Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Parental Guidance

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can watch paint dry.

Parental Guidance – 2 out of 5

Parental Guidance is either an experiment in film or a comedy that forgot to put jokes into it.

Billy Crystal stars as Artie Decker, a former minor league baseball announcer who loses his job the day before he and his wife Diane (Bette Midler) find out that their daughter Alice (Marisa Tomei) and her husband Phil (Tom Everett Scott) need someone to watch their three children while they are away for the week. Alice is hesitant to call on her parents because, like most comedies of these sorts, she’s embarrassed of them because they are strange and old fashion. With no other option, Alice calls in her parents and what follows is a bunch of misunderstandings as Artie and Diane enter a new world of raising children that is drastically different than what they had.

"So we going to make a joke or not?  Probably best we didn't."

Parental Guidance is a “paint-by-numbers” comedy that offers nothing really new or fresh and instead just opts to continuously poor predictable and unfunny jokes at you. Occasionally, Billy Crystal (a proven funnyman) can make these generic jokes work and I found myself having a mild chuckle but, for the most part, the movie is just minute after minute of gags that can only be described as being written by a middle-age hack nightclub comic who is still trying to deal with the mystery of airline food but showed enough restraint to not put in a almost expected 4 hour erection Cialis joke.

"But seriously, what is the deal with airline food?"

"Are people really going to laugh at this movie?"
"No, of course not."
 Other than the humor, the film doesn’t do much wrong. The acting is never flat out horrible—Marisa Tomei kinda lays it on heavily and only makes already unfunny jokes even less funny. Hell, even the three children are passable in the film and Crystal and Midler actually come off like a real married couple. However, the really weak humor the film supplies is the real killer of this movie. I can only imagine the bad comic I described in the last paragraph wrote the film because the movie is basically “old people don’t understand new things.”

One of the grandkids would go on to lead the X-men.

They're applauding because the credits are up next.
 The beginning of the film is just a list of internet and social media buzz words that, much to the shock of the writer, doesn’t actually constitute a joke when mentioned by themselves but when you add in the fact that an old person doesn’t know what Twitter is you suddenly have…well, you still have something that’s not funny. They even bring in the “poke” feature on Facebook to make some obligatory sexual innuendos but when the “poke” function itself stopped being a joke when everyone realized that it was a useless addiction to Facebook and has been universally ignored then all the writer of this film is showcasing is that not only does the character not “get” technology and the new digital age but he doesn’t either.

"Ha ha, get it?  I'm old so I don't know what the 'poke' feature is for.
I thought it was talking about intercourse."

Parental Guidance is a comedy that’s just not funny. The premise is thin and not much different than any other film that involves an individual who is embarrassed by their parents when they are grown-ass adults. The only difference is they manage to take that premise and fill it with jokes that only a comedian who gets all his material from bargain bin joke books and forwarded emails from his grandmother amusing…but at least Billy Crystal was okay in it.

1 comment:

  1. In the old days, a guy like Billy Crystal would live out his creative days on a show like The Tonight Show and Midler would stick to Vegas and get rich doing her tired act. But those things aren't there anymore with half assed shows like Leno, Kimmel, Fallon and the rest. So, now, they take their paycheques and do this bullshit stuff and tarnish their image.


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