Movie Review: Parental Guidance ~ TCPalm Florida

Michael Goforth: Some memorable moments during and after ‘Parental Guidance
Michael Goforth
Posted December 15, 2012 at 4 a.m

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I had the rare opportunity to go to two movies – which cost so much I wasn’t sure I’d have enough money for Christmas shopping. Both “The Life of Pi” and “Lincoln” are extraordinary films, the former because of its depth and its amazing 3-D effects and the latter for its marvelous script and award-winning acting.

But, there’s another movie I saw a few months ago – for free – that is also pretty memorable, but not for the same reasons as the more recent ones I’ve seen. I got the chance while visiting in New Orleans to attend the first public screening of a movie called “Parental Guidance,” which is opening nationwide on Christmas Day.

The movie stars Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as a couple who agree to babysit their three young grandchildren while their daughter, played by Marisa Tomei, and her husband, Tom Everett Scott, are on a trip. Crystal and Midler are hilarious, but the movie also belongs to the youngsters, played by Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf.

Crystal was there for the movie screening and so were the three children. I thought some of the gags during the first part of the movie were a little forced, but as the movie proceeded, the humor seemed more natural and flowing. There is one scene in which the grandfather and the youngest grandchild are in a grungy public toilet that was one of the funniest and most memorable I’ve seen in years.

That scene alone is enough to recommend it for a family outing at the movies.

The audience I was in loved the film and gave it a rousing standing ovation. And, then there was a question and answer session with the actors and the director. It was really a fun event.

After the movie, we went back to our hotel and there was something of a commotion outside. As we got closer, I realized that the three children from the movie were on the sidewalk, talking to people and posing for photographs. I took some photos of the kids who had really been marvelous in the film. They were with their parents and guardians and apparently staying at the same hotel as us. They were waiting to go into dinner there when we found them. They were very nice, respectful and fairly normal acting considering the celebrity that would be following them after their roles in the movie.

“Parental Guidance,” which happens to be rated PG, is a fun film with some terrific scenes. I’m glad I got a chance to see it early. And for free. I give it a thumbs up. And, a special thumbs up goes to Billy Crystal who wrote most of the film and is one of its producers. It has the potential to become a classic similar to the “Home Alone” films.

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