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."
|One of the grandkids would go on to lead the X-men.|
|They're applauding because the credits are up next.|
|"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.