Parental Guidance

One of the greatest aspects of being a kid is hanging out with your grandparents.  They are supposed to spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home to the mother and father.  In the latest family comedy to be released by 20th Century Fox, Parental Guidance focuses on a family who has a dysfunctional relationship with their grandparents.  Mother Alice and father Phil have modern family that relies on the new philosophies of parenthood while grandparents Artie and Diane feel that the old school ways are best.  When Alice and Phil need to go out of town for a prestigious event, they have no choice but to invite Artie and Diane to their home to baby sit their three children.  Alice, with her husband, has developed a parenting style that is in complete opposite to that of her own parents. The clash of these two different styles causes conflict and in some cases moments of great laughter as this family learns to accept and respect the way the other does things.  Will this family be able to put aside their differences and compromise with each other to make their relationship work?

Parental Guidance is a great family movie that has no vulgarity or profanity and is a movie that the multi-generation family will love to watch together.  It has something for everyone.  The highlight of this movie is the ever-hilarious comedy of Billy Crystal who plays Artie.  His easygoing approach to this film does not disappoint those movie watchers who are looking to have a good laugh.  Bette Midler is divine as Artie’s wife Diane who wants nothing more than to spend a little time with her three grandchildren that she hardly ever gets to see.  Midler is a pro when it comes to keeping up with Crystal and she steels a few scenes herself.  Marisa Tomei, who plays Alice, the daughter of Artie and Diane, is a standout as an overprotective mother who is determined to raise her children differently than her parents raised her.  All the unsolved problems of her youth with her parents finally come trickling down into her relationship with her children unless they can find a happy medium.

Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are masters of their craft, but Parental Guidance would not be a good movie if it were not for the children who play opposite them as their grandchildren.  The eldest daughter Harper is played by the lovely and funny Bailee Madison.  You might remember her from Just Go With It with Adam Sandler.  The middle child Turner, is played by Joshua Rush who has done mostly voice work for movies like Puss In Boots and Escape from Planet Earth.  His character is plagued by a speech impediment, which Rush handles beautifully.  The youngest child Barker, is played by Kyle Harrison Breitkopf in his silver screen debut where he mostly acts opposite Billy Crystal, not bad for a first time.  He is tremendously cute and holds his own with the other actors and actresses.  Parental Guidance is a fine family film that each generation of the family will enjoy.  There is something worth relating to for everyone and it delivers it with wit and heart.

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