire.
The timing for the “retirement” couldn’t have come at a better time as their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) need to go out of town for a business trip for an award Phil was nominated. Every other source they usually call on to watch their three kids were unavailable so although it was a tough call forAliceto make to her parents, they were (Diane more than Artie) overjoyed to make the trip fromCaliforniatoGeorgia. Once they arrive, they realize that they are the “other grandparents”, the ones that see their grandkids once a year and whom the kids barely know. This is heartbreaking for Diane, and she is determined that this week they will be known as the favorite grandparents, dethroning Phil’s parents from the reigning title holders.
Alice and Phil’s way of parenting are vastly different from the way Alice was raised by her parents, so Artie and Diane are just as confused by the new ways of “parenting” as the technology that runs Alice’s household. The children are products of the over communicative, over protective parenting and are not the easiest to manage, even by old-school standards. Will Artie and Diane be able to survive the week or will Alice’s over bearing, over protective tendencies take over and ruin the entire trip?
What starts off slow and corny, builds to a pretty decent movie with a great message that is timely, endearing and full of corny, yet family appropriate laughs. The role as aging sports announcer Artie, Billy Crystal plays with old school comedy schtick which takes a while to readjust to as the comedy as of late is usually more offensive, awkward and self depreciating; it felt like watching an old comedy from the 1950’s- 1960’s. The role did play on some of Crystal’s real life interests such as baseball and comedy which made the character a tad more authentic and less cartoonish. The rest of the cast was enjoyable, but Marisa Tomei went borderline obnoxious as the overprotective parent. Overall an enjoyable family film to take the kids over the holiday break. “Parental Guidance” opens in theaters nationwide starting Christmas Day Tuesday December 25, 2012.