Sunday, December 23, 2012

MINI-REVIEW: Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler


December 25, 2012

Andy Fickman

20th Century Fox

1 hour 45 minutes



As Christmas comes around, families come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  It's also the time when Jewish families go out to the movies and get Chinese food afterwards.  Leave it to the director of 'Race To Witch Mountain' to bring a family comedy starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marissa Tomei to the big screen just in time for the holidays.  The movie is about grandparents who try to bond with their grandchildren over the course of a week due to them not being very close to them, along with their workaholic daughter.  This isn't a movie that I don't think many were going to rush out to see, rather this would be a movie that families would go to since they've seen everything else and want to do something on Christmas.  Surprisingly enough though, 'Parental Guidance' is more than just the average family-comedy that comes out during the holidays.  The schmaltzy tongue-in-cheek sentimental crap is replaced with a heart that is relatable to and is really touching in the final 30 minutes.  If there is one family movie that's coming out this Christmas, I'm very glad it was this movie, because it surprised me greatly.

Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei are all good in the movie.  The kids in the film are at first annoying, but then they start to grow on you and they become somewhat likable.  The story is predictable and cliched as hell, but all of that is made up from the second half of the movie since the emotional tension between the grandkids and the grandparents feels real, along with the situations the kids are stuck in.  It's not a great film by any means, but it is an enjoyable family movie and a perfect way to celebrate the holidays with your parents, siblings, and/or grandparents.  Plus, this film marks the return of actor Gedde Watanabe, also known as "Long Duck Dong" from the John Hughes classic 'Sixteen Candles,' which personally made me cheer in my seat since I'm a huge fan of that film.  There isn't much else to say about this movie in all honesty, other than the fact that it is enjoyable and fluffy entertainment.  If you want to take the family to see a movie during the holidays, 'Parental Guidance' is a good choice for entertainment, despite some really stupid jokes and a lot of predictable moments.

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